At Silverstone MotoGP two weeks ago, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies had the worse of luck. The Spaniard and the American both crashed out at the wet Silverstone circuit.
And wet weather is how the first day of Assen TT free practice started on Thursday, immediately challenging the Yamaha boys. The weather got worse, and MotoGP track officials had to cancel the second free practice session; Lorenzo, Spies and the rest of the 17-rider grid will have an extended practice session Friday before qualifying.
Battling through the wet conditions on the Yamaha YZR-M1 WGP50th Anniversary prototype, Jorge Lorenzo was the highest-placed Yamaha, taking the fifth fastest time after just 12 laps behind three Hondas and a Ducati ridden by his former teammate, Valentino Rossi.
Ben Spies struggled at the first day of Assen MotoGP, taking the 10th fastest time after 15 laps.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP) says: “We rode some laps this morning and we learnt some good information for wet conditions should they stay like this at the weekend. Unfortunately some Moto2 riders dropped some oil which the track couldn’t clear in time for the second free practice.
“We only managed 12 laps in total but it was enough to see how it feels in the wet. It’s a special moment to be here for us with our new livery celebrating the 50th Anniversary so it’s really important to get a good result. We’ll do the best we can as always.”
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP) says: “This morning was good. After the crash in Silverstone it was nice to get back out on the bike in the rain and get the confidence back. I felt really comfortable and just didn’t push to the limits in the first session.
“It looks like we’re going to be riding plenty in the rain this weekend anyway. We made a setting change to the bike at the end and I got one lap with it which was my fastest lap so I’m confident we can get the bike working really well. This session was just to get my head straight after hitting the wall last week so we’ll start again tomorrow.”