Due causing a crash that sent both him and Jorge Lorenzo to the ground at Catalunya two weeks ago, Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone is forced to start from the back of the grid for Sunday’s 26-lap MotoGP at the TT Assen Circuit in the Netherlands, known as “The Cathedral” of speed.
But this didn’t slow the Italian GP16 pilot during the Friday’s opening free practices at the 2.82-mile circuit containing 18 corners. Iannone, who joins Alex Rins on the Team Ecstar Suzuki team next season, held off Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso by 0.226 of a second.Rain threatened for the second and final free practice of Friday, but the track remained dry. But with rain in the forecast for Saturday, all riders were looking to get the most out of the dry situation. And Iannone did just that, leading once again with a quickest lap of 1:33.591 – 0.8 of second quicker than his morning time.Visit the Ultimate MotorCycling MotoGP Page“Today’s result is very positive, even though I’m not totally satisfied. It’s true that we are very quick, but I am unable to ride the way I want because when I arrive at the changes of direction, the bike struggles to follow the cornering line and this is penalizing me a lot,” Iannone says. “I have to work with the guys in the team to try and improve my bike both to become more nimble in this part of the circuit and to improve cornering. If we manage to sort out these issues, we can be very competitive and do a good race, even though I have to start from the last row.”But it wasn’t a runaway time; following a mere 0.004 of a second behind was the most successful rider of the 21-rider grid at Assen, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi. The nine-time World Champion, who has seven premier-class victories at the Dutch circuit including his last-corner victory over Marc Marquez last season, posted the time while using a new frame on his YZR-M1. Rossi’s biggest worries were finding some extra grip at Assen with the new Michelin tires, and his quick times proved he is accomplishing this task.“It was a good day and I‘m quite satisfied. This morning I had a small problem but in the afternoon we improved the setting of the bike and we improved my speed. In the end Iannone just beat me by 0.004s, but I‘m in second place so I‘m quite happy,” Rossi says. “For sure we need to continue to work. With the harder tire for the race it will be a bit more difficult with a higher pace, and four or five riders are very fast. We need to improve but, for a Friday, it was a good performance. We compared the chassis we have tried during the Barcelona test another time. The difference is not so big but in the end I prefer my standard frame. I have more feeling in the front so we will continue with the normal one.”Earning third quickest, 0.133 of a second behind Iannone, was two-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez. Unlike Rossi, who rode with a new frame, Marquez’s bike remains nearly identical to Catalunya except for the use of new winglets. Heading into Assen MotoGP, Marquez has 125 points, 10 ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and 22 ahead of Rossi.Making for four different manufacturers in the top-four spots, the Team Ecstar Suzuki GSX-RR piloted by Maverick Vinales finished fourth. The Spaniard, who joins Rossi next year on the other factory Yamaha, posted a quickest time of 1:33.982, 0.301 off the top pace. Vinales was followed by Rossi’s teammate, Lorenzo, who was the final rider to post under the 1:34 mark. Rounding out the top 10 were Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich), Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich). As for Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa finished 11th.Two riders crashed, but walked away unharmed – Aprilia Racing Team’s Alvaro Bautista crashed twice (turn 3 and 5), finishing 20th, and Avintia Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera crashed at turn 3; the Spaniard finished 12th.The MotoGP grid returns to the Assen TT circuit Saturday for two additional free practice sessions and qualifying. Last season, Rossi qualified ahead of Marquez and Aleix Espargaro.Photos by Luciano Bianchetto
2016 Assen MotoGP Free Practice Results – Photo Gallery
Hello everyone and welcome to Motos and Friends, a weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 is an excellent foray into the middleweight ADV world. Associate Editor Neil Wyenn owns a 2021 model, and has spent the last year adding and improving various aspects of his bike. Some add-ons are more vital others, and he lets us into his secrets for getting the most out of the Yamaha Ténéré. His total enthusiasm for ADV riding and the Yamaha Ténéré in particular were pretty obvious to me—I’m sure you’ll feel the same. Links to all the items he mentions are below.