After a drama-filled free practice one (FP1) Friday at 2017 Assen MotoGP, which was led by Octo Pramc Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, current points leader Maverick Vinales topped the time sheets during the second free practice.The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 pilot, who finished 12th in FP1, wasted no time during the afternoon session. Vinales, who leads the series by seven points ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, posted a best time of 1:33.130 to take the top spot.
Finishing 0.367 of a second behind on the combined time sheets was the rookie Jonas Folger on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3. Third went to three-time MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez, who finished 0.652 off the pace.The morning session was red flagged due to a few incidents, including crashes from Folger and Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo, and oil leaking onto the track from Dovizioso’s GP17.But “DesmoDovi” was able to remain focused during FP2, the Italian who won the last two outings at Mugello and Catalunya finishing fourth. Dovi finished 0.008 of a second behind Marquez and 0.038 ahead of fifth-place rider Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda).Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who has nine wins at Assen’s “Cathedral” across all classes, finished sixth, 0.700 of a second off the pace set by his factory Yamaha teammate Vinales.Rounding out the top 10 were Petrucci, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco, Pull&Bear Aspar Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.The wet conditions held off just enough Friday for dry sessions, but rain is in the forecast for Saturday’s qualifying sessions.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.