Jorge Martin

The Italian dominated both Practice sessions at the Assen TT, pipping Championship rival Martin for the top spot

The Championship fight remains as unpredictable as ever as Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) catapulted himself to the top of the timesheets on Day 1 of the Motul TT Assen.

After the two Practice sessions, the Italian is the man the beat after putting down a 1:32.063 whilst maintaining a firm hold on the top spot throughout the day. The stage is set in Assen as the Italian is joined by his title rivals at the top.

Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) put his GP23 into P2, with the Spaniard eager to continue his Sachsenring form. It was Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) who rounded out the top 3 follwoing a late time attack during Practice 2.  

Miller crashes the party  

As Friday’s running drew closer to the end, the time attacks came flying in with the riders conscious of the importance of finishing inside the top 10 to bag a Q2 spot. Bezzecchi maintained a firm grip on the top spot with no one able to topple the Italian.

Martin had an eventful P2 session seeing him shortcutting the circuit on numerous occasions but put in a strong lap in the closing stages to finish the day 0.143s away from Bezzecchi.  

It was looking as if Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) was struggling to find a setup that worked for him around the Assen circuit, with the Italian showing visible signs of frustration during Practice 1. With the Champion sitting in P12 after the morning session, the Ducati garage worked away over the lunch period to give Bagnaia the feeling that he needed. The bike was looking much more stable in P2, and Bagnaia blasted his way to the top 3 towards the end of the 2nd session. 

Jack Miller had something to say about that however as the Aussie sandwiched himself between the title-fighting trio, pushing Bagnaia down to P4 in the closing stages. The job was done for both teams with secured Q2 spots in the bag ahead of Saturday’s qualifying action.  

Old faces back in the mix  

Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) finished the first Practice in a comfortable P2, and showed strong pace in the 2nd Practice to finish the day in 5th place overall. The Spaniard will be looking for a return to the podium after taking 3rd place at Assen just one year ago. 

Despite riding injured, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ ) showed signs of improvement aboard his Yamaha M1 after taking P6. The Frenchman will be relieved to be missing Q1 this time out, and will be hoping his smooth riding style will be able to put him right back in the mix at the fast, flowing Assen circuit.  

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) finished the day in P7 ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) showed flashes of brilliance throughout the day to secure P9, with Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) snatching the final Q2 spot.  

Not everyone can make the cut  

It was a disaster for Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), as the Frenchman failed to secure himself a place in Q2 by just 0.088s. The Prima Pramac man will have to battle his way through Q1 after finishing in P11. 

The Frenchman will be joined by the two CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team riders of Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira who finished 12th and 13th respectively.  

Marc Marquez hits the deck in Assen and scuppers Q2 hopes

Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) also failed to make the Q2 cut after finishing in 15th and 19th. Both riders made trips to the gravel trap, with Marquez hitting the deck just two corners into his only time attack of the day as P2 came to a close.  

The stage is well and truly set for MotoGP™ action at the Cathedral of Speed. Make sure you don’t miss a single detail as the action unfolds with Qualifying and Tissot Sprint coming up on Saturday as well as Free Practice up first at 10:10 local time (GMT +2)! 

Top 10:

1. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) – 1:32.063
2. Jorge Martín (Prima Pramac Racing) +0.130
3. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.155
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) +0.200
5. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) +0.245
6. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) +0.278
7. Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia Racing) +0.345
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.386
9. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) +0.406
10. Alex Márquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) +0.518


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