Spies lays down benchmark in second free practice at Assen

Thursday, 28 June 2012

On a dry first day at the Iveco TT Assen it was last year’s race winner, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, who laid down the benchmark for tomorrow’s qualifying by setting the fastest time of the day in the second practice session ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Nicky Hayden.

In a tightly fought afternoon session, Spies set the fastest lap in the high 1.34’s, narrowly relegating Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow into second, who is still recovering from a fractured left ankle. Third place went to Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who looks to be continuing his excellent dry pace on the Desmosedici.

Last race’s pole sitter, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, finished the day fourth fastest, after putting in yet another good showing on board his satellite Honda machine. In fifth, Spies’ teammate Jorge Lorenzo could not match the American’s pace, loosing out in particular in the final sector of the track.

Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa ended the day in sixth, and will be looking for a significant improvement tomorrow if he is to start his championship challenge. Seventh place went to Crutchlow’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who is looking to make amends for his crash in the last race.

In eighth, Ducati’s Valentino Rossi showed some improvement throughout the day, yet still looked to be struggling compared to his American teammate. He finished ahead of Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá in ninth, who recovered well from a crash early in the session.

The top ten was completed by Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner, who only completed eight flying laps, as he looked to be struggling with issues on both his bikes. He was the only rider not to improve on his morning’s time, yet finished seventh in the day’s combined timesheets.

Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró put in a solid performance to finish as top CRT machine, ahead of his teammate Randy de Puniet.

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