Pedrosa leads tricky final practice at Iveco TT Assen

Friday, 29 June 2012

The weather played havoc with the final MotoGP™ practice session at the Iveco TT Assen as Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa set the quickest lap with Jorge Lorenzo and Álvaro Bautista in tow.

The session had started in dry conditions but with dark clouds overhead, and it was Pedrosa’s teammate Casey Stoner who was caught out first by the spits of rain as he suffered a highside in turn 9, just as first rain appeared. He walked away gingerly from the crash, but was able to re-join late on in the session.

The skies firmly opened for five minutes, after which the riders had an anxious wait in the garage for the track to dry out. With 27 minutes left, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’ Andrea Dovizioso, Pedrosa and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden all went out on wet to check the track for a lap, and scrub in the new set of tyres.

It was however Ducati’s Valentino Rossi who led the charge with slick tyres 15 minutes before the end, showing the rest of the grid the track had dried out sufficiently. As all bikes slowly headed back out on track it was Pedrosa who set the fastest time of all the sessions so far, followed by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Bautista, who both also improved on their times yesterday.

Among the pursuing Tech 3 duo of Cal Crutchlow and Dovizioso, it was only the Italian who went quicker than yesterday, with Crutchlow no doubt wary of his injured ankle in the tricky conditions. Stoner, who was limping heavily after his off, re-joined the session with seven minutes left and posted the sixth fastest time.

Completing the ten were Bradl, Hayden, Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá and Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies., whilst Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró was once again fastest CRT. With the mixed weather conditions, the outright pace of riders was once again difficult to judge, with many not pushing as hard as possible. This should make qualifying a gripping affair, as it will be first time in all sessions that the whole grid will be out on the soft rear tyre.

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