Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Early finish for Yamaha Factory riders as oil halts the action at Assen

Early finish for Yamaha Factory riders as oil halts the action at Assen

The Assen TT got underway today in The Netherlands with riders enduring much the same weather conditions as the previous round at Silverstone.

The first free practice session of the weekend was run in wet conditions this morning with steady rain throughout. Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were riding for the first time with the special YZR-M1 WGP50th Anniversary Edition red and white livery. Both took the opportunity to find their feet again following their crashes in the treacherous Silverstone conditions two weeks ago.

Having made a promising start and found a comfortable set up to focus on the riders were denied the opportunity to continue this afternoon. The track was closed for the day and the second session cancelled after oil was spilt along approximately a one kilometre section of the Assen circuit during the Moto2 practice session. As a result tomorrow morning’s final free practice will be an extended 90 minute session.

Jorge Lorenzo:

“We rode some laps this morning and we learnt some good information for wet conditions should they stay like this at the weekend. Unfortunately some Moto2 riders dropped some oil which the track couldn’t clear in time for the second free practice. We only managed 12 laps in total but it was enough to see how it feels in the wet. It’s a special moment to be here for us with our new livery celebrating the 50th Anniversary so it’s really important to get a good result. We’ll do the best we can as always.”

Ben Spies:

“This morning was good. After the crash in Silverstone it was nice to get back out on the bike in the rain and get the confidence back. I felt really comfortable and just didn’t push to the limits in the first session. It looks like we’re going to be riding plenty in the rain this weekend anyway. We made a setting change to the bike at the end and I got one lap with it which was my fastest lap so I’m confident we can get the bike working really well. This session was just to get my head straight after hitting the wall last week so we’ll start again tomorrow.”

Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager:

“The first practice in Assen and typically Assen weather! Jorge needed to find his way through the wet after the crash in Silverstone but I have to say his confidence grew pretty quickly. Position five was good at the end and the bike felt good for him. The track was a bit slippery, especially corner entry which is a bit strange as Assen is a normally a grippy track. It’s much more used by cars than before which may be the reason. It’s a pity that the afternoon session was cancelled but we only had three sessions last year here as well. Hopefully we get at least one dry session tomorrow and we hope race day is dry for the fans as well.”

Massimo Meregalli - Team Director:

“Unfortunately the weather didn’t help us today but Ben got back his confidence after the Silverstone race which was really important for us. We have some additional time in the morning free practice now so we’ll work on it. I’m confident we will deliver a good package for Ben and Jorge to be ready for the afternoon’s qualifying session. It’s great to see the bikes and team out in the red and white livery, we are all very proud to be part of this special time.”

Press release courtesy of Yamaha Factory Racing Team

MotoGP, 2011, IVECO TT ASSEN, Ben Spies, Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Other updates you may be interested in ›