The Factory Yamaha team's special red-and-white Assen livery, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company's participation in grand prix racing, made a wet debut at Assen on Thursday.
Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo and team-mate Ben Spies, who both suffered big crashes in the previous wet race at Silverstone, finished the only MotoGP session of the day in fifth (+0.959sec) and tenth (2.554sec) places respectively.
The planned afternoon session was cancelled due to oil from the Moto2 session, meaning an extended FP3 will be held on Friday morning.
"We rode some laps this morning and we learnt some good information for wet conditions should they stay like this at the weekend," said Lorenzo. "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.”
“Jorge needed to find his way through the wet after the crash in Silverstone but I have to say his confidence grew pretty quickly," said team manager Wilco Zeelenberg. "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. Hopefully we get at least one dry session tomorrow and we hope race day is dry for the fans as well.”
Spies also rebuilt his confidence during the limited Thursday running.
“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," said Spies. "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.”
“Unfortunately the weather didn't help us today but Ben got back his confidence after the Silverstone race which was really important for us," confirmed team director Massimo Meregalli.
"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.”