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Spies fastest in second Assen session

Ben Spies fastest during Thursday free practice (2) for the Dutch MotoGP at Assen.
A frantic second practice session for the Dutch MotoGP at Assen ended with defending winner Ben Spies on top of the timesheets from Cal Crutchlow, Nicky Hayden and Alvaro Bautista.

None of those four riders have taken a podium finish so far this year and the session ended with the top eleven riders covered by less than half-a-second!

Factory Yamaha star Spies didn't lead until his 23rd and penultimate lap, which proved the fastest of the day - but only 0.006s quicker than the injured Crutchlow (Yamaha Tech 3).

Hayden had created the rare sight of a Ducati on top of the dry timesheets with seven minutes to go, before Spies and Crutchlow moved ahead. The American finished just a tenth from the top.

Silverstone pole sitter Bautista didn't head the session, but was consistently among the frontrunners on a day when a switch to the softer rear tyre propelled many riders up the order in the closing stages.

World championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, fastest in the morning, again led for large parts of the afternoon before being pushed down to fifth - but just 0.191s from team-mate Spies.

Like Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa appeared to stick with the harder rear tyre on his way to sixth and the top Repsol Honda rider (+0.214s).

Andrea Dovizioso followed for Tech 3 while Valentino Rossi, who jumped from eleventh to fourth while following Pedrosa just after the midway mark, slipped down to eighth (+0.430s).

Pramac's Hector Barbera fell early in the session on his way to an eventual ninth, while reigning world champion Casey Stoner recorded just four flying laps as he repeatedly returned to the Repsol pits on his way to tenth place (+0.438s).

Lorenzo starts round seven with a 25-point advantage over Stoner.

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June 28, 2012 2:45 PM

There is little doubt that Nicky can run up front as he clearly has the skill level but they need to find consistent race pace, something the Ducati does not have yet. As it stands JL is set to dominate this race putting in consistent times. Spies is the only person besides the aliens i think who will be running up front come this weekend. Cal i think may be in contention for a podium depending on how good he is physically. Was there a problem with Stoners bike today?

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