Bagnaia keeps Ducati on top in Assen FP2, Espargaro hot on his heels

Ducati remains quickest on day-one of the Dutch MotoGP at Assen after Francesco Bagnaia battled past Aleix Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Assen
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Assen

Quickest by just over a tenth from Joan Mir during Assen MotoGP FP1, Jack Miller again went fastest to start FP2 before Espargaro moved ahead by +0.028s. 

The Aprilia rider’s lap was also enough to move him up the order after starting the session fifth on combined times.

With Suzuki looking at home in wet conditions, Alex Rins bolted to the top of the leaderboard courtesy of a 1:42.312s - the best lap of the day to that point. 

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However, Rins was unable to stay on top for long as Alex Marquez, who is riding for his future, dropped the benchmark time by a further two tenths. Bagnaia then split the two Spaniards by going second quickest on combined times.  

Despite a good FP1 session given wet conditions are far from Fabio Quartararo’s favourite, the reigning world champion was only 11th to start FP2. 

Unlikely given the forecast for the remainder of the weekend, but Quartararo will certainly be hoping for improved weather, especially since Assen has proven to be somewhat of a Yamaha track lately. 

With Quartararo struggling to crack the top ten, team-mate Franco Morbidelli went quickest with a first sub 1m 42s lap. 

Franco Morbidelli, Dutch MotoGP, 24 June
Franco Morbidelli, Dutch MotoGP, 24 June

Marini the first to gamble with dry tyres during Assen MotoGP FP2

While lap times continued to crumble, slick tyres were introduced for the first time today by Luca Marini. The Ducati rider was over three seconds down on his opening lap, while Zarco went quickest from Oliveira by over a second. The Pramac rider’s time was set on wet tyres. 

As heat began to circulate through his dry tyres, Marini’s second effort was much more representative as he went second - +1.089s off Zarco’s time. 

Using a soft front and medium rear, Marini’s third flying lap was the one that counted as he bettered Zarco’s effort by six tenths. 

With most of the grid now on slick tyres, Marini’s early laps were proving vital in staying ahead of the rest. Another impressive effort saw Marini improve by eight tenths. 

One of the quickest at adapting in crossover conditions, Miller’s second lap out of pit lane was enough for him to go quickest, however, that soon changed when the man he replaces at KTM next season, Oliveira, overhauled the Australian. 

As Marco Bezzecchi and Bagnaia brought themselves into contention by individually going fastest at the ten minute to go mark, Oliveira was proving difficult to beat aboard his RC16.

Miguel Oliveira, Dutch MotoGP, 24 June
Miguel Oliveira, Dutch MotoGP, 24 June

The Portuguese rider set a time of 1:34.676s to regain top spot - a tenth clear of Morbidelli who jumped back into P2.

With wet patches starting to disappear, Quartararo began showing his true pace as he went quickest. 

A brilliant final sector from A. Espargaro saw him pip Quartararo inside the final minute, while Bezzecchi suffered a second crash of the day [turn 5]. 

But Espargaro’s time was ultimately not enough as Bagnaia set a 1:33.274s to finish fastest.

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