Fabio Quartararo has described Assen as the toughest MotoGP circuit he’s ridden so far in his rookie campaign having undergone arm pump surgery last month with this track in mind.

The Petronas Yamaha rider topped the opening practice session at the Dutch round ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales before the leading pair swapped positions in the second session to leave Quartararo in second place overall, to see him carry momentum from Barcelona where he secured pole position and his maiden MotoGP rostrum last time out.

Quartararo underwent arm pump surgery between the Italian and Catalan rounds, while also having fluid taken from his arm post-surgery after the last race, and explained during the build-up to the Dutch round he opted to go under the knife with Assen in mind due to the track’s physical demands.

The French rookie duly feels his decision was justified after Friday practice having wrestled his Yamaha around the Assen circuit to start his race weekend strongly at the sharp end.

“Today was a positive day even though I think it’s the toughest circuit of all those I’ve ridden at with a MotoGP bike so far, with a lot of quick changes of direction,” Quartararo said. “In the afternoon we tried some small changes to the set-up and also put on used tyres in the afternoon, and the pace didn’t change.

“It was a good first day at Assen, so for tomorrow I hope to be on the front two rows and find out which tyre we will use in the race during FP4.”

Quartararo has already notched up two pole positions from the opening seven rounds – the only other rider to claim a pole aside from Marc Marquez – as he hunts a possible maiden victory in just his eighth MotoGP race.



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