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Assen TT Qualifying

MotoGP 2013

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MotoGP Assen TT Qualifying 2013 

By Bryan Harley

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow scored his first-ever pole position after edging out Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez on the final lap at Assen today. No sooner had Marquez crossed the line and moved to the top with a 1’34.755 effort than Crutchlow sent cheers through the Tech 3 garage when he came in hot right after him with a 1’34.398. Crutchlow is the first British rider to claim a MotoGP pole since 2002. 


“It feels fantastic to have finally got my first pole position in MotoGP. It might have been a different story if Jorge (Lorenzo) wasn’t injured but you can only beat the guys on track and I did that today. It would have been good to have a dogfight for pole position with Jorge because it was obvious before his crash that he was going to be the man to beat. Hopefully at some stage this year I’ll be having a battle with him for the win. It is a great achievement for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team because it is not often a non-factory rider gets a pole position in MotoGP. The competition is incredibly tough but today we showed again that we can compete with the very best,” Crutchlow said in team PR. 



While rain dusted the Holland track early in the day, by the time the final qualifying session took place Circuit van Drenthe was dry and times quickly dropped. There was a lot of jostling for the provisional pole, with Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista demonstrating speed early on with the best time in the morning free practice session. During the second qualifying session, Yamaha Factory rider Valentino Rossi looked strong and held provisional pole until a flurry of fast last laps. LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl also enjoyed the top slot for a short period, as did both Repsol Honda riders. After competing for pole, Dani Pedrosa lowsided with about six minutes to go and rushed back to the pits like he was going to come back out on his back-up bike but decided against it. This would set the stage for Crutchlow’s late heroics. 

Repsol rookie Marquez suffered a big highside during practice at Ramshoek, but walked away from the spill. It would later be revealed that Marquez had fractured the pinkie finger on his right hand and the big toe on his right foot. 
Yamaha Factory Racings Valentino Rossi has looked strong this weekend at Assen and finished todays qualifying session in fourth place.
Yamaha Factory rider Valentino Rossi has looked strong all weekend and will fight for a podium position from the fourth position on the grid.
Still, it didn’t prevent him from almost capturing pole as he will start tomorrow’s race from the second position. 

It was a big day for LCR Honda’s Bradl who earned the first front row start of his MotoGP career. Bradl said it was a struggle for him early in the day, but after the final free practice session, adjustments to his suspension and his switch to Brembo brakes apparently paid off as he earned the final slot in tomorrow’s front row. 

Yamaha Factory’s Rossi heads up the list of riders who make up Assen’s second row. Rossi has ridden well in both wet and dry conditions, finishing yesterday’s soggy second practice session with the second-fastest time. 

“I’m happy for my speed, my pace and my performance in the practices. I feel good with the setting of the bike. It's a pity I didn't stay on the first row as I think I had the potential to do a little better and stay in the first three. Anyway, I’m fourth, the best qualifying of the season and especially I have a good pace, even after a lot of laps so I’m happy,” said Rossi in post-race PR. 

Even though Repsol Honda’s Pedrosa didn’t come back out after his lowside, he still had done enough to earn the fifth spot on the grid. Tech 3’s second rider also gave his team something to cheer about after finishing with the sixth-fastest time of the day, doing so on his last lap. Smith did so despite the lingering effects of a wrist injury incurred at Mugello. 

Power Electronic Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro put up the best qualifying effort ever by a CRT rider, fighting his way onto the third row with the seventh-best effort of the day. Espargaro actually sat atop the leader board during final qualifying, although his stint there was short-lived. His ART teammate, Randy DePuniet, also clawed his way into the top ten, grabbing the ninth position, with Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Bautista slotting between them. 

Ducati Factory rider Nicky Hayden rounds out the top ten. Hayden fared better than Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso who had his worst outing since joining the MotoGP paddock and will start tomorrow’s race back in 14th. 

Defending MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo underwent successful surgery in Barcelona last night and said he will be flying back to Assen immediately to be with his team this weekend. 

2013 Assen TT Qualifying 
1. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’34.398 
2. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1’34.755 
3. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1’34.878 
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’34.974 
5. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’35.006 
6. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1’35.454 
7. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 1’35.500 
8. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1’35.508 
9. Randy de Puniet (ART) 1’35.622 
10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’35.908 
11. Michele Pirro (Ducati) 1’36.866 
12. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1’36.432 
13. Hector Barbera (FTR) 1’36.490 
14. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1’36.524 
15. Danilo Petrucci (Ioda-Suter) 1’36.695 

Lorenzo Breaks Collarbone in Assen Practice

By Bryan Harley

Click here for the clip of the crash

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo crashed today in the second Free Practice session on a wet Assen track and broke his collarbone. The Yamaha Factory rider had just come out of a turn, was accelerating on the straight and lining up for Ramshoek and the Geert Timmer chicane when the rear broke loose, fishtailed, and tossed him from the bike. Lorenzo was taken to a hospital where it was disclosed that he had broken his left clavicle. He will be held there for observations before flying to Barcelona for surgery either Saturday night or Sunday morning. 


“Unfortunately we didn't start the practice in Assen as we wanted. Jorge, after an incredible free practice one, had a crash in the wet in the afternoon and he broke his collarbone. This is a real pity as we were coming from two brilliant results and looking for a third. We have to accept this, it is part of our sport,” said Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director Massimo Meregalli in a team press release. 



In the dry Free Practice 1 session, Lorenzo topped the timesheets at the Iveco TT Assen. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow was also fast, posting the second-fastest time in dry conditions with Repsol Honda rookie Marc Marquez registering the third-best time. 

During the wet Free Practice 2 session, Marquez moved up to the top spot with a 1’47.617 lap. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi would finish 0.252-seconds in back of the Repsol rider to lay claim to the second spot, moving up from his fourth-place showing in the first practice session. Current Championship points leader Dani Pedrosa put down the third-fastest lap with a 1’48.240 run. 

“From the beginning I felt good on the bike, both in the dry and wet conditions. Obviously there are still things to improve, especially in the dry, but overall I felt very comfortable and we’ll see if tomorrow the weather holds out for us, although the forecast is not too good. I hope for at least one dry practice in order to try to improve the setup, so fingers
Wet conditions kept times down in Free Practice 2 with Championship points leader Dani Pedrosa posting the third-fastest time.
Wet conditions kept times down in Free Practice 2 with Championship points leader Dani Pedrosa posting the third-fastest lap.
crossed we can have that tomorrow. As for the injury suffered by Jorge, he has been very unlucky. I think it's only the second crash that he has had this year, and it’s resulted in injury – which you never wish on any rider. I hope he makes a speedy recovery; I’m sure that in Germany he will be ready for battle again,” said Marquez in Repsol PR. 

LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl finished the day with the fourth-fastest effort, a 1’48.594 lap. Bradl switched out the front brakes on his RC213V, running Brembo units instead of his standard Nissin set-up. Bradl tested out a similar configuration while testing the 2014 Honda prototype. 

The factory Ducati’s of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden would grab the next two slots as both riders posted identical laps of 1’48.682. Halfway through Free Practice 2, Crutchlow was able to push his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 motorcycle to the top of the timesheets, but his stint there didn’t last long as Marquez soon eclipsed his mark. Crutchlow couldn’t repeat his first Free Practice results, settling for seventh-fastest in the rain-plagued second session. 

It was a positive day for CRT machines, with Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro cracking the top six in the first dry practice. In Free Practice 2, CRT riders grabbed the eighth through tenth slots, led by IODA/Suter rider Danilo Pedtrucci. Paul Bird Motorsport rider Yonny Hernandez would capture the ninth slot on the ART bike while Michael Laverty rounded out the top ten on his PBM-built ride. 

Lorenzo was only one of the victims to the Dutch circuit’s wet conditions today as Espargaro was also taken to the Medical Centre and was reportedly bruised up after his own crash. 

The third Free Practice session will take place tomorrow, followed by qualifying. Riders better get acclimated to riding in the rain because forecasters are predicting more of the wet stuff for the rest of the weekend. 

2013 TT Assen Free Practice 2 Results 
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1:47.617 
2. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:47.869 
3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:48.240 
4. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:48.594 
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:48.682 
6. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:48.682 
7. Cal Cruthclow (Yamaha) 1:48.761 
8. Danilo Pedtrucci (IODA/Suter) 1:49.031 
9. Yonny Hernandez (ART) 1:49.129 
10. Michael Laverty (PBM) 1:49.438 
 
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