Top-4 position for Ducati and quickest time at Dutch MotoGP

Top-4 position for Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) in Friday practice at Assen as Bezzecchi goes quickest for VR46. Bastianini in P15

Francesco Bagnaia set the fourth quickest time at the end of Friday free practice for the Dutch Grand Prix, the eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship, held at the iconic 4.54 km TT Assen circuit. Teammate Enea Bastianini was a bit further down the field, as he concluded the day’s two sessions in fifteenth place. Once again, Ducati were protagonists on the first day, placing three riders in the top-4 positions, as Marco Bezzecchi went quickest for VR46 Racing ahead of German GP winner Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing).

In perfect weather, most of the riders – including Bagnaia – were able to take one full second off their times from morning to afternoon. The championship leader struggled a bit with P12 in the first session, but made a set-up change to sort out the stability of his Desmosedici GP and improved during his time-attack in the final phase of FP2, ending up with a time of 1’32.263, which was good enough for fourth position.

Bastianini was seventeenth after a crash in the morning session, but he also knocked a second off his time in the afternoon to end up with a 1’32.955 lap. With the top 15 riders all within one second, Enea was just 0.8s off the pacesetter.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 4th (1’32.263)
 “I haven’t been so angry with the bike in general for a long time, I didn’t feel good, I couldn’t do anything, the bike was too nervous. I didn’t feel enough load on the tyres; when I lifted up, the bike started shaking, and I even stopped before the end of the session because it was difficult to ride like that. I’m happy that we managed to find a way to take a step forward, we improved a lot, at the end my pace was very fast with the medium and then the time-attack came quite good even without doing an excellent lap. I’m happy with the work done, I feel good and we’re back to having good sensations.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 15th (1’32.955)
 “It was a bit of a complicated day because the grip wasn’t very good this morning and as soon as I put the medium in front I crashed. This certainly slowed us down a bit. This afternoon I struggled, we made a small step but it wasn’t what we expected. Physically I’m not perfect here, it’s certainly a very tough track and there was also a strong wind today. I think tomorrow will be better. You have to be perfect here in Assen because if you make a mistake in a corner you take it with you all the way round the track, so we have to try to achieve the perfection that we are lacking. It won’t be easy because there isn’t much time available. I will try to study the data in the best possible way and have fun; it would be nice to have a good qualifying to be able to have a good race.”

Saturday track action at Assen will see the third and final free practice session scheduled for 10.10am local time, while qualifying will start shortly after at 10:50am. The afternoon’s 13-lap Sprint will get underway at 3:00pm.

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