Privateer Ducati rider Jakub Smrz leads the opening day Czech rider up front in Holland Jakub Smrz was the fastest rider on his Pata B&G Racing Ducati, setting a new circuit best of 1'36.041 this afternoon at a sun-kissed Assen circuit. The...
Privateer Ducati rider Jakub Smrz leads the opening day
Czech rider up front in Holland
Jakub Smrz was the fastest rider on his Pata B&G Racing Ducati, setting a new circuit best of 1'36.041 this afternoon at a sun-kissed Assen circuit. The privateer Ducati 1098 rider made the best of the slightly changed Assen layout, adapting to it even more effectively than Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) who had tested on the new track layout last week.
Rea was second quickest, despite suffering a late technical issue. The hour long first qualifying session at Assen was halted for a few minutes to clean up an oil spill, leaving only one last flying lap for the riders to improve their early qualifying pace.
The official BMW Motorrad Motorsport S1000RR of Troy Corser was third quickest at the end of day one, proving that the BMW team has made a repeatable jump in its real world abilities, following the team's best ever fourth place finish at Valencia last time out.
Corser was 0.4 from provisional pole man Smrz, on this 4.542km track, which features a faster Ruskenhoek chicane section than last year.
Championship leader Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) rounded out the early top four at the 4.542km circuit, proving his prowess once again at another different layout and character of circuit.
Cal Crutchlow (Sterilgarda Yamaha) crashed more than once in the first session but still went into the top five, making it five different types of machine in the top handful of spots again.
Sixth was the early result for privateer rider Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) and Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) outqualified his team-mate Max Biaggi today, going seventh to Biaggi's 16th.
Chris Vermeulen's comeback ride put him 20th on the opening day for the official Kawasaki Racing Team, but his team-mate Tom Sykes was top ZX-10R rider, 12th from the 22 riders.
Jakub Smrz: "I have a very good feeling with this track and every time I come back it is very satisfying to ride here. I like the new section but I do not have the gearing correct yet for that part, so there is more to come. I am ready for the rest of the weekend and I hope I will be battling for the top positions, especially at this track."
Jonathan Rea: "We did a nice race run this morning and also went through a few tyres to find the best choices for the race, and I think we will try the best combination of front and rear tomorrow. I am really enjoying riding and in a rhythm now. I do not have to ride on the edge to achieve a lap time. We have more grip on the rear after our test here and we still managed to keep a good front end feeling."
Troy Corser: "The team has done a great job and the traction control is working very well. The bike feels very connected. Both throttle and engine braking systems have given me a good feeling and our engine is pushing strongly. From first to fifth gear the acceleration is really hard. Overall, the bike is a good package now. Unfortunately, someone crashed in the last chicane when I was on my flying lap at the end of qualifying, and I lost another chance to go faster."
Supersport First Qualifying
Kenan and Michele go 1-2 for local team
Sofuoglu begins on top after recent test
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and his team-mate Michele Pirro were first and second respectively at the new-look Assen circuit, making it a dream start for their Dutch-based team. Kenan was the clear leader, by 0.317 seconds, making the most of a recent test at Assen. Third quickest man was Fabien Foret (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) boosting his and his team's confidence. Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) was fourth in the early rankings, leading two Triumph riders, David Salom and Matthieu Lagrive.
Superstock 1000 First Qualifying
The Max factor comes into play
Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Junior Honda) and championship leader Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) went 1-2 in the opening qualifying session of the big Superstock class. Michele Magnoni was third on his Squadra Corse Italia Garvie Image Honda, if not quite into the 1'39s like Berger and Badovini. The first Suzuki was the Team06 Suzuki of Davide Giugliano in sixth place, while the first KTM twin-cylinder machine belonged to Pere Tutusaus (Go Eleven). One more qualifying session remains for all.
Superstock 600 First Qualifying
Florian flies to provisional pole position in 600 Superstock
Marino leads the opening 600 session
Florian Marino (Ten Kate Race Junior) made it a great day for his team when he scored provisional pole at Assen, ahead of Jeremy Guarnoni's MRS Racing Yamaha. Marino's leading margin was an impressive 0.613 seconds, but his rivals have one more session to peg him back before Saturday evening's 10-lap race. Martini Corse Yamaha riders Federico D'Annunzio and Bernardino Lombardi slotted into third and fourth respectively. Frederik Karlsen (MTM Racing Yamaha) was fifth.