CHARPENTIER LEADS THE PACK ON DAY ONE AT ASSEN Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda) kicked off the Winston Ten Kate Honda team's home weekend with a superb performance in the first qualifying session, taking the fastest lap of...
CHARPENTIER LEADS THE PACK ON DAY ONE AT ASSEN
Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda) kicked off the Winston Ten Kate Honda team's home weekend with a superb performance in the first qualifying session, taking the fastest lap of the new 4.555km circuit at the first time of asking. Kenan Sofuoglu (Winston Ten Kate Honda) did not enjoy such immediate good fortune at the modified Assen circuit, but was still 12th fastest of out of 38 prospective qualifiers.
Charpentier's lap of 1'41.906 - some 0.421 seconds faster than his nearest challenger - may well prove to be the one that wins pole, if the second and final qualifying session on Saturday proves to be wet. On the opening day track conditions remained dry, but unpredictable weather is forecast for the entire weekend.
Ronald Ten Kate -- Team Manager
"With the possibility of changing conditions we knew that we would have to go fast from the start of the weekend. The plan has succeeded for Sebastien, and I am so happy to see him back, as he has had to show a lot of determination in the last couple of months to get himself back on top of the timesheets. He has had to be hard on himself to make such a comeback. Today he made some incredible laps. I hope it stays dry because I think we can still improve the set-up, and therefore the lap time, but I am happy for the moment. Kenan is not on the pace yet, but there are some small issues with the bike that we have to resolve, so he needs to pick up the speed a bit tomorrow. In the past we have seen that he can do that, so I'm sure he will make a good step forward."
Sebastien Charpentier -- Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(Pole Position -- Fastest Lap 1'41.906 -- 16 Laps)
"Back at the top and that feels good. I'm happy for the team and for myself. It's not easy and I worked hard in August. The bike made a good improvement today and the Pirellis are working in a good direction, a high level for me. Tomorrow is a new day and it is possible to be quicker, and I will also work for the race. I think there is a good possibility to finish at the top this weekend. The temperature is not too high but we have something like 85% humidity today, so it has not been easy for anyone. Whatever the weather does, it will be the same for everyone. The team is hungry for the pole and I like a little pressure, no problem for me."
Kenan Sofuoglu -- Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(12th Position -- Fastest Lap 1'43.611 -- 17 Laps)
"We didn't start well, but there are still two sessions more and I hope it stays dry if I am to improve my time. The bike at the moment feels OK but I still have to improve much more, as in the fastest corners I am riding a little bit stop-start. Tomorrow I will try to shine and put it on the first row. We will see."