Assen MotoGP: Miller leads Mir in wet first practice

Ducati’s Jack Miller topped a rain-lashed opening practice for the MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix ahead of Suzuki’s Joan Mir.

Assen MotoGP: Miller leads Mir in wet first practice
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Soaking conditions greeted the riders at the start of the first 45-minute practice of the Assen weekend, with forecasts looking unsettled for the three days.

Despite the miserable conditions, the track was a hive of activity early on as most headed out to get some wet running under their belts.

Suzuki’s Mir set the initial pace with a 1m50.988s, but was the first to show how tricky conditions were when he ran off under braking for Turn 1.

Turn 1 would prove to be an incident point for the first half of the session, as Ducati’s Miller and Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) got crossed up under braking there and ran on, while both Gresini’s Enea Bastianini and VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi crashed upright on the anchors.

Both riders were OK, but the worsening conditions forced most at half-distance to come back to pitlane.

By this point Miller – who took his first MotoGP win at Assen in 2016 in wet conditions - sat atop the timesheets with a 1m44.523s.

Pramac’s Johann Zarco was his nearest challenger in second, but it wouldn’t be until the final 10 minutes when Miller’s time would finally be bettered as the rain eased and track conditions improved.

Francesco Bagnaia – who admitted on Thursday at Assen that he still has no answer for his costly Sachsenring crash last week – took over from teammate Miller with a 1m44.368s with just under nine minutes remaining.

Vinales deposed him about a minute later with a 1m44.128s, before Pol Espargaro on the factory Honda and Miller engaged in a duel for top honours as the session wound down.

Espargaro would be the first to break into the 1m42s barrier with a 1m42.891s with two minutes to go, but Miller ended the session fastest of all with a 1m42.589s.

Mir, the 2020 world champion, shadowed Miller at the chequered flag by 0.109 seconds, with Pol Espargaro completing the top three.

Alex Marquez – who will leave LCR Honda at the end of 2023 – was fourth-fastest ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and KTM’s Miguel Oliveira, who won the wet Indonesian GP in March.

Alex Rins – who is nearing a move to LCR in place of Alex Marquez – was seventh ahead of Pramac Ducati duo Zarco and Jorge Martin, with Vinales rounding out the top 10.

Bagnaia was 11th at the chequered flag ahead of the fastest of the rookies Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini), who gained more valuable wet track time on his 2021-spec Ducati.

Brad Binder was 13th ahead of Bezzecchi following his early crash, with championship leader Fabio Quartararo a low-key 17th on his factory Yamaha having sat inside the top six at one stage of FP1.

Bastianini was last after his Turn 1 spill, with the grid swelling to 25 riders this weekend as Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori makes another wildcard appearance this year. He was 22nd.

FP2 for the MotoGP Dutch GP gets underway at 2:10pm local time.

MotoGP Dutch GP - FP1 results

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'42.589  
2 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'42.698 0.109
3 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 1'42.891 0.302
4 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 1'42.959 0.370
5 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'43.030 0.441
6 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'43.091 0.502
7 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'43.116 0.527
8 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'43.150 0.561
9 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'43.189 0.600
10 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1'43.417 0.828
11 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'43.424 0.835
12 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 1'43.481 0.892
13 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1'43.514 0.925
14 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 1'43.542 0.953
15 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'43.724 1.135
16 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'43.818 1.229
17 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'44.248 1.659
18 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 1'44.265 1.676
19 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM 1'44.285 1.696
20 South Africa Darryn Binder Yamaha 1'44.602 2.013
21 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 1'44.825 2.236
22 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'44.968 2.379
23 Australia Remy Gardner KTM 1'45.282 2.693
24 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'45.392 2.803
25 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'46.446 3.857
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