Chaz Davies was able to set an extremely fast time at the end of the session – 1’35.748 – the quickest of the day.
Assen (The Netherlands) – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) powers his Panigale R to the top of the timesheets at the end of the first day of timed practice at the TT Circuit in Assen; Javier Forés concludes today’s sessions in overall ninth position.
In cold and partially overcast conditions (10°C), but on a dry track (of 15°C), the factory riders used the first timed practice session to work on the set-up of their Panigale R machines. The team was once again able to make constant progress during the 45-minutes available and closed the session with Davies in third place, thanks to a best time of 1’37.272, and Javier Forés sixth (1’37.477).
In the afternoon’s session, which took place in similarly cool conditions, the technicians on both sides of the garage made a series of refinements to the riders’ bikes. Having found a good base set-up, Davies was able to set an extremely fast time at the end of the session – 1’35.748 – the quickest of the day in fact, to score provisional pole position. Forés has not yet found the ideal set-up solution but was nevertheless able to lower his time by half a second to close day one in ninth place (1’36.964).
Quotes after the day’s sessions:
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 1st (1’35.748): “I don’t think I’ve ever had such a positive Friday at Assen, also because I’ve always had a bit of trouble at this track results-wise. At this point I think we have a good base set-up; here we’ve started with what we were using at Aragon and we’ve only had to make a few small changes so far. We’ve tried a few different things and in the final stages of the session I was able to put in a fast lap. Despite the result, I’m still losing in the final sector so we’ll try to improve in that area tomorrow as well as continuing our preparations for Sunday’s races.”
Javier Forés - (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #112) – 9th (1’36.964): “Although we’ve been able to improve a little today we’re not yet there in terms of set-up. As it’s the first time I’m riding at Assen with this bike I guess we need some time to get everything sorted. The bike has been moving around a lot and this means I can’t ride as I would like; it is preventing me from putting a clean lap together. But we will continue to work this evening to understand the direction to take in the next sessions – tomorrow’s a new day and I’m sure we’ll be able to improve.”