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Disaster for Lorenzo Whilst Rossi Finds Form in Assen
Assen (The Netherlands), 27th June 2013
Despite being the fastest rider in the first day of practice today, the Assen TT proved again to be a disaster for the third year running for current World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. The Mallorcan had dominated the morning dry session and had shown an impressive pace in the afternoon's wet practice until a huge high side at the fastest corner of the track. The first diagnosis is a left clavicle fracture which will require surgery. As a result the title challenger will miss Saturday's Dutch Grand Prix.
Team mate Valentino Rossi's confidence in the improved set up of the YZR-M1 after the recent Spanish test continued today with the Italian nine-time champion showing a competitive pace in both the morning dry session and afternoon wet practice. Rossi was fourth in the morning, 0.6 seconds from first in the dry, then rose to second in the afternoon downpour, just 0.25 seconds from front man Marc Marquez.
99 Valentino Rossi
4th / 1'35.958 / 36 laps
"It's been a positive day for us because in the dry it was not so bad this morning, we continued to work with our new setting and the first impression was positive, although we still have to work to improve. We had something important to try this afternoon in the dry but unfortunately it was wet. Anyway we continued our work in the wet and it was a good practice, we did a good job with our new setting and the bike was also very good in the wet. I improved lap by lap; I had good pace and I was in second position. We have to continue to work in both conditions, everybody knows here in Assen it can be wet or dry. Unfortunately Jorge had a big crash and an injury. It's a great pity for Yamaha, for the Team and for him as he is fighting for the Championship. I hope that he comes back as soon as possible, hopefully for the next race in Sachsenring. I hope to do a good result because I am now the man of the team for Yamaha, for the Factory team and all the guys."
Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli
"Unfortunately we didn't start the practice in Assen as we wanted. Jorge, after an incredible free practice one, had a crash in the wet in the afternoon and he broke his collarbone. This is a real pity as we were coming from two brilliant results and looking for a third. We have to accept this, it is part of our sport. We wish him the best to come back as soon as possible and stronger than before. Vale did two good practices, it seems the feeling he was looking for in the front is back. Fortunately we had the opportunity to test in Barcelona and in Aragon to find it. Let's see tomorrow what we can do. Here it is very difficult to predict the weather forecast but we are ready whatever the circumstances."
Yamaha Factory Racing Dr. Xavier Mir
Chief of Hand Surgery at the Dexeus Hospital (Barcelona) and MotoGP Team Medical Doctor
"Jorge has a high inertia trauma but results are normal from initial neurological examination. We will move to Assen to make head and chest scans and also an abdominal exploration. Our first diagnosis revealed that there is a left clavicle fracture with a slight shift that will need surgery to repair the bone. This injury is in the background while we rule out any other major injury that may become apparent within 24 hours. These kind of impacts at more than 200 km/h need some time for the body to recover to be able to discard any other major injuries. In principle tomorrow he can travel and within 48 hours he will be operable."
Mixed conditions on day one in Assen for Pedrosa and Marquez
The Dutch TT has begun under mixed conditions today in Assen. This morning's FP1 session was a chilly 14ºC with a low track temperature of 17ºC and both Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez set to work on soft front and soft rear Bridgestone tyres. On his last exit, Marc tested a hard front to asses the difference and on his final lap of 19, he put in his fastest lap of the session with 1'35.883, placing him third in the standings. Dani remained on the soft option tyres for the whole session and was fifth fastest with 1'36.034 on lap 13 of 19.
In the afternoon, with temperatures similar to the morning, the riders had a new element to deal with as rain arrived for the entire session. Marc took the fastest time with 1'47.617 on his final lap of 18 and Dani was third with 1'48.240 on his last lap of 17.
Marc Marquez 3rd 1'35.883
"I'm happy because today went pretty well. From the beginning I felt good on the bike, both in the dry and wet conditions. Obviously there are still things to improve, especially in the dry, but overall I felt very comfortable and we'll see if tomorrow the weather holds out for us, although the forecast is not too good. I hope for at least one dry practice in order to try to improve the setup, so fingers crossed we can have that tomorrow. As for the injury suffered by Jorge, he has been very unlucky. I think it's only the second crash that he has had this year, and it's resulted in injury - which you never wish on any rider. I hope he makes a speedy recovery; I'm sure that in Germany he will be ready for battle again"
Dani Pedrosa 5th 1'36.034
"In today's sessions we rode on both dry and wet asphalt. In the dry the feeling was a lot more difficult than usual. With such a cold track it's difficult to get grip in the tyres and you skid a lot when cornering, so we could not ride comfortably. We'll see if it's possible to improve the bike with regards to this over the next few sessions if we have dry conditions again. In the rain we improved a little and we were able to try some things out. The downside of today was the injury to Jorge. It's a shame that he crashed and that it turned out so badly for him. As a rider, I know that now is a difficult time for him, so hopefully he can get through these days as best he can, as things like this are very painful"
Lorenzo suffers cruel twist of fate after topping Thursday practice at Assen
Round 7: Dutch MotoGP? - Free Practice One & Two
Assen, Thursday 27 June 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft & Soft. Rear: Soft, Medium-soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 15-16°C; Track 18-21°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Wet. Ambient 15-15°C; Track 18-20°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo suffered a tragic change in fortunes on the first day of action at Assen, as the reigning champion clocked the quickest time of the day before sadly breaking his left collarbone in a crash during a wet Free Practice Two.
In a day of contrasting weather conditions, Lorenzo quickly established himself as the pacesetter by setting a time of 1'35.263 on softer option slicks front and rear in FP1, finishing the session 0.350 seconds clear of Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow. Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez - who was quickest in the wet FP2 session this afternoon - was third overall on the first day of practice, with a personal best lap time of 1'35.883. Aleix Espargaro exploited the grip of the CRT-only soft compound rear slick to pilot his Power Electronics Aspar ART machine to P6 and lap within just 1.167 seconds of Lorenzo's benchmark time.
Weather conditions were cool today, with track temperatures in both the dry FP1 and wet FP2 session barely reaching the 20°C mark. The cool asphalt put a premium on good warm-up performance and grip levels, so softer rubber compounds for the slick and wet tyres were preferred by riders today. The softer rear slick options were used exclusively in FP1, although both the extra-soft and soft front slick options were used. The main wet tyre for Assen is the soft compound option and in FP2 no riders elected to try the alternative hard compound wet tyre on the cold and soaking track surface. Although no riders were able to improve upon their FP1 lap times in the wet second free practice, with further rain expected this weekend the session provided valuable setup data for the teams.
Cool conditions with a possibility of rain are forecast for tomorrow, the next session on the programme for the MotoGP riders being FP3 at 0955 local time (GMT +2) tomorrow.
Shinichi Yamashita - General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"Today's changing weather allowed riders to work on their dry and wet setups and the cool track made conditions in both sessions a bit tricky. In the morning session all riders started on the soft option slicks front and rear, but after their first stint some riders felt comfortable enough to also try the harder front slick. Both of our front slicks this weekend are towards the softer end of our allocation, so the warm-up performance and grip of both options are well suited to these cool conditions. Grip levels from the track were reported to be adequate and now that we have had rain, I believe the grip level will not be any better tomorrow. Finally, I am very sorry to hear that Jorge has broken his collarbone, everyone at Bridgestone Motorsport wishes him a full and speedy recovery and we hope to the see the MotoGP champion back on his bike very soon."
Crutchlow fast in wet and dry conditions in Assen
Preparations for the unique Dutch TT started in contrasting weather conditions at the historic Assen track today, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow demonstrating a fast and competitive pace in dry and wet practice sessions.
The British rider made a confident start to the seventh round of the 2013 campaign in cool and overcast conditions this morning and a lap of 1.35.613 placed him second on the leaderboard behind reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Crutchlow was the only rider to lap within 0.5s of Lorenzo's blistering FP1 pace and he was optimistic he could have challenged for the top three again this afternoon.
Torrential rain started to hammor down on the Assen track, which hosts the only Saturday race on the MotoGP schedule, just 15 minutes before the start of FP2. Crutchlow started the session supremely confident of his potential in the rain after he raced to a career best second position on a wet track at Le Mans last month.
His confidence was well placed and he led the timesheets in the final stages of the session but rather than take unnecessary risks he opted to pull into the pits and was not out on track when a host of riders improved their pace right at the end. He eventually finished seventh.
Today was a positive experience for Bradley Smith, the British rider producing another impressive display just 10 days after he underwent double surgery on his left hand and wrist in Barcelona.
The 22-year-old had a screw inserted in the scaphoid bone in his left wrist that he damaged in a crash during practice for the recent Mugello round and while the operation was a success, he is still experiencing pain and discomfort in the hard braking zones at Assen.
Smith was immediately fast on his YZR-M1 machine in FP1 though and a personal best lap of 1.37.002 placed him 10th and just over a second outside of the top three.
With FP2 a rain-soaked affair and with further wet weather forecast for tomorrow, Smith's outstanding effort to finish in the top 10 this morning could have earned him a deserved place in tomorrow afternoon's QP2.
Cal Crutchlow 2nd 1.35.613 - 38 laps:
"I am really happy with today. I was second in the dry this morning although I need to improve my pace in the first sector because the gap to Lorenzo in that section was pretty big. The gap of everybody else was pretty big to be fair and Jorge was doing an amazing job. It's a huge shame that he got injured in FP2 and I wish him a speedy recovery because the Championship is not the same with him not in it. In the rain this afternoon I was very comfortable and I am one of the fastest on track. Before the end of the session I didn't want to take any risks so I came into the pits and lost a few places. Had I stayed out I am sure I could have been in the top three again but I am happy enough with my performance in both conditions."
Bradley Smith 10th 1.37.002 - 31 laps:
"This morning was very positive being in the top 10. I was determined to try and get in the top 10 in case the rain continues and it means I am immediately into QP2 and that's very good. I don't feel too bad physically at the moment but my wrist is still hurting quite a lot and I need to see if I can reduce the pain, especially in the braking area. I had a good pace in the wet and I got behind Valentino for three laps and that helped and he didn't really pull away. I only did 11-laps in the rain because it wasn't worth taking too many risks and I didn't want to stress the wrist too much."