MotoGP champion Marc Marquez set the fastest lap time under bright sunshine on Friday morning at Assen. The Repsol Honda rider posted a best of 1:34.227.
He was just over half-a-second from the official lap record. Marquez keeps Movistar Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales (+0.177s) and Valentino Rossi (+0.286s) at bay.
Former Assen winner Jack Miller made late progress, leaping from outside the top 20 to fourth place (+0.321s) on his year-old Pramac Ducati.
Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso, Jorge Lorenzo and Danilo Petrucci had a new chassis to try this morning. It featured some carbon fibre bracing similar to the latest Suzuki design.
Dovizioso was quickest of the trio in fifth. Lorenzo, winner of the last two races, seventh after a lowside fall at Turn 9 in the closing minutes of the session. Petrucci, still sore from his Catalunya test fall, began the weekend in tenth (+0.810)
Between Dovizioso and Iannone was the leading Suzuki of Andrea Iannone. He, like team-mate Alex Rins (15th) has an updated engine this weekend. As used by wild-card Sylvain Guintoli last time in Barcelona.
Rookie Franco Morbidelli, rumoured to joining a new Petronas-backed Yamaha team in 2019, certainly seemed to be riding with his mind at ease. He featured as high as sixth on his way to an eventual eighth place for Marc VDS Honda in FP1.
LCR’s Cal Crutchlow was just behind the Italian in ninth, during a session that saw fellow Englishman Bradley Smith the top KTM rider in 16th, one place ahead of the lead Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro.
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