MotoGP: Espargaro quickest on Thursday with record pace

Aleix Espargaro was quickest in FP2 at TT Assen. (Photo: Dorna Communications)

Aleix Espargaro was quickest rider on track – in record pace – in the second practice run at the Iveco Daily TT Assen for the MotoGP class, in front of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) produced the fastest ever lap of the current Assen track (1:33.653) towards the end of FP2 on a soft rear tire, the Spaniard beating Casey Stoner’s 2012 lap record (1:33.713). Espargaro had also been second quickest in the morning session.

Repsol Honda’s young World Champion Marquez was second overall, a 0.211 gap behind Espargaro, with Dani Pedrosa in third place (0.416s) at a track which is usually regarded to favor Yamaha.

Indeed the fastest factory Yamaha lap was set by Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in fourth place, just under half a second off P1 pace.

Another good showing from Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone left him fifth, despite a run off track in both Thursday sessions for the Italian.

Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) were classed in sixth and seventh respectively, with an identical 1:34.286 lap time.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) was eighth after riding fastest in FP1, with Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completing the top ten.

Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) was down in 17th as he continues to ride with wrist problems, whilst in 22nd place Danilo Petrucci (IodaRacing Project) returned for the first time since Jerez following a wrist injury of his own.