MotoGP Assen: Spies, Crutchlow take charge; Rossi closes in
Spies won at Assen last year…
By MotoGP desk
Image by Yamaha Racing
Yamaha pairing Ben Spies and Cal Crutchlow have ripped to the top of the MotoGP timesheets in the second free practice session this afternoon with the top ten riders covered by less than half a second but the shock is that reigning world champion Casey Stoner is the that tenth rider.
Crutchlow, who is riding his satellite Monster Yamaha with a broken ankle following his Silverstone practice crash, is only six one-thousandths of a second behind the American on the factory YZR-M1 while Nicky Hayden is in third and only a tenth slower than his countryman who lapped in 1’34.866.
Hayden led on the Ducati with seven minutes left to run while Crutchlow tried to hunt him down but it was Spies who took top spot. The Texan has been able to find pace in the final sector where team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, in fifth, loses half a second per lap while Stoner, on the Repsol Honda, is only 0.438 off the pace but has the satellite Honda of Alvaro Bautista six spots ahead of him while his own team-mate is in sixth.
Valentino Rossi has found something at the Circuit Van Drenthe as, although he is still towards the wrong end of the top ten, he is only four-tenths off the pace where he was a second in arrears after the morning session. Fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso is in eighth with Hector Barbera getting off the floor after a front-end crash to finish in ninth.
Aleix Espargaro has surged to the top of the CRT boys with a 1’36.615 – interestingly two seconds slower than Jonathan Rea’s WSBK best lap set in 2010 – with team-mate Randy De Puniet right behind him. Michele Pirro is third with Colin Edwards in 18th spot and an improving James Ellison in 19th.
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