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Mixed Conditions for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT at Assen

Mixed Conditions for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT at Assen

Valentino Rossi 17th and Garrett Gerloff 22nd in the changing conditions on DutchGP opening day.

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s MotoGP riders experienced both dry and wet conditions on the DutchGP opening day. Valentino Rossi ended the day 17th, while Garrett Gerloff was 22nd in his first taste of Assen.

Although Rossi had a series of laps disallowed for exceeding track limits, the Italian made it into the top-eight in the final ten minutes of FP1. At the end of the session he had posted the 15th fastest lap – 1min 34.431secs. Despite spots of rain at the beginning of FP2, Valentino headed straight out to set a 1min 34.777secs lap. After waiting for the track to be suitable for wet tyres, Rossi headed back out but obviously was unable to improve upon his time set in the dry FP1 conditions. He ended the session 18th and was 17th in the combined times.

Gerloff, who has never ridden at Assen before, spent FP1 acclimatising to both bike and circuit. Despite a crash part way through, he was able to consistently improve his time – finishing FP1 22nd with a 1min 35.961secs lap. The American immediately bettered his morning time by setting a 1min 35.744secs lap in the opening stages of FP2, before he was able to get some wet weather running under his belt in the final minutes. Garrett ended the session 21st, which placed him 22nd in the combined times.

Rossi and Gerloff will be back on track tomorrow at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT) for Free Practice 3, before the first of the two MotoGP qualifying sessions gets underway at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).

Valentino Rossi

"This track is fantastic and it is a great pleasure to ride here, it is something special. In the end my position today is not good, but I was also quite unlucky. There were a lot of yellow flags and on my final lap I was doing well until sector three, when the rain came. I don’t think I was able to make a complete lap at my full potential today and I think I could have had a better position today - probably around tenth. We have some things to improve in sectors two and four, plus we need to understand the tyres. There was some good grip in the wet though and I felt good. I hope that we can have a dry Saturday and, in particular, a dry Sunday."

Garrett Gerloff

"I finally got to do a full dry session and the bike feels quite a bit different in the dry, than in the mixed conditions I had in Valencia last year when I rode the Yamaha before. Here at Assen with the fast corners it can be a bit difficult to get used to how stiff and aggressive the MotoGP bike can be. It’s been really nice though because the bike and the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT are amazing. I just need to keep doing this, get some more laps done and find a bit more pace. I’m not pushing at 100% yet because I’m still trying to feel my way and get used to this bike. I’m looking forward to riding it again tomorrow."