Mixed and unpredictable conditions at the TT Circuit Assen on the first day of the Dutch GP meant that Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo had to pounce when the opportunity to get dry hot laps in presented itself. Their strategy for the opening sessions of Round 9 paid off as they banked the first and fourth fastest time of the day, which could prove especially valuable should it rain during tomorrow‘s FP3.
Viñales was quick to head out and get to work in the morning session. He was keen to make up for a difficult weekend at the Sachsenring and quickly put his YZR-M1 at the top of the timesheets in the early stages, before getting serious with his bike‘s setting. He soon found a good rhythm and set multiple provisional P1 times. Top Gun really put his M1 to the test at the end of FP1. He wrapped up the session with a 0.111s advantage over second place, thanks to a 1‘33.072s, set on lap 22/23.
The number-12 rider kept up his impressive pace in the afternoon, setting a 1‘33.241s early on in the session, again putting his name at the top of the standings. He then began with fine-tuning his bike‘s set-up a bit further and was planning to do some tyre comparisons, but soon a slight drizzle halted the FP2 progress. With the track surface neither dry nor wet, the Yamaha man opted to wait for the track to be fully wet before heading out again to get a feel for the conditions. With no further opportunity to put in hot laps, he ended the session solidly in first place in the FP2 and combined timesheets with a 0.111s advantage over his closest rival, thanks to his best morning time.
Quartararo made the most of the dry FP1 track time, putting in three runs in total to collect valuable data on the medium front and hard rear tyre. His fondness for the Assen track shone through as he picked up his pace. Whilst focusing on getting his dry set-up ready, he secured fourth in the timesheets in the process when he dropped a 1‘33.633s on lap 18/19. He ended the morning session 0.561s from the front.
El Diablo was motivated to shave off a bit more time in FP2 by making the most of the nimble character of the Yamaha at the Assen track. He bettered his personal best lap to a 1‘33.491s for third in the FP2 rankings, before rain temporarily stopped the track action. The Frenchman got a first impression of riding in the wet in the final eight minutes of the session, which will be useful information should rain persist during the Dutch GP weekend. His fastest lap, set on lap 4/13, earned him fourth place in combined results, with a 0.419s margin to first.