New Schedule For Friday At Assen After Oil Causes Thursday Afternoon Sessions To Be Canceled

The oil spill which caused the first session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Assen to be red-flagged eventually ended up having major consequences. Alex Baldolini toured for nearly a quarter of a lap dropping oil on the track in the pouring rain before realizing that his engine had a problem and pulling off the track.

Because of the length of the oil spill - the whole section from the Bult to Mandeveen corners was contaminated - and the fact that the oil had been spilled on a wet track, the clean up procedure took much longer than hoped, leaving the FIM to decide to cancel all activity for the rest of the afternoon. Although the FIM fully backed the efforts and methods selected by the Dutch circuit to clean the track, they felt that the amount of time remaining at the end of the day was not sufficient to run three sessions of free practice for all three classes, with enough time between the classes to ensure the track was safe.

The FIM decided to cancel the remaining sessions, and to compensate the fans - a few thousand - who turned up, the circuit will allow anyone with a one-day ticket for Thursday entry on Friday.

The loss of the sessions means a loss of track time, and to compensate the riders for the lost track time, Friday's schedule at Assen has also been revised. All three classes have been given extra time tomorrow morning to get a little more time on the circuit. The 125cc and Moto2 classes have an extra 20 minutes, while the MotoGP session has been doubled, to a full hour and a half, giving the MotoGP riders back all of the time that they missed. Though the weather forecast remains sketchy - rain will definitely fall on Friday, the only question is when - they need all the extra time they can get.

Below is the new schedule for Friday at Assen:

07:45-08:30 Red Bull Rookies Cup Qualifying Practice 
08:40-09:40 125cc Free Practice 2
09:50-11:20 MotoGP Free Practice 2
11:30-12:35 Moto2 Free Practice 2

12:40-12:55 Ducati Two Seater

13:00-13:40 125cc Qualifying Practice
13:55-14:55 MotoGP Qualifying Practice
15:10-15:55 Moto2 Qualifying Practice

16:30 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race 1 (16 laps)

17:00 Qualifying Press Conference

17:10-17:35 International Dutch Supersport Qualifying Practice 1
17:40-18:10 Ducati Two Seater
18:15-18:45 International Dutch Supersport Qualifying Practice 2

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From De Bult to Mandeveen is only about 100 metres. I haven't seen FP1 of moto2, but I assume it is a longer spill than just those two corners.

Ever tried to clean a 100 meter oil spill from a racetrack?
I have, it took 100 people ( racers, officials, cornerworkers)
Several hours. Without the rain. It was banked, like Assen, so
the oil flowed downhill and each person was trying to clean 2 square
meters (10 sq ft), where the racers would soon be laid over and on the
throttle at over 160 kph (100 mph).
The right decision by Dorna, unless you want 30% of the riders to
hit the ground on the first day. Then again, I would think Honda
and Dorna could establish a motor program that didn't dump oil.
They've had this problem in Moto2 before, no?

Engines blow up sometimes, Honda or otherwise. The problem here wasn't necessarily that it popped, but more when it did. If Moto2 is anything like others around the world they will have had holes unplugged in the bottoms of their bellypans to allow water to escape during the wet session. The downside of this is of course that the bellypan no longer accomplishes its intended task which is to hold oil.