Assen MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Timing Is Everything In Qualifying

MotoGP riders have three primary objectives on their todo lists on the Saturday of a Grand Prix weekend. First make sure you end FP3 in the top ten combined times and ensure passage directly to Q2. Secondly, use FP4 to figure out which tires will work best for them in the race, and what to expect in terms of performance at the start, drop in performance after the first five or six laps, and then the second drop in the last third or so of the race. And finally, to find a way to exploit the potential performance of a soft rear tire to secure a spot on the front row of the starting grid. Pole position would be nice, but second or third will do almost as well.

There are plenty of hurdles to cross along the way, not least figuring out how to get the most out of the package they have underneath them. But some of the challenges are outside of their control. Such as the tendency for their fellow racers to crash in the final minutes of a session, bringing out the yellow flags and automatically costing them a chance at setting a fast lap.

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2022 Assen MotoGP FP4 Result: Quartararo vs Bagnaia Once More

An increasingly overcast FP4 saw a diverse assortment of tyres being sampled and the battle for top spot was back to a familiar picture, with Fabio Quartararo and Pecco Bagnaia swapping seats at the top of the timesheets. Despite not fully enjoying his time on the hard rear tyre, with a small moment leading him into the infamous gravel of the final chicane, Quartararo was still quick enough to claim the session at the chequered flag by one tenth of a second, after showing off his consistent pace on both the hard and medium tyre.

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2022 Assen Moto2 FP3 Result: A Familiar Fernandez Fronts The Field

The intermediate class enjoyed their final practice session under some welcome sunshine at Assen and Augusto Fernandez enjoyed the conditions the most, the Spaniard topping the morning session throughout, despite being quite a distance away from the lap record. Albert Arenas was another consistent presence towards the top of the timing screens, the former Moto3 world champion second throughout the session, six hundredths of a second off the lead. Bo Bendsneyder enjoyed some time in the limelight on his home playground and climbed up to third, only a tenth off top spot.

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2022 Assen MotoGP FP3 Result: Aleix Espargaro Holds Off Quartararo

The collective prayers thankfully paid off and the Cathedral of Speed was a dry place of worship by Saturday morning, allowing the premier class to immediately challenge Friday’s benchmark. The stars of FP3 were the Aprilias, with Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales trading top spot throughout the session and the elder statesman eventually securing the lead despite a late tumble at turn three.

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2022 Assen Moto3 FP3 Result: Guevara Resumes Normal Scheduling

A brand new day brought brand new track conditions to Assen, with beautifully dry asphalt welcoming the lightweight class for their final practice outing. With a lot of work to pack into the 40-minute session, riders were quickly battling for their place in qualifying and it was no surprise to see Izan Guevara at the top of the pile straight away.

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Assen MotoGP Friday Round Up: The Weather Plays A Role

It has been a typically Assen start to the weekend of the Dutch TT. Thursday's stifling heat lingered through the night, windows left open throughout the province in the hope the cool air sweeping in from the south would arrive and bring relief. The heat lingered long into the night, until a summer storm arrived. A massive downpour around 8am dumped a lot of water on the track, the weather instantly turning gray, wet, and blissfully much cooler.

It made for a tricky morning out on track. Conditions were manageable for both MotoE and Moto3, a steady drizzle persisting. The rain picked up a little at the start of the MotoGP session, and made riding increasingly difficult. Assen drains pretty well – a legacy of its ancient roots starting as a race held on public roads, which means there is a crown to several parts of the track, the center of the track a little higher than the sides, to facilitate drainage.

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