Marco Simoncelli has topped the first dry session that MotoGP has had at Assen, ending the 90-minute session - extended to compensate for the loss of yesterday afternoon's session - as fastest. The San Carlo Gresini Honda rider finished nearly two tenths ahead of Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner, and a quarter of a second faster than the factory Yamaha of Ben Spies. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was a third of a second behind his teammate Spies, while Valentino Rossi's first dry time on the heavily revised Ducati (see separate story here) saw him secure 5th spot on the timesheets, just ahead of the Monster Tech 3 bikes of Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards.
The early part of the session saw the curious spectacle of all three Repsol Honda crashing out within two minutes of each other. Casey Stoner was the first rider to go down, suffering a small highside at De Bult. Andrea Dovizioso followed, crashing much more heavily, and lucky not to be hit by Marco Simoncelli, who was right behind Dovizioso. The Italian suffered a minor foot injury, but took to the track later on to complete the session. Almost immediately after Dovizioso's crash, Hiroshi Aoyama went down, sliding off spectacularly at the very fast Ramshoek corner. The crash was put down to cold tires, all three riders out on just their second lap, while all three crashes were also on the left side of the tire, which doesn't heat up as much with so few left handers.
|11||14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||1'38.282||2.133||0.006|