The first day of on-track action at the Assen TT featured a dry morning free-practice session and a rainy afternoon session. Both presented challenges for the Ducati Team, but as is often the case, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden fared better in the wet.
Both riders struggled to find grip in chilly FP1, finishing with the eleventh and twelfth best times. Things also proved difficult in the early going of the afternoon outing, but adjustments resulted in improved rain settings by the end of the 45-minute session, at which point the teammates sat tied at fifth-best with identical times of 1:48.682.
However, the faster morning conditions mean that Dovizioso and Hayden were still eleventh and twelfth best on combined times after FP2. The Ducati Team hopes for good conditions tomorrow morning so that they’ll have an opportunity to move into the top ten and thereby advance directly to Q2.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 11th (1:37.041)
“We did okay in the wet this afternoon, as we know that our bike has good rear grip in these conditions. In the dry session this morning however we struggled a bit, and we’re still some way off the fastest guys. I made a small mistake in a corner during a fast lap, but that’s not important, as our pace in the wet is good. I’ve learned from experience to never wish for rain, as something bad can always happen in those conditions, but it was tough this morning. I don’t know if we’ll be able to reduce the gap in the dry, so at this point I prefer the wet! In the end, although the track’s grip isn’t bad, the white lines are slipperier than at other circuits, and a couple of times, I risked having a crash like Lorenzo’s.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 12th (1:37.153)
“It’s been a very difficult day, especially this morning. I don’t know if it’s due to the tyre, but I really had no grip, particularly on corner entry. The bike was moving a lot, and it was hard to go fast. Even in the rain this afternoon, it was hard to get any feeling. I certainly need to do a better job tomorrow, and hopefully we can find something to make the bike work better. The forecast says it might not be dry again until race day, so it’s going to be really interesting. We’ll just keep plugging away and see what we can do.”