Bagnaia and Ducati Lenovo Team top day one at Assen, Bastianini is eighth

The Ducati Lenovo Team has topped the timesheets in the opening day of action at the TT Circuit Assen, the venue hosting the eighth Grand Prix of the 2024 MotoGP season. Francesco Bagnaia finished both sessions in first place, with his teammate Enea Bastianini in eighth place at the end of Practice, despite a crash in the final minutes of the session.

Bagnaia was today’s absolute protagonist on the Dutch track, which is among his favourites, as he consistently led the MotoGP field in FP and Practice while showing excellent speed with both medium and soft tyre options. His 1:31.340 lap-time set with ten minutes left in the afternoon session translated also in the new outright lap record.

After being twelfth quickest in the morning, Enea Bastianini managed to make his way back into the top ten in the closing stages of the Practice session thanks to a 1’31.870 time. In the following lap, Enea crashed unhurt at turn eight while trying to further improve aboard his Ducati Desmosedici GP machine #23. The eighth place still allowed the Italian rider to earn the direct seed for tomorrow’s Q2 (scheduled at 11:15 local time, GMT +2).
The 13-lap, eighth Sprint Race of the season will get underway at 15:00.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1st
“We are reaping the rewards of the work done since the start of the year. We started off well and made only a few adjustments on the bike, which turned out to be the right ones. We needed it, as we hadn’t topped the FP timesheets for a long time and this makes me happy. Today’s temperatures were clearly lower compared to last year so, should things stay this way, the soft tyre could also turn out to be a good option. It’s up to us to make the right choice after a few more laps under our belts tomorrow. When things go the right way, Assen is a fantastic track and it’s incredible to attack all those long corners in fourth and fifth gear. It’s a unique feeling.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 8th
“Too bad for the crash. It was my mistake, as my boot got stuck in the gear lever while downshifting and I ended up with the wrong gear, then went wide and crash. Having said that, the day went well as we kept improving and, in the end, we had a good pace. Some laps got cancelled because apparently there’s a spot on the track that, despite not being on the green strip, is still considered beyond the track limits, and we need to understand why. Time attack wise, we’re in a good place: surely, Pecco has something extra at the moment, but I must be happy with my performance.”