The Espargaro brothers headed the free practice timesheets on Thursday at Assen, ahead of the Iveco TT on Saturday.
Holland has long held the odd distinction of being the only MotoGP race to be held on a Saturday, a day earlier than convention but the change never held Aleix and brother Pol back as they kept the rampant Marc Marquez off the top spot.
Pol took the honours in FP1, beating Aleix to the top spot by 0.189 with Jorge Lorenzo in 3rd. Marquez was ‘down’ in 4th, around 0.2 off the outright pace as he and Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa worked through setups ahead of Saturday’s race, Stefan Bradl rounding out the top ten and being the first of the runners who were outside of a second behind the fastest.
FP2 saw Aleix on top, as he has managed several times in 2014 with little reward come raceday thanks to some alarmingly regular accidents in qualifying; however it hasn’t tempered his obvious speed as he managed a 1:33:653, over 0.2 ahead of Marquez, who was in turn 0.2 ahead of Pedrosa in 3rd. Iannone turned in another strong run for Pramac Ducati and was 5th behind Lorenzo but 0.6 off while Pol had slumped to 8th by the end of the day.
CLASSIFICATION – FREE PRACTICE – Assen MotoGP – 26th June 2014