Yamaha’s hopes to win a grand prix was given a good push after Maverick Vinales topped the combined Friday sessions at Assen in the Dutch Grand Prix with Valentino Rossi inside the Top 5.
Honda’s Marc Marquez set the pace in FP1 and improved further early in FP2, but the Spaniard then had a difficult run to be only eighth – which included a gravel run at Turn 7. But on a track where Yamaha usually does well, it was Vinales at the top after his time of 1m33.378s.
Only 0.121s off was Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone (1m33.499s) with satellite Ducati of Premac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci (1m33.764s) in third from Rossi (1m33.779s). In the end, LCR’s Cal Crtuchlow (1m33.812s) was the lead Honda in fifth.
The Ducatis were next as Andrea Dovizioso (1m33.859s) led Jorge Lorenzo (1m33.870s) – the Spaniard had a late crash in FP1 but was able to return in FP2. Next was as mentioned Marquez (1m34.041s) leading Suzuki’s Alex Rins (1m34.047s).
Behind, Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco (1m34.133s) piped Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (1m34.167s) for 10th with the Spaniard in the Tech 3 sandwich being chased by Hafizh Syahrin (1m34.246s). The last rider inside one second of Vinales time was Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro (1m34.318s).
The two Angel Nieto Team Ducatis were bunched together with Alvaro Bautista (1m34.484s) leading Karel Abraham (1m34.522s) with Pramac Racing Ducati of Jack Miller (1m34.535s) in 16th from another Ducati of Tito Rabat (1m34.576s).
After a crash in FP1, Bradley Smith (1m34.700s) continued to face troubles abode his KTM to be only 18th while Pol Espargaro (1m34.822s) was 19th, sandwiching Marc VDS Honda’s Franco Morbidelli (1m34.820s) – who was the only rider to not improve from his FP1 time. The Spaniard had a crash in FP1.
LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami (1m34.855s) in 21st led the back of the pack with Aprilia’s Scott Redding (1m34.970s) behind as Marc VDS Honda’s Thomas Luthi (1m36.129s) and Avintia Racing Ducati’s Xavier Simeon (1m36.157s) rounded the 24 finishers.