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Thursday, 23 June 2011 20:11
Page 1 of 2MotoGP quotes from the riders and team members after the Thursday practice sessions of the championship round in Holland at the Assen circuit - Heavy rains affected the morning first free session at the Dutch circuit and during the Moto2 practice the marshals brought out the red flag and later cancelled the session with four minutes remaining due to an oil spill on track, subsequently all the afternoon sessions were cancelled.
The Assen TT got underway today in The Netherlands with riders enduring much the same weather conditions as the previous round at Silverstone with the first free practice session of the weekend run in wet conditions this morning with steady rain throughout.
The riders were denied the opportunity to continue in the afternoon after the track was closed for the day and the second session cancelled due to an oil spill along approximately a one kilometre section of the Assen circuit during the Moto2 practice session.
As a result tomorrow morning’s final free practice will be an extended 90 minute session.
“We rode some laps this morning and we learnt some good information for wet conditions should they stay like this at the weekend. Unfortunately some Moto2 riders dropped some oil which the track couldn’t clear in time for the second free practice. We only managed 12 laps in total but it was enough to see how it feels in the wet. It’s a special moment to be here for us with our new livery celebrating the 50th Anniversary so it’s really important to get a good result. We’ll do the best we can as always.”
“This morning was good. After the crash in Silverstone it was nice to get back out on the bike in the rain and get the confidence back. I felt really comfortable and just didn’t push to the limits in the first session. It looks like we’re going to be riding plenty in the rain this weekend anyway. We made a setting change to the bike at the end and I got one lap with it which was my fastest lap so I’m confident we can get the bike working really well. This session was just to get my head straight after hitting the wall last week so we’ll start again tomorrow.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
“The first practice in Assen and typically Assen weather! Jorge needed to find his way through the wet after the crash in Silverstone but I have to say his confidence grew pretty quickly. Position five was good at the end and the bike felt good for him. The track was a bit slippery, especially corner entry which is a bit strange as Assen is a normally a grippy track. It’s much more used by cars than before which may be the reason. It’s a pity that the afternoon session was cancelled but we only had three sessions last year here as well. Hopefully we get at least one dry session tomorrow and we hope race day is dry for the fans as well.”
Massimo Meregalli - Team Director
“Unfortunately the weather didn’t help us today but Ben got back his confidence after the Silverstone race which was really important for us. We have some additional time in the morning free practice now so we’ll work on it. I’m confident we will deliver a good package for Ben and Jorge to be ready for the afternoon’s qualifying session. It’s great to see the bikes and team out in the red and white livery, we are all very proud to be part of this special time.”
“It is a shame that we couldn't ride this afternoon because of the track conditions but we will be able to make up for it with the extra time tomorrow. This morning I went very well on a very wet track and we were able to get valuable data and a feeling for the track. I am happy and I can't wait for tomorrow to get back on the bike. We will try something with the front end set-up and some electronic solutions but already we have good traction and stability on the rear.”
”I am happy to have this opportunity and delight to be working with such a professional team, who made me feel comfortable straight away. My feeling with the bike is good and I hope to improve my position tomorrow.”
“Unfortunately we only had one session today but Marco felt good already this morning in tricky conditions. Assen is a good circuit for him and he quickly found a good feeling making small changes to the bike. He set a consistently fast pace and finished with the best time. We have picked up from Silverstone on the pace and that is a good sign. Tomorrow we will work more towards the race and do our best. I am happy for Akiyoshi to have this opportunity and he seemed pleased too. I have to say he has slotted in very well with Aoyama's crew.”
"This morning's session was good to get some more data on the wet set up as we still don't have that much experience in these conditions on the RC212V. We worked on getting the general set up of the bike a little better and also with the edge of the tyre where we wanted to try and create more heat. We concentrated on this in the morning session and the last exit was a little better but unfortunately we didn't have enough laps to warm the tyre up and find any real advantage. This afternoon we wanted to continue with this but unfortunately due to an oil spill on track from the Moto2 class we had to forfeit the session and we'll come back tomorrow and see what we can do."
“This morning I found a good feeling with the bike and we were able to be fast from the beginning. There was not so much grip so between the first and the second exits we made a change to improve this and in the second outing the bike worked better. We had planned another change in the afternoon session as we have margin to improve but today we rode well without taking too many risks. It's a shame we couldn't test this afternoon after the oil spill on track but FP3 will be longer tomorrow to recover this time. Depending on the weather, we will continue where we left off today”.
"This morning I was a little nervous because it was my first time on the Honda factory bike and also in Assen on a MotoGP bike as I missed the race last year due to injury. It was a pity because in wet conditions I couldn't compare my bike with this one, but from the beginning the feeling was not so bad, the bike seems a little bit smoother than my one, but I cannot say much at the moment, I simply need more laps on the bike. Unfortunately, this afternoon the practice was cancelled due to track conditions but tomorrow we will a have longer session which is good. The plan was for me to adapt to the bike more than actually making any changes on the bike to suit me, so we will stick to this plan also for tomorrow and I hope to improve the feeling and go faster."
"Today we could not test many things, because in the first free session we had a small problem that prevented us from doing many laps. Everything is solved now and in the afternoon we planned to do more laps and set a good pace under wet conditions, because it seemed that it will take place under the rain again. But at the end of the first Moto2 session, a bike spilled some oil and the marshals were not able to clean it. We cannot do anything about that, so we can only hope that tomorrow the practice will be under dry conditions, they say they will make the morning session longer to compensate the time we lost today, to try and test the tyres and find a good set-up."
“In this morning’s wet conditions I had a lot of problems with rear grip and I just didn’t have the confidence in the corners to open the gas early enough. We tried another setting in the session, but I didn’t have a good feeling with that either. This afternoon we wanted to test a completely different setting, but after what happened on the track in the Moto2 class it has made this impossible. We have a couple of sessions tomorrow and I hope that I can resolve this problem, because I really need to get the same feedback from the bike as I had at Silverstone in the last race.”
Paul Denning -Team Manager:
“None of the teams will be happy that FP2 was cancelled this afternoon, but we definitely needed it to go ahead as we hadn’t found the same grip feeling in the rain as we achieved at Silverstone two weeks ago. There was a quite radical set-up on one of the bikes, which was to be tried this afternoon, to hopefully help or solve the problem, but we will now have to sit down and decide the best way forward. Fortunately, we now have an extended session tomorrow morning to find a decent setting so that hopefully we can be in the best shape possible to qualify the bike in the afternoon.”
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“Obviously it is a shame that the afternoon session had to be cancelled, but of course we support this decision from the officials on the grounds of safety. It will have interrupted the teams’ schedules for this weekend, but at least they will get the track time back tomorrow with the extension of the final free practice session. This morning the track was very wet and slippery and the temperature was quite low at just 18 degrees Celsius, but the performance of our soft wets was good and the times at the front were competitive. Many riders used just one set of wets for the whole session and performance was consistent so although today’s running was short I am satisfied.”
Tech 3 Yamaha
“I was happy enough this morning but the rain has made it easier for me. I think it would be really difficult in the dry, particularly changing direction in the fast chicanes. The last chicane is quite difficult because you go from right to left and that is even worse on the shoulder. The shoulder just feels quite sore and I'm pretty cautious with it. I'm definitely aware of it and when I start to go fast I think I should slow down a bit. In the wet conditions it doesn't hurt that much, but I'm really wary because the last thing I need is another crash on it. I had a few rear grip issues with the bike but there is no reason why we can't improve that. The track felt really slippery this morning but we need to find some rear grip on corner entry. To be honest I hope it rains all weekend because it will make it easier on me. If it's a dry race then it will be a long 26 laps on Saturday with a plate and a load of screws in my collarbone, but I will do my best as always."
I felt pretty good this morning after we came back to a setting that was similar to what used to get on the podium at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago. The first 15 minutes this morning we made some changes to the rain set-up we thought would make the bike better than what I ran in the race at Silverstone but it wasn't the step forward we expected. We were trying to get some more rear grip but it made the bike too nervous and too twitchy and I wasn't as comfortable and confident as I felt in Silverstone. That cost me a bit of track time but once we reverted back to the setting that was close to what I used in Silverstone, I could push at my normal level. Physically I feel great. The collarbone feels fantastic and the muscle damage around the ribs I damaged in the Catalunya crash is a lot less painful. I sneezed in bed last night and didn't cry for the first time in about three weeks, so that's a bonus."
“I had hoped to get on the track this afternoon. This morning we worked hard on the bike’s set-up, so the second session was important for planning our work for qualifying. Fortunately, we still have a card to play: the new frame. Tomorrow we’ll probably start with this important change, hoping that it can help us to improve our situation.”
Randy De Puniet
“I left Silverstone with the rain, and unfortunately, I once again find it here at Assen. This morning I had problems with grip, especially on the rear of the bike. Compared to the last race though, the front end is better. We had some ideas for this afternoon, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get on the track. I can’t yet judge the new frame, but Rossi and Hayden have had positive feedback on it in the dry.”
Fabiano Sterlacchini - Pramac Racing Team Technical Director
“We really didn’t need the oil on the track. These days, when we haven’t been so lucky, we need as much track time as possible to try and improve our situation. In Loris’s case, we’ll try to speed up some solutions. We’ll dismiss some options without trying them, and some we’ll try together with others. Among these is the new frame. We had planned to ride today with the same bike as before, and then to compare that to tomorrow’s bike with some new updates, including the frame of course. However, we’re forced to try it without making comparisons, although it’s enough to now that the Ducati Marlboro Team riders liked it.”
“We only had one practice session with the new bike, so it’s very early to make a full verdict, but the first feelings are certainly positive. The GP11 also went well in the wet, but the GP11.1 didn’t just maintain the positive aspects, I actually liked it a little bit more, so I’m curious to also try it in dry conditions. Unfortunately, they cancelled the afternoon session because of an oil leak in Moto2, it would have been very nice to continue, in either the wet or the dry, the work that we started. We’ll have an hour and a half tomorrow morning, but we’ll have to work differently because we can’t make as many changes as we can in two separate sessions. Anyway, we’re happy for now. The new gearbox helps with acceleration on corner exits, and the rear of the bike is more stable. Now I can ride more naturally. There are still some small things to improve with the bike’s character, but we knew that and will continue to work on it.”
“This morning didn’t go particularly well. I just couldn’t get a good feeling, and we were having a few issues. The clutch wasn’t working well on corner entry, and we didn’t completely understand why until after the session. I wasn’t so fast, which isn’t good after coming from Silverstone, where I was strong in the wet. This afternoon getting cancelled was a bit of a let-down when you’ve got your leathers on and are ready to go. It was also a shame for the die-hard fans who stayed around waiting, and for those who planned to watch on TV, but the officials did the right thing for having oil on the track. For tomorrow, we’ll just see what the weather’s going to do and take advantage of whatever conditions we have.”
“Our main objective today was to get ourselves sorted out in the wet after the last round. We took a big step forward with the dry setting in England but we haven't had chance to confirm that here. We hardened the suspension on the wet setting and were planning to go even harder this afternoon before it was cancelled. It is a shame we didn't get chance to ride this afternoon because it is perhaps the more important session of the two because it is closer to the time of day that we race at, but to cancel for safety reasons is totally understandable.”
"I am satisfied with the result of the morning free practice. It’s a shame that we could not ride in the afternoon because we wanted to try many things for which we don’t have a lot of time now.“
“This morning we have tested two different settings in the wet and one of those two was a good one for my riding style. Well, if it rains again tomorrow I have got good chances to ride faster. Of course this session cancellation does not help anybody: I had a list of adjustments to fix but I can not do anything now. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”