MOTOGP QUALIFYING AT ASSEN
FIFTH ROW FOR BAUTISTA'S APRILIA, SIXTH FOR BRADL
The weather is still the big and unpredictable protagonist on the Dutch Assen circuit. The rain that arrived after three practice sessions held on a dry track forced the MotoGP riders to use rain tyres from FP4, where the treacherous asphalt caused a series of spectacular crashes. The Aprilia riders also fell victim to the situation, crashing during the last free practice session that precedes the qualifying, without suffering any physical consequences.
However, this meant that in the session that decided the starting grid order, both Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl had to use the second RS-GP available to them. The Spanish rider stayed in the important positions for the entire session, choosing to stay on the track without stopping in the garage and finishing Q1 with the fifth best time. The same strategy was also adopted by his Aprilia Racing Team Gresini teammate Stefan Bradl, eighth across the line under the chequered flag. Because of the sanction imposed on Iannone, Alvaro will start from the fourteenth spot on the grid (and the fifth row), with seventeenth place and the sixth row for Stefan Bradl.
"Difficult conditions today. I wasn't able to find the right feeling with the rain tyres. In fact, I crashed in FP4 without any warning. That's why I tried to regain confidence little by little in the qualifiers, improving lap after lap but never managing to find an ideal pace. We need to work. We haven't lapped much on the wet with these new tyres and for the moment we are pushing too close to the limit. When we try to push too hard we risk crashing like many riders did today".
"Today the conditions were typical Assen, with a track that was wet, but not wet enough, so we couldn't use the slicks but even with the rain tyres the feeling wasn't the best. Unfortunately I took a spill in FP4, losing the front, and in qualifiers I had to race with the second bike and a different setting. Things improved throughout the session. There was actually some progress, but not enough to let us earn a better position on the grid".