Spies moves ahead in second Assen practice
28 June 2012 – Ben Spies and Yamaha went fastest as practice continued ahead of Saturday’s Dutch TT. The American led Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow of Coventry, with the Ducati of Nicky Hayden moving into the top three. With Jorge Lorenzo in fifth place, championship challenger and reigning title holder Casey Stoner slipped to the bottom of the top ten.
Spies’ best lap time was 1:34.866, with Crutchlow just six thousandths of a second slower – quite remarkable considering the latter is riding with a broken left ankle. With Hayden third, Silverstone pole-sitter Álvaro Bautista finished in fourth position.
“I am happy to be second quickest considering my physical condition is certainly still not the best after the crash at Silverstone,” said Crutchlow. “This morning was a bit of a shock to be honest because, although I have been able to do a bit of cycling at home on the Isle of Man as part of the recovery, it definitely wasn't easy. There was quite a bit of pain with the ankle this morning and it took me longer than normal to get into a rhythm, but overall I am really pleased to be second because I am still quite sore.”
Valentino Rossi and Ducati are slowly improving; the Italian improved on his tenth place of the morning period to jump up to eighth, just behind compatriot Andrea Dovizioso. Further back, Randy de Puniet was no longer the leading CRT bike; that honour went to Aspar team-mate Aleix Espargaró, who was quicker by almost three tenths of a second.
This weekend’s race in Holland is the first of three back-to-back MotoGP races which are likely to have a huge bearing on the outcome of the 2012 season.
Practice 3 begins at 10:10 local time (BST +1) on Friday