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MotoGP Assen: Marquez happy with opening day pace

Despite finishing the first day of free practice eighth fastest, Marc Marquez ended the first day of free practice in Assen extremely satisfied with his race pace.

The World Champion was fastest in FP1 but chose to use FP2 to as race simulation with conditions during this afternoons FP2 expected to be similar in Sundays race.

His hard/hard run in FP2 was ominously fast leaving a lot of his rivals worried about the pace he may have come race day.


"I kept working on the same tyre like I did in Mugello, Montmelo and Le Mans, trying to concentrate on tyres for the race distance," he explained after the first day of free practice.

"Tomorrow I will have a chance to put a new tyre in the end because I don’t want to go into QP1 like I did in Montmelo. But apart of that I am happy because I expected to be a bit further from the Yamaha riders on Friday but we are close. They’re fast, yes, but we will try to be competitive tomorrow and try to keep a good progression."

Despite not using the softer tyre in the evening and thus not getting a true idea of how much faster he said he was happy with his pace he had on the harder Michelin tyre.

"I don’t know, with the hard tyre the time was not bad, 33.6 or 33.7. I don’t know what I did, but I feel good in FP2 and for that reason I kept the tyres for work because we need to understand for the race which tyre is the best one," said Marquez.

Using free practice as an opportunity to assess other riders, the Spaniard pinpointed exactly where his factory RC213V loses out to the Yamaha and Ducati’s.

"It’s difficult to say because when we were on the hard/hard, the race pace was very similar," he said. "Where we are losing with Yamaha is they’re very stable in the fast corners and the Ducati is very fast in the short accelerations. We need to understand this. I was able to follow Yamaha riders this morning but we will keep working because we still have margins to improve."

During FP2 the 25-year-old had some typically Marquez moments, with one saving the front end during FP2. When asked what happened, Marquez admitted to struggling with new tyres.

"It takes a little bit to understand why I have the moments in the beginning in FP2. If you check a little bit, then this year I didn’t have many pole positions because for some reason this year I didn’t feel good with the new tyres," he said.

"I don’t have the front feeling and for that reason in the beginning in FP2, I had a lot of moments with the front because I was on the new, and the rear was pushing too much to the front. But then when the tyres got used, then I was better and I was constant, so it was a compromise, a balance, to work for the race or work for one lap. I didn’t expect the moments and I didn’t want to have a safe crash in fourth gear at a very high-speed corner.”

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