The drivers’ reactions to the training

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati): “We are reaping the fruits of the work we have done since the beginning of the year. We started well and made only a few adjustments to the bike, which turned out to be the right ones. That was also necessary because we have not been at the top of the FP times for a long time and that makes me happy. The temperatures today were significantly lower than last year and if it stays like this, the soft tyre could also prove to be a good option. It’s up to us to make the right choice tomorrow after a few more laps. If everything goes well, Assen is a fantastic track and it’s incredible to tackle all those long corners in fourth and fifth gear. It’s a unique feeling.”

2. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia): “I feel at an extremely high level. Technically, I feel great on the bike and was able to exploit the full potential of the RS-GP24. My time is under the track record, so we have improved a lot since last year. I am extremely happy with my race pace and think that we will have excellent chances tomorrow.”

3. Alex Marquez (Gresini): “We immediately felt comfortable on the Ducati and worked well. The goal was to get into Q2 straight away and to get there with the third fastest time is certainly a great incentive. We still need to work a bit on race speed and try a few things with the front tire, but otherwise we are happy. Everyone will improve, so we can’t rest. At the moment Bagnaia is at least two steps ahead of everyone else. We will try to improve even further.”

4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia): “I had a crash at the end of the training session, which is a shame because up until then the day was going very well. I felt competitive on the bike, it’s not an easy track, we’re very fast and the aerodynamics put more weight on the front axle year after year. Overall I’m happy, even if I have a lot of pain in my lower back and neck. Tomorrow it will be even worse, but it’s not as bad as it could have been.”

5. Jorge Martin (Pramac): “No, I’m definitely not happy. I don’t know how I managed to get to fifth place because I was struggling a lot. Actually, I thought it was the first time in the last two years that I was in Q1, but finally I managed it. But yeah, the feeling wasn’t fantastic. I was missing a lot of stability in the fast corners. And also it’s difficult to stop the bike and get a good feeling for the front. So, yeah, I’m struggling. I think on this track a small step can make a small difference, so hopefully we can find a way tomorrow. We have Pecco who is two steps ahead of the rest, so we’ll try to find how to stay close to his bike because for sure something isn’t working and we’re lucky to have him to find a way.”

6. Marc Marquez (Gresini): “I got on the bike this morning and it felt like the break had never happened. I immediately felt comfortable, which I can’t say about the afternoon. We know why and we’ll work on it tomorrow. Pecco and Maverick are ahead of the others, especially the former. It will be difficult to reach his level, but we can also learn from him.”

7. Brad Binder (KTM): Statement follows

8. Enea Bastianini (Ducati): “It’s a shame about the crash. It was my mistake because when I was downshifting my boot got caught in the gear lever and I had the wrong gear, I went too wide and crashed. Despite that, the day went well, we kept improving and had a good pace at the end. Some laps were cancelled because apparently there is a spot on the track that, although it is not on the green strip, is still considered outside the track limits and we need to find out why. In terms of time attacks, we are well placed: surely Pecco has a bit more going for him at the moment, but I have to be happy with my performance.

9. Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse): “Today’s result was really important because now we have enough time to do some work before Qualifying 2 tomorrow morning. That was good and also we have two sets of tyres left because if I have to go through Q1 I always lose a set. So that means the chances to fight for a good starting position are better. Overall I’m very happy, my arm worked well after the operation and I felt really good. I caught two yellow flags in the last time attack and have room to improve which is great to know. I’m happy that on Friday I know that I’m already in Q2 for Saturday.”

10. Franco Morbidelli (Pramac): “We struggled today but we managed to attack the time and get straight into Q2, which is great. We will try to make the right changes to improve the feeling and get a higher speed tomorrow.”

11. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha): “We had a few yellow flags, but we know that our current position is somewhere between 9th and 12th. We need to try to push a bit more to get into Q2 easier. Unfortunately, we are out of Q2 today. The new engine works pretty well, but here in Assen, it’s not a track where this engine will make a big difference. For me, this engine will be better on tracks like Austria and Misano. We are also still working on the maneuverability and agility. We need to have the best possible qualifying and the best possible sprint race tomorrow.”

12. Marco Bezzecchi (VR46): “I almost made it into the top 10, but I’m struggling. I’m having the same problems as in the previous races, especially in the time attack with new tires. The pace is better, but it will be difficult to get into Q2, a really tough Q1 awaits us. Let’s look at the data and try to make a step forward also in terms of driving technique. On this type of track, a change in driving style can make a big difference.

13. Fabio Di Giannantonio (VR46): “Not a great day, the feeling is good but I missed the access to Q2. With used tires we were very fast but with new tires I struggle more. Also, just when I was putting the tires on for the flying lap I had some problems with the Bike1 that I had preferred and had to go on track with the Bike2. Really a shame, not everything went well. Even on my best lap I had a great part, I made a mistake in turn 12 and lost the lap time. Let’s go back to the data and prepare as best as we can for tomorrow’s Q1, it will be very close.”

14. Alex Rins (Yamaha): “It was a bit better than this morning. FP1 was a bit chaotic for us. We had problems with the traction control and spent most of the session trying to get the electronics better. But this afternoon we improved a bit. I had time to work on the setup and we changed the bike a bit. I felt a bit better and more comfortable, but we are still far from the top 10. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. We have to keep working. Let’s see if we can get closer and closer to our rivals and have a good QP so that we can start the sprint and the race well.”

15. Pedro Acosta (GasGas): “It wasn’t the easiest day and practice was a bit chaotic with the Miller-Martin moment and the yellow flag at the end. The bike felt a bit unstable today so there are some areas we need to improve which is the most important thing for me. Brad Binder was competitive today so we will analyse his data so we arrive well prepared tomorrow. In terms of lap times I think we are faster than we are showing now so let’s see if we can get it all together tonight and have a good day tomorrow.”

16. Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse): “Today was a bit windy and tricky overall. We made a change to the bike to help me in the fast corners, but I’m still losing a lot as I can’t turn the bike. What we did during the session wasn’t enough – we need to make a bigger change for tomorrow and hopefully get some speed. The other Aprilias are going well, so hopefully we can get that speed too and try to get a good starting position in qualifying.”

17. Johann Zarco (LCR Honda): “I’m working hard to adapt and change some details of my riding style to be faster with the current bike, but there are still some limitations. I’m focused on providing the crew with information that will help develop the bike. We want to see some positive results before tomorrow’s sessions.”

18. Jack Miller (KTM): “It was very strange… I don’t know. I was in front, so it was impossible for me to see what was happening behind me. The incident with Martin was my fault. As soon as I looked back, he pulled the brakes. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

19. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda): “It was a tough first day – we are struggling. This morning I was a little lacking in confidence on the bike and we are working hard to fix that. But as always we will do our best in qualifying and sprint tomorrow and be determined to overcome these challenges and show our best performance.”

20. Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia): “We are testing a lot of new things – of course at the expense of pure performance. But these tests are also necessary to achieve the goal of improving the bike. We are working on many new solutions for this year, but also with a view to 2025.”

21. Augusto Fernandez (GasGas): “Overall it was a difficult day. We tried a few things on the bike that we wanted to do. The feeling wasn’t that bad but we were really slow. We have a lot of work to do tonight, there are a lot of areas where we can improve, so let’s do our best for tomorrow.”

22. Joan Mir (Honda): “The crash today messed up our plan a little. I was unhurt but the second bike wasn’t as set up as the first so it was very difficult to get another lap in the end. I had just put a new tire on to try and get a top ten time when I crashed. We worked a lot in the morning which was good and were able to make more steps in the afternoon before the crash. There’s work to do tomorrow if we want to reach our full potential but everyone is pushing hard together.”

23. Luca Marini (Honda): “Today we worked to get the most out of our package and improve by making adjustments. I had hoped for more because the gap is a bit big, but everyone here is very fast this weekend. We have to take a step tomorrow and the team has already started working so I’m sure we can do it. We have a good feeling, we just need more performance. We are progressing, just like the others, so we have to hope for a big step.”

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