Simoncelli tops MotoGP practice on Saturday morning

Marco Simoncelli remained quickest as practice finally resumed at Assen on Friday morning. Following the cancellation of the second session yesterday, the Gresini rider managed a best lap time of 1:36.149 and, although Casey Stoner finished second, all three factory Honda riders suffered sizeable accidents at Assen.

Conditions remained cold although no rain affected proceedings to begin with, with Simoncelli almost two tenths of a second up on the current championship leader. The Yamahas of Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo were next up, with Valentino Rossi the leading factory Ducati in fifth.

Activity was frantic in the Honda garage, with all three riders managing to rejoin the session following their crashes. Stoner moved atop the timesheets, with Simoncelli immediately relegating the Australian to second position. Making less of an impression, Andrea Dovizioso and Hiroshi Aoyama (standing in for Dani Pedrosa) were eighth and 15th.

With just under 25 minutes to go, showers began before the track dried up again ten minutes before the end – ensuring that fully-developed dry weather setups are at a premium this weekend. Britain’s Cal Crutchlow, recovering from his Silverstone accident, was the leading Tech3 bike in sixth.

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