Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was both the fastest and unluckiest man on the first day of practice at the Iveco TT Assen, as he set the pace in the early dry session, before breaking his collarbone in the wet afternoon practice.
The World Champion’s day was brought to an abrupt end when he suffered a high-speed accident and broke his left collarbone in the rain-affected afternoon session. Lorenzo registered a best lap time of 1’53.263 in the morning period, leading the way from Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez in what would prove to be the only all-dry MotoGP™ session of the day. Marquez would go on to top the second session, but was 14 seconds off Lorenzo’s earlier best as the forecast showers finally struck the historic Dutch venue.
The crash for Lorenzo came at the rapid Hoge Heide section running up to Ramshoek, which precedes the Geert Timmer chicane at the end of the lap. The Mallorcan was taken to the circuit’s medical centre and provided with painkillers, having been caught out by standing water before landing heavily on his left shoulder. The fractured collarbone was confirmed less than ten minutes after the session ended. He will now remain under observation in a Dutch hospital where a CT scan will be carried out, and his situation further assessed.
Behind the leading trio, Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi finished fourth quickest, ahead of Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa, an impressive Aleix Espargaro for the Power Electronics Aspar squad, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, GO&FUN Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, Pramac Racing stand-in rider Michele Pirro and Tech 3’s Bradley Smith. Bradl was running Brembo front brakes instead of Nissin, in what is going to be an extended testing phase with the Italian brake manufacturer.
Wet form was tough to gauge in the afternoon as the track was drying at a rapid pace in the final few minutes, with the likes of Crutchlow sitting out the final bit in a bid to avoid any potential crashes. It did however propel some lesser-known names into the top ten, with Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci, as well as PBM’s Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty finishing from eighth upwards.