Bezzecchi dominant as Marquez crashes again, Miller third
By Kyle White
Saturday 24th June, 2023 - 1:12am
Marco Bezzecchi is on provisional pole after wrapping up a practice double at the Dutch TT at Assen where Marc Marquez was involved in another crash.
VR46 Ducati rider Bezzecchi improved on his time from the morning session to set a new benchmark of one minute 32.063secs, putting him 0.130s ahead of Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati), whilst Australian Jack Miller made a huge improvement to slot into third on the Red Bull KTM in the one-hour afternoon run, finishing a further 0.025s adrift.
Bezzecchi, Martin and Miller all finished below the former’s best morning time of 1:32.246s as the pace increased in the final five minutes.
Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia was fourth on the Lenovo Ducati ahead of Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales, while Fabio Quartararo sealed his spot in Q2 for the first time in several rounds on the Monster Energy Yamaha, finishing sixth, 0.278s adrift.
Franco Morbidelli, 16th in the afternoon, used winglets on the rear of his factory Yamaha, which Quartararo also experimented with in second practice.
Aleix Espargaro was seventh on a strong day for the factory Aprilia team ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder.
Luca Marini (VR46 Ducati) and Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez completed the top 10. Marquez had earlier impressively saved a massive high-side to avoid what could have been a heavy tumble at high speed.
Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco and Marc Marquez will have to participate in Q1 after both finished outside the top 10.
Repsol Honda rider Marquez was back in action after withdrawing from the German MotoGP last weekend after fracturing his thumb in the morning warm-up following what was his fifth crash of that weekend.
Marquez, who also fractured a rib in the incident, did himself no favours when he slipped off track in the final minutes of the afternoon session, ending up 19th on the timesheet, a staggering 1.422s behind Bezzecchi, after finishing 21st in practice one.
The 30-year-old was chasing Viñales when he went down at Turn 3.
Premier class rookie Augusto Fernandez was the first rider to crash in second practice, doing so at Turn 1 on the GASGAS Tech 3 KTM. Fernandez was also a faller in opening practice.
Assen is the eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship and the final event before the summer break, with the calendar resuming again with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone from August 4-6.