NGM Forward Yamaha Rider, Aleix Espargaro topped the first day of practice at the Iveco Daily TT Assen, going under Casey Stoner’s 2012 lap record time at the historic Dutch venue.
FP1 saw NGM Forward Racing’s Espargaro come in second to younger brother Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). The older of the brothers was one of the six riders in the 1’34s during the first session and he missed out on top spot by just 0.189s.
Later in FP2 a staggering 1’33.653 was 0.06s under Stoner’s record from 2012. The combination of a softer rear tyre and extra knowledge from the post-race Barcelona test allowed Espargaro to take over at the top on his penultimate lap.
Regarding his record pace he said, “I was not expecting that. To go in the 1’33s on the first day is really fast. I love this track, it’s one of my favourite on the calendar. I’ve had good results here before.”
On his set-up challenges for the rest of the visit he added, “With the front tyre we are a little bit lost. We tried all three front tyres and we still don’t know which direction to go. With the rear I can be fast with both, but it’s strange, the soft tyre drops less than the hard. Maybe we can race with the soft as I was third with a 15-lap rear tyre.”
On his chassis choice Espargaro concluded, “I am racing the Yamaha frame. The Forward frame was better than I expected, but we need more time with it.”