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Oil and water cause chaos and cancellation at Assen

Rizla Suzuki was forced to miss this today’s second free practice session after an oil spill earlier in the day led to all of this afternoon’s proceedings being cancelled.

Heavy rain at the Assen circuit this morning made conditions very difficult for all classes, but two separate oil leaks from riders in the Moto2 field caused a large spillage over a significant part of the 4,542m Dutch circuit. The organisers tried to clear the surface with a mixture of detergent and water, but conditions were too dangerous for the remaining practice sessions to take place. A decision by race control was taken to cancel all of this afternoon’s events and allow time to get the track prepared and safe for tomorrow.

Álvaro Bautista (P13, 1’53.164, 15 laps) was left very disappointed at the news of the cancellation, as he had a major setting change to test on his Suzuki GSV-R this afternoon, to try help him find the grip he was looking for in the wet. He struggled to find similar levels of grip here at Assen this morning to those he had in Silverstone two weeks ago and was eagerly anticipating this afternoon’s session to try and solve the problem.

Bautista and Rizla Suzuki will now have an extended 90-minute practice session tomorrow morning, before the all-important qualifying in the afternoon. This weekend’s 26-lap race is scheduled for 15.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT) on Saturday 25th June.

Álvaro Bautista:

“In this morning’s wet conditions I had a lot of problems with rear grip and I just didn’t have the confidence in the corners to open the gas early enough. We tried another setting in the session, but I didn’t have a good feeling with that either. This afternoon we wanted to test a completely different setting, but after what happened on the track in the Moto2 class it has made this impossible. We have a couple of sessions tomorrow and I hope that I can resolve this problem, because I really need to get the same feedback from the bike as I had at Silverstone in the last race.”

Paul Denning -Team Manager:

“None of the teams will be happy that FP2 was cancelled this afternoon, but we definitely needed it to go ahead as we hadn’t found the same grip feeling in the rain as we achieved at Silverstone two weeks ago. There was a quite radical set-up on one of the bikes – which was to be tried this afternoon – to hopefully help or solve the problem, but we will now have to sit down and decide the best way forward. Fortunately, we now have an extended session tomorrow morning to find a decent setting so that hopefully we can be in the best shape possible to qualify the bike in the afternoon.”

Iveco TT Assen Free Practice Classification:

1. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’49.036: 2. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) +0.360: 3. Casey Stoner (Honda) +0.491: 4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +0.604: 5. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) +0.959: 13. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZKI MOTOGP) +4.128: