Fast MotoGP News: Pol Espargaro Fastest in Assen FP1, Lorenzo Talks about Yamaha

Pol Espargaro fastest in FP1 at Assen, 2014 8 photos
FP1 Assen 2014FP1 Assen 2014FP1 Assen 2014FP1 Assen 2014FP1 Assen 2014FP1 Assen 2014FP1 Assen 2014
Surprise performance this morning at the historic circuit in Assen, the Netherlands, as the Yamaha Tech3 rookie Pol Espargaro managed to clock the fastest lap around the Dutch track, posting a 1’34.530 lap time. This is even more intriguing ahead of the 8th round of the 2014 MotoGP championship as young Espargaro’s time is very close to Dani Pedrosa’s 1’34.548 circuit record lap performance from 2012. Still a hefty distance from Casey Stoner’s 1’33.713 best lap from the same year, but still quite an impressive pace, nevertheless.
The younger of the Espargaros got the better of his elder brother, with Aleix being 0.189 seconds sloer than Pol, followed by Jorge Lorenzo, 0.206 adrift. The reigning champion Marc Marquez was a4th fastest in the opening outing for the Assen round, with Bradley Smith in the 5th position. Valentino Rossi came in 6th, followed by a very well-paced Andrea Dovizioso. Dani Pedrosa was 8th, while the top 10 was rounded up with Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl. Crutchlow was 13th. Free Practice 2 is scheduled to start in less than two hours and the weather is just right for this, with 16C (61F) in the air and 21C (70F) at ground level, all dry and partly cloudy.

On the other hand, with only around two weeks before the summer break, Jorge Lorenzo says that his talks with Yamaha turned out some differences, but discussions are only in an early stage. Both his and Valentino Rossi’s contracts run out at the end of the 2014 season, so the time for getting the best deals and papers inked is drawing near.

Lorenzo has been with Yamaha since his premier class debut in 2008 and won the word title in 2010 and 2012, also adding 3 runner-up placements to his name. The Mallorcan made no secret in his dreams of his intentions to continue riding the factory Yamaha machine, possibly to the end of his MotoGP career, but it looks like there’s always some room left for negotiations.

“For this moment we have found some differences between us, but as I always say I would like to finish my career with Yamaha. It would be the most beautiful thing, to finish my career with Yamaha without changing team. So hopefully we can find a solution,” the 2-time world champion says. As to what those differences may be, Lorenzo is as honest as it gets: “Mainly economically to be honest.”

The weekend may bring an end to Marquez’ 7-win dominance, some say, but who will be the one to make the (seemingly) impossible thing happen is still a mystery. Rossi is getting better by the race and Lorenzo in also starting to get very close to the top form, while Dani Pedrosa has always been looming around to size any opportunity. Will the one and only Saturday race of the calendar bring such a surprise? Only dozens of hours to find out...
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