In both wet and dry conditions the low grip Assen track surface offered a huge challenge to MotoGP riders.
In the morning session, ran in cool track temperatures, the riders were visibly scrambling for grip with Nicky Hayden commenting that, “Even in the dry it was a bit strange in that you could see guys running across the kerbs and coming back with paint on their tyres.”
The kerbs paint was also an issue for Dani Pedrosa with the championship leader lower on the timing sheets than he is accustomed to being. A problem getting heat into his tyres was the cause for the this but the new for 2013 tyre constructions also played a key role:
“In the morning it was quite cold and the tyres were not giving good grip,” said Pedrosa. “This is the same tyre as Mugello and it is a little harder and in the colder temperatures with this tyre we were spinning a lot and the tyre was not giving a good performance. This morning some of the kerbs were really slippery in the dry, especially the final chicane, I had a big spin even though the bike was nearly upright. Some kerbs, even in the dry, were very slippery.”
When the track got wet the entire surface seemed to be a problem with Hayden echoing the thoughts of many of his colleagues by saying, “The track itself was really slippy, the old track was incredibly grippy in the wet but the new surface is exceptionally slippy.”
With Jorge Lorenzo’s crash, having touched a white line, Hayden was asked how slippery these were and the American generated a laugh from the assembled media by “On my first run in the second session I touched a white line just enough to know that I didn’t want to touch another one!”
His teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, was not laughing about the conditions with the former 125cc champion saying that he was on his way to discuss the issue with the MotoGP safety commission:
“The white line is very slippery, more than any other track. I will go to the safety commission but I know that they always use the same material at every track so I don’t know if they can do anything. They always use the same paint but maybe under the paint is different. It is more slippery than normal here, even in the dry this morning.”