Motorcycling - Crutchlow chases Lorenzo in Assen

Jorge Lorenzo dominated the opening MotoGP free practice session at Assen right until the final laps when Cal Crutchlow cut his lead from three-quarters of a second to a little over three-tenths with his final lap.

BSN
Motorcycling - Crutchlow chases Lorenzo in Assen
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Crutchlow chases Lorenzo in opening session (BSN)

Lorenzo's final run at the Dutch circuit saw him stick in a 1'35.263 which gave him a 0.695s lead over then second-placed man and team-mate Valentino Rossi but Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez put a stop to the Yamaha lock out, going second quickest with a 1'35.883 before he was toppled by Monster Yamaha's Crutchlow on his 1'35.613.

Rossi remained in fourth place with his lap of 1'35.958, set in his second run with 17 minutes left to go, while Dani Pedrosa couldn't manage to break into the 1'35s bracket and lapped at 1'36.034. He had Aleix Espargaro right on his tail, though, with the Spaniard easily the quickest of the CRT riders on a 1'36.430.

Stefan Bradl, who has changed his brake setup from Nissin to Brembo this weekend, placed seventh on 1'36.559 and is 1.3s off the pace while Alvaro Bautista is eighth. Michael Pirro, on the Pramac-livered Ducati lab bike, is in ninth place.

Bradley Smith grabbed tenth place with his last run and that could prove crucial as rain is forecast for the weekend, so the positions for qualifying two tomorrow might well have been set this morning.

If so, both Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden will have to run in qualifying one to gain their place in the final shootout after being demoted by Smith in the final minute. The Briton is 1.7s off the pace with his 1'37.002.

Karel Abraham was the next best CRT runner in 13th place and a full second behind Espargaro, while Randy De Puniet on the sister Aspar bike, is third. Michael Laverty put the PBM Aprilia in 21st place.

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