Day one on Dutch soil brings an eighth place finish for Marc Marquez, but it's no secret that the Spaniard's potential is greater than the timesheets would have us believe. “I'm happy because I expected to be further from the factory Yamahas, but we're close. They are fast here, faster than Dovizioso. Our bike is not very stable through the fast turns, as proved by the fact I risked crashing in a dangerous fourth gear point of the track; the Honda has always had good power but it's nervous, I'm trying to calm it”.
#93 appears to have more cards up his sleeves, in that he didn't use the soft tyre in the final stages of FP2 and his pace is among the strongest, if not the strongest.
”I don't know how fast I'd have been with the soft tyre. With the first used tyre, my ideal time was already good, around “33’6 or “33’7; in general, I felt good with the tyres and we worked to understand which is best for the race. There'll be time tomorrow to use the new soft tyre, to avoid ending up in Q1 like at Barcelona. I think I'll use the hard front solution for the race, while rear solutions are similar, with minimal differences. Today it was very hot, and no-one expected such temperatures at Assen”.
Marc also explains the reason behind the risks he took in the early afternoon.
“This season, I haven't scored many poles, as the bike hasn't allowed us to be that fast with the new tyres, I don't have the right confidence with the front. At the start of FP2 I had new tyres and had some issues, while the situation improves as the tyres wears, I can be more consistent. We're seeking a compromise between the flying lap and race pace, it's also not easy to find the right lines at this track”.
Up until now, Ducati and Yamaha seem to have an advantage over Honda, and the world champion analyses their strengths: "As for pace, with hard tyres, we're similar. Yamaha is very stable through the fast turns, while Ducati is fast in acceleration; we need to improve in these areas to be able to match them”.
Marc then talks about new material available to him at the track: “For now, I'm using the same bike I used at Barcelona. We'll try something tomorrow but considering we are testing at Brno after this race, it's better to keep calm and focus on what we have and know, in order to be fast and understand the tyres”.