Positive first laps for Bendsneyder at home round


Dutchman finishes eleventh in Friday practice, and is one of the frontrunners in FP1. Niccolo Antonelli completes the day 22nd.


The Dutch GP is a home round for Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Bo Bendsneyder, and the fans were out in force at the TT Circuit Assen from Friday. The Dutchman didn’t let down his compatriots, and set a strong time in FP1. At the end of the day he was eleventh overall, with teammate Niccolo Antonelli in 22nd position -still experiencing difficulty with his left shoulder that he dislocated last week.

The first Free Practice session was very interesting for Bo Bendsneyder, who announced his presence with fast times from the off. He continued to set a solid pace with constant improvement, lap after lap, and eventually placed fifth with a 1:43.798 time. Teammate Niccolo Antonelli was 23rd, with a 1:44.707.

The afternoon session started in similar fashion to FP1, with Bendsneyder in second position. He was able to lower his previous times, but rain with 3 minutes remaining prevented him from climbing further up the timesheets and he was tenth -1:43.282- in FP2. Antonelli cut his previous best time by eight tenths, to go 22nd -1:43.943.

Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli will look to improve on their seventh and thirteenth positions on last year’s Dutch GP starting grid in qualifying practice, which takes place tomorrow at 12.35pm.


Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Jorge Martin (Honda) 1:42.414
2. Aron Canet (Honda) 1:42.593 +0.179
3. Joan Mir (Honda) 1:42.919 +0.505
4. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda) 1:42.961 +0.547
5. Marcos Ramirez (KTM) 1:42.977 +0.563
11. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.282 +0.868
22. Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.943 +1.529


“It’s true that my arm is not at 100% and therefore today I didn’t want to force things too –so as not to make mistakes and see the rest of the GP affected. We are going to work a lot on the bike tomorrow because at the moment I don’t feel comfortable on this track. I find it hard to turn the bike in. I hope that tomorrow we will continue to evolve in this respect. My shoulder gets a little tired, but today I didn’t take any painkillers in order to understand how much it hurts. Tomorrow I’ll take something to have less pain. I hope I can get a good position on the grid that allows us to latch onto the lead group.”

“Even though it may seem like the other way round, I felt better in FP2. I improved my lap time and I was much quicker, even though it was windy and I did not feel as comfortable as I would have wished. We’re in a good position, so we have had a positive first day and are prepared for the qualifying session. Tomorrow there is rain forecast but I expect it to be dry, and so we can continue working like today to get into the Top 10 again.”