Michael van der Mark has secured top spot after Friday practice for his home World Superbike round at Assen for Pata Yamaha by over two-tenths of a second from Marco Melandri on the factory Ducati.
In the final practice session of the day van der Mark shot to the top of the times with a 1m 35.156s on his final run which his rivals failed to match to hand the Dutch rider the headlines at his home track.
Melandri was the closest contender on the Aruba.it Racing Ducati in front of teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who is contesting all European rounds of the World Superbike championship this year for the junior team, while Jonathan Rea was shuffled down to fourth place on the combined times.
The Kawasaki rider, who has won the past seven consecutive races at Assen in World Superbikes, topped both of the opening practice sessions and opted not to hunt for a best lap improvement in FP3. As a result, his best effort from FP2 sees him stat just ahead of Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes in fifth place on the combined times.
Tom Sykes followed a similar programme to Rea and also failed to improve in FP3 which saw him moved down to sixth place but comfortably into the automatic Superpole 2 qualifying spots ahead of Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati).
After an off in FP1, Lorenzo Savadori impressed to end the day ninth overall for Milwaukee Aprilia ahead of MV Agusta’s Jordi Torres who also didn’t improve his best time in FP3 but was still quick enough to round out the top ten and Superpole 2 spots ahead of Loris Baz on the Althea BMW by just 0.029s.
Toprak Razgatlioglu on the Puccetti Kawasaki ended Friday practice at Assen in 12th place ahead of fellow customer Kawasaki rider Leandro Mercado.
Sole Red Bull Honda rider Jake Gagne sat out FP3 after his heavy crash in FP2 but has been declared fit enough to take part in the rest of the Assen weekend which saw him drop down to 18th on the combined times. The American rider is without teammate Leon Camier at the Dutch round as the British rider recovers from his nasty accident from Aragon last time out when he sustained three broken ribs plus a chest injury.