Pedrosa fastest as Honda show signs of improvement

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Are Honda back? That will be the question asked after day one of the Dutch TT with Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez leading the timesheets but it's so competitive at Assen this year that it's hard to read too much into the outright lap times

Pedrosa was fast in the afternoon but Marquez, who crashed in the morning, has been able to set a string of fast times throughout FP2 and looked very impressive. The reigning world champion set his fastest time very early in the session and then was able to set a series of competitive times as the session drew to a close.

Marquez admitted that he will only use the 2014 chassis this weekend, with the updated swingarm first trialled at Le Mans, because with the changeable weather conditions of Assen it's possible that he would lose too much tracktime performing back to back analysis of the bikes. Even so he looks to be much more confident this weekend and despite running off track under braking he felt that he was much more consistent on the new bike.

Cal Crutchlow was fifth fastest and pleased with his day's work having used only one set of tyres for most of the day and setting a fast time after over thirty laps on that rubber. When he used fresh tyres at the end of the session he immediately vaulted up the leaderboard.

Eugene Laverty was the fastest Open Honda in 17th position having finally been able to use an updated swingarm. The Irishman told MCN that it allowed him to be much more consistent with the bike as tyres neared the end of a race distance stint.

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Steve English

By Steve English