Aleix Espargaro shoots to shock Dutch pole

Aleix Espargaro shocks the field with pole in Assen

Aleix Espargaro shocks the field with pole in Assen

Aleix Espargaro dominated MotoGP qualifying as he took a surprise pole position at Assen.

The Forward Yamaha rider was almost 1.5s quicker than his nearest rival reigning world champion Marc Marquez as a rain shower disrupted qualifying at the famous Dutch circuit.

Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was third fastest as he pipped Pramac Ducati’s Andrea Iannone to the final place on the front row.

Rain began to fall at the start of the second part of qualifying which forced riders to push hard early on to set a benchmark time before conditions deteriorated.

In the end, a smart strategy from Espargaro to work himself into some clear track proved crucial as he blitzed the Assen track to secure pole with a 1.38.789s effort.

The time was unable to be beaten as the rain continued to disrupt the session leaving Espargaro to celebrate his maiden pole position of his MotoGP career.

Marquez provided the next best time but he could only muster a lap 1.405s adrift of his fellow countryman while Pedrosa was five tenths slower in third.

Cal Crutchlow showed his class in wet conditions as he netted fifth on the grid for Ducati ahead of Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith and Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

The factory Yamaha squad struggled in the tricky conditions with Jorge Lorenzo ninth behind Stefan Bradl while Valentino Rossi could only secure 12th on the grid.

Australia’s Broc Parkes will start from 19th on the grid for Paul Bird Motorsport.

MotoGP TT Assen Qualifying Results

Position Rider Team/Bike Time Gap
1 Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha 1m38.789s
2 Marc Marquez Honda 1m40.194s +1.405s
3 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m40.732s +1.943s
4 Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 1m40.786s +1.997s
5 Cal Crutchlow Ducati 1m40.796s +2.007s
6 Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m40.818s +2.029s
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m41.140s +2.351s
8 Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m41.982s +3.193s
9 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m42.259s +3.470s
10 Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m42.884s +4.095s
11 Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 1m43.085s +4.296s
12 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m43.625s +4.836s
13 Karel Abraham Cardion Honda 1m34.907s Q1
14 Hiroshi Aoyama Aspar Honda 1m34.930s Q1
15 Yonny Hernandez Pramac Ducati 1m35.056s Q1
16 Scott Redding Gresini Honda 1m35.059s Q1
17 Danilo Petrucci Ioda Aprilia 1m35.346s Q1
18 Colin Edwards Forward Yamaha 1m35.484s Q1
19 Broc Parkes PBM Aprilia 1m35.513s Q1
20 Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m35.631s Q1
21 Michael Laverty PBM Aprilia 1m35.731s Q1
22 Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda 1m35.792s Q1
23 Mike di Meglio Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m35.980s Q1


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