Johann Zarco has taken his first ever MotoGP pole position in a weather-affected afternoon at the Dutch TT.
Zarco (Tech 3 Yamaha) bumped Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) off pole after the chequered flag, Marquez having done the same to Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) just moments earlier, with those three forming the front row.
After heavy rain fell during Free Practice 4, both qualifying sessions took place on a wet track.
All riders opted for wet soft-compound tyres at the TT Circuit Assen, with Q2 initially looking like a shootout between Marquez and Petrucci.
However, with conditions improving throughout the session, it was Zarco who emerged to just edge the defending world champion at the end.
“Just awesome,” said the Frenchman of his maiden premier class pole position.
“I’m so happy and when you can see your name on the top of the classification it’s fantastic.”
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) might have made the front row but made an error late on his final lap and will instead start from fourth, while Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati) recovered from a crash in the final five minutes to secure fifth on the grid, next to Jonas Folger (Tech 3 Yamaha).
The third row will be Alvaro Bautista (Aspar Ducati), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).
The satellite Ducatis had shown the way for the Italian marque, while Dovizioso made matters worse having crashed midway through the 15-minute session.
Sam Lowes made Q2 for the first time and went on to set a time good enough for 10th, just in time for his Gresini Aprilia blow another engine.
He will be joined on the fourth row by two strugglers on factory bikes, Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda).
Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda) just missed out on the Top 2 during Q1 and will start 13th at the scene of his breakthrough victory 12 months ago.
Jorge Lorenzo showed no pace whatsoever on his factory Ducati in qualifying third-last (21st), while both factory Suzukis missed the cut in Q1.
The 26-lap Dutch TT gets underway on Sunday at the slightly earlier time of from 2100 AEST.
Qualifying: Dutch TT
|1||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1’46.141|
|2||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1’46.206||0.065 / 0.065|
|3||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||OCTO Pramac Racing||Ducati||1’46.526||0.385 / 0.320|
|4||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1’46.705||0.564 / 0.179|
|5||45||Scott REDDING||GBR||OCTO Pramac Racing||Ducati||1’47.574||1.433 / 0.869|
|6||94||Jonas FOLGER||GER||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1’47.663||1.522 / 0.089|
|7||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Pull&Bear Aspar Team||Ducati||1’47.812||1.671 / 0.149|
|8||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda||Honda||1’48.042||1.901 / 0.230|
|9||04||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1’48.079||1.938 / 0.037|
|10||22||Sam LOWES||GBR||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1’48.128||1.987 / 0.049|
|11||25||Maverick VIÑALES||SPA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1’48.266||2.125 / 0.138|
|12||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1’49.623||3.482 / 1.357|
|13||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1’47.217||Q1 / Q1|
|14||76||Loris BAZ||FRA||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1’47.234||Q1 / 0.017|
|15||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1’47.277||Q1 / 0.043|
|16||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1’47.649||Q1 / 0.372|
|17||42||Alex RINS||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1’47.804||Q1 / 0.155|
|18||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Pull&Bear Aspar Team||Ducati||1’47.947||Q1 / 0.143|
|19||44||Pol ESPARGARO||SPA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1’47.957||Q1 / 0.010|
|20||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1’48.080||Q1 / 0.123|
|21||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1’48.219||Q1 / 0.139|
|22||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1’48.448||Q1 / 0.229|
|23||53||Tito RABAT||SPA||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1’48.700||Q1 / 0.252|