Zarco snatches late pole at wet Assen

Daniel Herrero

Saturday 24th June, 2017 - 11:25pm


Johann Zarco

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

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev
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 has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

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