Quartararo sizzles to Assen MotoGP pole

Fabio Quartararo pic: MotoGP.com

Fabio Quartararo has broken the all time lap record at Assen to qualify on pole position for the Dutch TT.

The Petronas SRT Yamaha rider set a 1:32.017s which denied factory counterpart Maverick Viñales pole by 0.140s, while Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins qualified on the outside of the front row.

Marc Marquez missed the front row for the first time all season in going fourth fastest on his Repsol Honda, while Jack Miller was 10th and Andrea Dovizioso only 11th.

Dovizioso was last after the first runs of the dozen riders who made it to Qualifying 2, while Rins sat atop the timing screen with a then-record 1:32.461s.

Viñales was first to start his second run and took his Monster Energy Yamaha to a 1:32.157s, elevating himself from third position.

Quartararo therefore dropped to third but then set a time on his next flyer which makes the 20-year-old the youngest back-to-back premier class pole-sitter.

The Frenchman got close to the 1:31s bracket with the chequered flag out but the lap went away in the final two sectors.

Rins, who came from Q1, chipped 0.003s out of his personal best on his second run to consolidate third position, while Marquez saved a lowside at Turn 1 on his way to fourth.

Joan Mir made it two Suzukis in the top five and Castrol LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow completes the second row.

Danilo Petrucci was the lead Ducati rider in seventh, from Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda), Franco Morbidelli (Petronas SRT Yamaha), and Miller (Pramac Ducati).

Dovizioso appeared preoccupied with trying to avoid giving Marquez a tow when the Spaniard cleverly followed the lowly placed Italian on his second run.

While his 1:33.692s was Dovizioso’s best lap by far, the #04 Mission Winnow Ducati remained mired on the fourth row of the grid.

Pol Espargaro, who had an overnight trip to hospital due to pain which lingered from a crash in the Barcelona post-race test, qualified 12th on his Red Bull KTM Factory entry after also going into Q1.

In 14th is Valentino Rossi, who only briefly looked like making it out of Q1 on the #46 Monster Energy Yamaha.

The Italian would have been fifth on combined times from the first three practice sessions but lost his best lap in Free Practice 3 for breaching track limits at the Timmer Chicane, consigning him to the first 15-minute period of qualifying.

Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda) was withdrawn after fracturing vertebrae when he went tumbling through the gravel trap during FP1 on Friday.

The eighth race of the season, scheduled for 26 laps, is set to start on Sunday night at 2200 AEST.

UPDATE: Miguel Oliveira penalised three grid positions due to “riding in an irresponsible manner”, will start 20th.

Qualifying: Dutch TT

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev
1 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:32.017
2 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:32.157 0.140 / 0.140
3 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:32.458 0.441 / 0.301
4 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:32.731 0.714 / 0.273
5 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:33.085 1.068 / 0.354
6 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:33.228 1.211 / 0.143
7 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:33.282 1.265 / 0.054
8 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:33.295 1.278 / 0.013
9 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:33.314 1.297 / 0.019
10 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati 1:33.323 1.306 / 0.009
11 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:33.692 1.675 / 0.369
12 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:33.762 1.745 / 0.070
13 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:33.221 Q1 / Q1
14 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:33.466 Q1 / 0.245
15 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:33.547 Q1 / 0.081
16 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:33.583 Q1 / 0.036
17 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:33.706 Q1 / 0.123
18 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:33.776 Q1 / 0.070
19 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:33.869 Q1 / 0.093
20 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:33.960 Q1 / 0.091
21 53 Tito RABAT ESP Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:34.580 Q1 / 0.620

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