Assen MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro claims Dutch TT pole
|Friday, June 27th 2014, 13:08 GMT|
Aleix Espargaro claimed his and Forward Racing's maiden MotoGP pole position in a weather-affected qualifying session at Assen.
A rain shower at the start of the second segment of qualifying led to a flurry of activity as the dozen riders vying for pole took to the track in unison to get their laps in before conditions worsened.
While most of the frontrunners ran together in a pack, Espargaro opted to drop back and reaped the benefits of running in clear air by setting a blistering lap of 1m38.789s, beating second place man Marc Marquez by a staggering 1.405 seconds.
Dani Pedrosa joins his Honda team-mate on the front row, while Andrea Iannone claimed fourth and a resurgent Cal Crutchlow managed to take fifth.
The works Ducati rider was forced to participate in Q1 after struggling during practice, but alongside Alvaro Bautista was able to escape into Q2 and found sizeable gains to produce his best qualifying performance since joining the Italian outfit.
His former Tech 3 team-mate Bradley Smith took sixth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Stefan Bradl, while Jorge Lorenzo had difficulty in traffic and could only muster ninth.
Bautista took the final top 10 position. Pol Espargaro finished 4.296s behind his older brother in 11th and is joined on the fourth row of the grid by Valentino Rossi, who had a disastrous session.
Pos 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