Assen MotoGP: Rookie Johann Zarco takes maiden pole for Tech3

Tech3 Yamaha rider Johann Zarco secured his maiden MotoGP pole position by topping a thrilling wet-weather shootout at Assen

Assen MotoGP: Rookie Johann Zarco takes maiden pole for Tech3

The MotoGP rookie overcame flying laps from Marc Marquez, Danilo Petrucci and Valentino Rossi with a 1m46.141s to secure the top spot in only his eighth MotoGP appearance.

It marks the satellite Tech3 outfit's first pole since Cal Crutchlow topped qualifying at Brno in 2013.

Marquez looked like he had done enough when he took the chequered flag with a 1m46.206s, but Zarco, who had not featured in the pole fight up to this point, managed to pip him to the post with a time 0.065 seconds faster.

Pramac Ducati rider Petrucci was the pacesetter for the majority of Q2, and with five minutes to go, was more than half a second clear of the pack with a best time of 1m47.176s.

His time was bettered by Honda's Marquez with three minutes left on the clock, as the reigning champion set a 1m46.847s. Petrucci retaliated with a 1m46.526s to take back the top spot shortly afterwards.

Petrucci was forced to settle for the final spot on the front row, 0.385s slower than Zarco, while Rossi dropped to fourth on the factory Yamaha, 0.564s off pole.

Q1 pacesetter Scott Redding crashed at the final chicane in the second session, but managed to sprint back to the pits and use his second bike to take fifth.

Jonas Folger made it two Tech3 bikes in the top six, ahead of Alvaro Bautista's Aspar Ducati, Cal Crutchlow's LCR Honda and Andrea Dovizioso, who crashed his Ducati in the early part of Q2 at the Turn 8 kink.

Sam Lowes made it out of Q1 to secure 10th on the grid for Aprilia, despite suffering an engine blow-up in the second segment.

Championship leader Maverick Vinales and Honda's Dani Pedrosa made up the top 12 after subdued sessions.

Narrowly missing out on a spot in Q2 was 2016 Dutch TT winner Jack Miller, who starts in 13th ahead of Loris Baz and Aleix Espargaro.

Jorge Lorenzo endured a dismal qualifying, the factory Ducati rider mired in Q1 and lapping 1.293s off the pace set by Redding - putting him 21st on the grid, ahead only of Bradley Smith's KTM and Tito Rabat's Marc VDS Honda.

Andrea Iannone's final lap time was good enough for third in Q1 but was deleted, dropping him down to 16th on the grid, one place ahead of Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins.

STARTING GRID:

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap
1 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m46.141s -
2 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m46.206s 0.065s
3 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m46.526s 0.385s
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m46.705s 0.564s
5 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m47.574s 1.433s
6 Jonas Folger Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m47.663s 1.522s
7 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m47.812s 1.671s
8 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m48.042s 1.901s
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m48.079s 1.938s
10 Sam Lowes Aprilia Aprilia 1m48.128s 1.987s
11 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1m48.266s 2.125s
12 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m49.623s 3.482s
13 Jack Miller MVDS Honda Honda 1m47.217s -
14 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m47.234s -
15 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1m47.277s -
16 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 1m47.649s -
17 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1m47.804s -
18 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m47.947s -
19 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1m47.957s -
20 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m48.080s -
21 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Ducati 1m48.219s -
22 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 1m48.448s -
23 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda Honda 1m48.700s -



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