Assen MotoGP: Valentino Rossi and Aleix Espargaro penalised

Assen MotoGP polesitter Valentino Rossi and second-place starter Aleix Espargaro have been punished for ignoring a pitlane red light in qualifying but keep their grid positions

Assen MotoGP: Valentino Rossi and Aleix Espargaro penalised

Race direction found the pair had both set off from the pitlane with the red light was still on and a red flag showing at the start of Q2 at the Dutch TT on Friday.

The officials ruled that Rossi and Espargaro were "taking an unfair advantage" and fined them €2000 each and cancelled their first flying laps from the session.

But as the laps that put the Yamaha and Suzuki first and second on the grid came on their second runs, the punishment made no difference to the qualifying results.

Asssen MotoGP qualifying report

Rossi's pole is his first of 2015 and came on a day when team-mate and title rival Jorge Lorenzo - who had closed to within one point of the Italian in the standings after a run of four grand prix wins - could only manage eighth, admitting he "couldn't make a very explosive lap".

Marc Marquez starts alongside Rossi and Espargaro on the front row.

Follow the Assen MotoGP race day as it happens with AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from 10am UK time on Saturday - MotoGP starts 1pm

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