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Qualifying report
MotoGP Dutch GP

MotoGP Dutch GP: Bezzecchi claims pole as Ducati dominates Assen qualifying

VR46 rider Marco Bezzecchi continued his dominance of the MotoGP Dutch TT weekend by snatching pole position in qualifying at Assen, leading a Ducati top three lockout.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Having been fastest in all three practice sessions, Bezzecchi beat Ducati factory rider Francesco Bagnaia and his own team-mate Luca Marini as the Italian marque sealed the front row.

The Pramac Ducati team had a terrible start to Q2, with Johann Zarco wheeling an apparently hobbled bike away from the track and Jorge Martin losing the rear end at the Turn 5 hairpin behind the pits. But evidently uninjured, the Spaniard got back to the garage and took on another bike while Zarco, who had progressed through Q1, was also able to continue.

By the 10-minute mark, with most contenders in the pits following a first run, Bezzecchi had set a benchmark time at 1m31.874s. His nearest challenger at that point was Bagnaia, almost exactly two tenths behind and also having run a hard front tyre.

As the riders headed back out for a final flurry of laps, Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo laid down the first serious time with a 1m31.770s.

Bezzecchi then hit back with a 1m31.472s four minutes from the end. His time would prove good enough for pole, withstanding Bagnaia's effort of 1m31.704s moments later. But the world champion then ran off the track and ultimately failed to improve.

Marini set a 1m31.630s lap to complete the front row, but then ended his session in the gravel after dropping his VR46 Ducati.

Once again, that meant yellow flags were a feature at the end of the session, helping Bezzecchi to keep his place at the top.

Quartararo delivered on the promise of some decent pace in FP3 by coming in fourth-fastest, an encouraging starting position in the context of the team’s year.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Brad Binder was fifth for KTM, with the Aprilia pairing of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales next up.

The Pramac Ducatis had to make do with eighth and tenth positions following their early strife, with Zarco ahead of Martin. They will be split on the grid by Alex Marquez's Gresini Ducati.

Aprilia's Miguel Oliveira will start 11th after also following Zarco through Q1, while Jack Miller was a disappointing 12th for KTM, the Australian unable to improve on his first run in the 15-minute session.

A number of potential late attacks by others in Q1 were disturbed by Marc Marquez falling with just a minute to go, which brought out yellow flags in sector one.

The troubled Honda rider was involved in a nasty misunderstanding with Ducati’s Enea Bastianini. He ran into the back of the Italian, who in turn was trying to stay out of everybody’s way following a big moment of his own.

The fall means Marquez will start 17th on the grid on his return after missing last weekend's Sachsenring round, three positions behind the leading Honda of HRC's Takaaki Nakagami.

On his return to the works Honda team as a replacement for the injured Joan Mir, Iker Lecuona will start 22nd. 

MotoGP Dutch GP - Q2 results:

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 1'31.472  
2 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'31.533 0.061
3 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'31.630 0.158
4 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'31.671 0.199
5 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1'31.704 0.232
6 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'31.812 0.340
7 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1'31.837 0.365
8 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'31.881 0.409
9 Spain Alex Marquez Ducati 1'31.898 0.426
10 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'32.170 0.698
11 Portugal Miguel Oliveira Aprilia 1'32.174 0.702
12 Australia Jack Miller KTM 1'32.715 1.243

MotoGP Dutch GP - Q1 results:

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'31.993  
2 Portugal Miguel Oliveira Aprilia 1'32.087 0.094
3 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 1'32.185 0.192
4 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'32.497 0.504
5 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'32.530 0.537
6 Spain Raúl Fernández Aprilia 1'32.671 0.678
7 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'32.672 0.679
8 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'32.844 0.851
9 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'33.008 1.015
10 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 1'33.040 1.047
11 Spain Augusto Fernandez KTM 1'33.082 1.089
12 Spain Iker Lecuona Honda 1'33.088 1.095
13 Germany Jonas Folger KTM 1'33.300 1.307

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