Rossi Claims Critical Pole Position at Assen

Valentino Rossi came up with the perfect answer to questions surrounding his qualifying form by taking pole position for the Dutch TT at Assen. The championship leader has struggled for single lap pace all season but responded by setting the fastest ever two-wheeled lap of Assen to edge out Catalunya polesitter Aleix Espargaro.

After finishing on top of a frantic final practice session, Rossi began qualifying with a genuine belief that pole position might be possible but Marc Marquez did too, clocking the fastest time of the weekend on his very first lap of Q2. The world champion set a 1:33.005 with most of his time being found in the final sector as many riders lost ground on him through the final sequence of corners.

With two minutes to go, the 93 second barrier was finally broken with Aleix Espargaro setting a 1:32.858, a major surprise considering he had started the afternoon in Q1. Back-to-back poles looked likely when Marquez’s final effort came up short but Rossi still had a quarter of a second in his pocket and snatched pole for himself in the last minute.

Espargaro and Marquez will join him on the front row with Dani Pedrosa heading row two, fractionally faster than Pol Espargaro and Andrea Iannone who will start alongside him. Cal Crutchlow completed his first run in seventh before falling five places while Jorge Lorenzo fell even further, leaving him with a place in the middle of the third row in eighth.

Maverick Vinales rounds out row three while Andrea Dovizioso and Bradley Smith will need fast starts from the fourth row having qualified tenth and twelfth respectively.



PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
146. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:32.627Q2
241. Aleix EspargaroSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:32.858Q2
393. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:32.886Q2
426. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:32.987Q2
544. Pol EspargaroYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:33.013Q2
629. Andrea IannoneDucatiDucati Team1:33.016Q2
735. Cal CrutchlowHondaCWM LCR Honda1:33.028Q2
899. Jorge LorenzoYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:33.042Q2
925. Maverick VinalesSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:33.076Q2
104. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:33.112Q2
119. Danilo PetrucciDucatiPramac Racing1:33.126Q2
1238. Bradley SmithYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:33.236Q2
136. Stefan BradlYamaha ForwardAthina Forward Racing1:33.789Q1
1468. Yonny HernandezDucatiPramac Racing1:33.875Q1
1576. Loris BazYamaha ForwardAthina Forward Racing1:33.999Q1
1645. Scott ReddingHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS1:34.071Q1
178. Hector BarberaDucatiAvintia Racing1:34.223Q1
1863. Mike Di MeglioDucatiAvintia Racing1:34.289Q1
1950. Eugene LavertyHondaAspar MotoGP Team1:34.428Q1
2043. Jack MillerHondaCWM LCR Honda1:34.645Q1
2119. Alvaro BautistaApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:34.736Q1
2269. Nicky HaydenHondaAspar MotoGP Team1:34.972Q1
2315. Alex de AngelisARTOcto IodaRacing Team1:35.189Q1
2433. Marco MelandriApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:36.376Q1