Morbidelli on Pole after Crash-Filled Qualifying

by Louis Suddaby

Franco Morbidelli took pole position for the Dutch TT at Assen although Saturday’s qualifying session was overshadowed by a series of heavy crashes. The championship leader took advantage of the dry track conditions following a damp start to the session as Moto2 returned to relative normality.

With wet patches still around the circuit following a rain-hit MotoGP qualifying, the riders had to tread carefully but Francesco Bagnaia was unable to stay upright when his Sky VR46 Kalex swapped ends at Duikersloot. The Italian was face-planted after falling from his bike but somehow escaped injury, eventually returning to the track later on to qualify thirteenth.

The fast left-hander at Ramshoek was also proving treacherous as Sandro Cortese proved, losing control of his Suter with the resultant damage ending his session before a representative lap time had been set. The biggest accident was still to come though with Lorenzo Baldassarri suffering an almighty highside on a wet patch exiting Ramshoek. The session was immediately red flagged as the Italian received trackside attention and although he was later revealed to be conscious and stable, he won’t take any further part in the weekend.

Morbidelli steered clear of the circuit’s pitfalls to clock a 1:38.468, a tenth clear of 2016 winner Takaaki Nakagami. The Japanese rider was baulked by compatriot Tetsuta Nagashima as he made a last-ditch bid for pole but he still held onto second ahead of title challenger Thomas Luthi and KTM’s Miguel Oliveira.

Fabio Quartararo produced the best qualifying performance of his rookie season in fifth with Xavier Simeon alongside on row two while Mattia Pasini starts seventh. Alex Marquez paid the price for a crash of his own as he slipped to eighth while Marcel Schrotter salvaged ninth for Dynavolt after his team-mate Cortese’s misfortune.


Moto2 Motul TT Assen – Qualifying Result

121. Franco MorbidelliKalexEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:38.468
230. Takaaki NakagamiKalexIdemitsu Honda Team Asia1:38.569
312. Thomas LuthiKalexCarXpert Interwetten1:38.583
444. Miguel OliveiraKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo1:38.615
540. Fabio QuartararoKalexPons HP 401:38.896
619. Xavier SimeonKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto21:38.931
754. Mattia PasiniKalexItaltrans Racing Team1:38.934
873. Alex MarquezKalexEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:38.938
923. Marcel SchrotterSuterDynavolt Intact GP1:38.965
1049. Axel PonsKalexRW Racing GP1:39.136
1177. Dominique AegerterSuterKiefer Racing1:39.157
1255. Hafizh SyahrinKalexPetronas Raceline Malaysia1:39.160
1342. Francesco BagnaiaKalexSky Racing Team VR461:39.275
1410. Luca MariniKalexForward Team1:39.300
1524. Simone CorsiSpeed UpSpeed Up Racing1:39.442
1632. Isaac VinalesKalexBE-A-VIP SAG Team1:39.522
1741. Brad BinderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo1:39.523
1868. Yonny HernandezKalexAGR Team1:39.545
199. Jorge NavarroKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto21:39.545
202. Jesko RaffinKalexCarXpert Interwetten1:39.602
2187. Remy GardnerTech 3Tech 3 Racing1:39.780
2237. Augusto FernandezSpeed UpSpeed Up Racing1:39.958
235. Andrea LocatelliKalexItaltrans Racing Team1:40.469
2445. Tetsuta NagashimaKalexTeluru SAG Team1:40.575
2562. Stefano ManziKalexSky Racing Team VR461:40.613
2689. Khairul Idham PawiKalexIdemitsu Honda Team Asia1:40.721
2727. Iker LecuonaKalexGarage Plus Interwetten1:41.334
2857. Edgar PonsKalexPons HP 401:41.391
297. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexForward Team1:41.554
306. Tarran MackenzieSuterKiefer Racing1:42.032
3111. Sandro CorteseSuterDynavolt Intact GP1:45.195
NQ97. Xavi ViergeTech 3Tech 3 RacingNo Time

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