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
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