Qualifying day at the Dutch TT dawned wet as expected, with all of the day’s sessions affected by rain to greater or lesser extents.
|Zarco charges to pole in rain|
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took his first ever premier class pole position at the Dutch GP, dueling it out with reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) as the final few seconds ticked down. Marquez crossed the line first and first - but the Frenchman almost immediately hit back to take his first MotoGP pole on his final lap.
Marquez set the third fastest time in FP3 on a wet track and the seventh fastest in FP4 in mixed conditions before attaining a very important front-row start position during qualifying, on a wet-but-drying surface.
Marquez set a series of fastest laps throughout the 15-minute stint and was pushed off provisional pole only by Johann Zarco at the very end, by just 0.065 seconds.
Zarco's Assen heroics also make it the first French pole since Olivier Jacque in 2002. Another superstar in the battle was Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing), who followed up his first ever front row in the Catalan GP by repeating the feat in the Netherlands in very different conditions.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) looked a contender for the top spot until his final sector, and although missing out the ‘Doctor’ will head the second row and has good scope to attack. Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) starts a season-best fifth after graduating from Q1 and topping FP3 despite a low drama crash, and Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completes Row 2 in another impressive session from another rider with a reputation for excellence in the rain.
|From left, Marquez, Zarco and Petrucci|
Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) crossed the line in P7 ahead of LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completing the third row.
Sam Lowes (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) made the most of his first ever Q2 appearance, taking a top ten start to head up Row 4 – and ahead of Championship leader Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) was P12.
Those not making it through now decide the rest of the grid, with 2016 Assen winner Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) locking out the fastest fifteen.
Qualifying Results (Wet Session)
|1||ZARCO Johann||5||FRA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1'46.141|
|2||MARQUEZ Marc||93||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1'46.206|
|3||PETRUCCI Danilo||9||ITA||Octo Pramac Racing||Ducati||1'46.526|
|4||ROSSI Valentino||46||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1'46.705|
|5||REDDING Scott||45||GBR||Octo Pramac Racing||Ducati||1'47.574|
|6||FOLGER Jonas||94||GER||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1'47.663|
|7||BAUTISTA Alvaro||19||SPA||Pull&Bear Aspar Team||Ducati||1'47.812|
|8||CRUTCHLOW Cal||35||GBR||LCR Honda||Honda||1'48.042|
|9||DOVIZIOSO Andrea||4||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1'48.079|
|10||LOWES Sam||22||GBR||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1'48.128|
|11||VINALES Maverick||25||SPA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1'48.266|
|12||PEDROSA Dani||26||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1'49.623|
|13||MILLER Jack||43||AUS||Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1'47.217-Q1|
|14||BAZ Loris||76||FRA||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1'47.234-Q1|
|15||ESPARGARO Aleix||41||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1'47.277-Q1|
|16||IANNONE Andrea||29||ITA||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||1'47.649-Q1|
|17||RINS Alex||42||SPA||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||1'47.804-Q1|
|18||ABRAHAM Karel||17||CZE||Pull&Bear Aspar Team||Ducati||1'47.947-Q1|
|19||ESPARGARO Pol||44||SPA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1'47.957-Q1|
|20||BARBERA Hector||8||SPA||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1'48.080-Q1|
|21||LORENZO Jorge||99||SPA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1'48.219-Q1|
|22||SMITH Bradley||38||GBR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1'48.448-Q1|
|23||RABAT Tito||53||SPA||Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1'48.700-Q1|