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Zarco wins first MotoGP pole at Assen

French rookie lights up the TT Circuit Assen in rain
Saturday, June 24, 2017


Zarco charges to pole in rain
Zarco charges to pole in rain
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. 
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
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)

1ZARCO Johann5FRAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha1'46.141
2MARQUEZ Marc93SPARepsol Honda TeamHonda1'46.206
3PETRUCCI Danilo9ITAOcto Pramac RacingDucati1'46.526
4ROSSI Valentino46ITAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha1'46.705
5REDDING Scott45GBROcto Pramac RacingDucati1'47.574
6FOLGER Jonas94GERMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha1'47.663
7BAUTISTA Alvaro19SPAPull&Bear Aspar TeamDucati1'47.812
8CRUTCHLOW Cal35GBRLCR HondaHonda1'48.042
9DOVIZIOSO Andrea4ITADucati TeamDucati1'48.079
10LOWES Sam22GBRAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia1'48.128
11VINALES Maverick25SPAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha1'48.266
12PEDROSA Dani26SPARepsol Honda TeamHonda1'49.623
13MILLER Jack43AUSTeam EG 0,0 Marc VDSHonda1'47.217-Q1
14BAZ Loris76FRAReale Avintia RacingDucati1'47.234-Q1
15ESPARGARO Aleix41SPAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia1'47.277-Q1
16IANNONE Andrea29ITATeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki1'47.649-Q1
17RINS Alex42SPATeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki1'47.804-Q1
18ABRAHAM Karel17CZEPull&Bear Aspar TeamDucati1'47.947-Q1
19ESPARGARO Pol44SPARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM1'47.957-Q1
20BARBERA Hector8SPAReale Avintia RacingDucati1'48.080-Q1
21LORENZO Jorge99SPADucati TeamDucati1'48.219-Q1
22SMITH Bradley38GBRRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM1'48.448-Q1
23RABAT Tito53SPATeam EG 0,0 Marc VDSHonda1'48.700-Q1

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