Espargaro snatches pole in dramatic Assen qualifying

Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 27 Jun 2014

Espargaro took his debut pole

Aleix Espargaro has taken his debut pole position in a dramatic qualifying for the Dutch TT in Assen. With rain falling early in the Q2 session, the top twelve riders only got a couple of cracks at a flying lap flinging up all sorts of surprises in the final order.  

The first twelve minute Q1 session got underway with the riders unable to set a time in practice to progress to Q1 scrapping it out for the final two places in the pole-position shootout. Alvaro Bautista took the first place, as would be expected from a factory machine while the second place was taken by Cal Crutchlow after an impressive lap. The Brit was seventeenth after the final free practice session but after a few changes to his Desmosedici in the short break he managed to knock a significant chunk off his lap time.

The normal procedure in the twelve minute qualifying session for the MotoGP boys was thrown out of the window today as it started to spit as the 1000cc machines rolled down pit lane for Qualifying 2. With rain imminent, riders had no choice but to ‘gun it and go’ in an attempt to get a fast lap in before the rain came down.  

What was seen next resembled something of a race, as the riders raced to be first across the line into the flying lap. Stuck in the middle of a twelve-man group, Marc Marquez bolted past the riders in front of him to get clear track and took the early lead from Jorge Lorenzo, but as the rain came down it was a case of who took the most risks.

Crutchlow's Q1 improvement paid off

On the softer tyre, Aleix Espargaro stuck his neck out to claim what is perhaps an overdue debut pole position, ahead of Marc Marquez after Repsol Honda played the game spot on with Dani Pedrosa rounding out the front row. Cal Crutchlow’s improvement for Q2 was well rewarded as he set the fifth fastest time behind Andrea Iannone with Bradley Smith rounding out the second row.

It was a nightmare session for Movistar Yamaha, Lorenzo couldn't better his relatively slow first flier while Rossi got caught out by the conditions as he failed to get a flying lap in altogether ending the session in twelfth.

Andrea Dovizioso and Stefan Bradl are ahead of Lorenzo on the third row while Alvaro Bautista and Pol Espargaro join Rossi on row four.

Britain’s Scott Redding will start tomorrow’s race in sixteenth position.

It had dried up by the time the Moto2 boys headed out and it was yet another pole position for MarcVDS’ Esteve Rabat ahead of Dominique Aegerter and Brit Sam Lowes. Jack Miller took pole in the Moto3 class.

QUALIFYING 2 TIMES:

1 Aleix ESPARGARO
NGM Forward Racing
1'38.789
2 Marc MARQUEZ
Repsol Honda Team
1'40.194
3 Dani PEDROSA
Repsol Honda Team
1'40.732
4 Andrea IANNONE
Pramac Racing
1'40.786
5 Cal CRUTCHLOW
Ducati Team
1'40.796
6 Bradley SMITH
Monster Yamaha Tech 3
1'40.818
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO
Ducati Team
1'41.140
8 Stefan BRADL
LCR Honda MotoGP
1'41.982
9 Jorge LORENZO
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
1'42.259
10 Alvaro BAUTISTA
GO&FUN Honda Gresini
1'42.884
11 Pol ESPARGARO
Monster Yamaha Tech 3
1'43.085
12 Valentino ROSSI
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
1'43.625

QUALIFYING 1 TIMES

1 Alvaro BAUTISTA
GO&FUN Honda Gresini
1'34.274
2 Cal CRUTCHLOW
Ducati Team
1'34.598
3 Karel ABRAHAM
Cardion AB Motoracing
1'34.907
4 Hiroshi AOYAMA
Drive M7 Aspar
1'34.930
5 Yonny HERNANDEZ
Energy T.I. Pramac Racing
1'35.056
6 Scott REDDING
GO&FUN Honda Gresini
1'35.059
7 Danilo PETRUCCI
Octo IodaRacing Team
1'35.346
8 Colin EDWARDS
NGM Forward Racing
1'35.484
9 Broc PARKES
Paul Bird Motorsport
1'35.513
10 Hector BARBERA
Avintia Racing
1'35.631
11 Michael LAVERTY
Paul Bird Motorsport
1'35.731
12 Nicky HAYDEN
Drive M7 Aspar
1'35.792

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