Assen MotoGP: Marquez beats Crutchlow to pole

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Marc Marquez secured pole position for the Dutch TT at Assen ahead of fellow Honda MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow, while Valentino Rossi rebounded from a crash in FP4 to take third.

Marquez led the opening runs in Q2 aboard his works RC213V with a time of 1m33.330s, marginally quicker than his best time in third practice earlier in the day.

That time was then beaten by Jorge Lorenzo, who posted a 1m33.167s aboard his Ducati, and then again by Suzuki's Andrea Iannone on a 1m33.120s as the 15-minute shootout entered its final stages.

Running in the slipstream of Johann Zarco's Tech 3 Yamaha, Marquez logged a 1m32.791s to regain his place on top of the timesheets at the chequered flag to take only his second pole of 2018.

With many riders running together in a group for their last runs, a huge reshuffled occurred behind.

Crutchlow moved up to second on his final flyer, just 0.041s behind, while Rossi - languishing down in ninth after the first runs - vaulted to third, just a further 0.018s back.

Andrea Dovizioso was the quickest of the Ducatis in fourth place, followed by Alex Rins - who made it out of Q1 on his Suzuki - and Friday pacesetter Maverick Vinales on the second factory Yamaha.

Aleix Espargaro, another rider to crash in FP4, took a strong seventh for Aprilia ahead of Zarco, who topped Q1 ahead of Rins.

Iannone and Lorenzo were demoted to ninth and 10th places, with just 0.376s covering the top 10.

Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) and Alvaro Bautista (Nieto Ducati) completed the Q2 order.

Q1: Zarco denies Nakagami

After failing to qualify directly to Q2 for the first time this year, Zarco appeared set to be eliminated in the first qualifying segment after coming in third behind Jack Miller and Rins in the opening runs.

But a last-minute effort of 1m33.578s as the chequered flag allowed Zarco to advance, 0.022s ahead of Rins - pushing LCR's Takaaki Nakagami down from second to third at the death.

Nakagami will start from 13th on Sunday ahead of Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati) and the second Tech 3 bike of Hafizh Syahrin, who set identical times.

Miller (Pramac Ducati) was pushed down to sixth in the closing stages, and will line up 16th ahead of Scott Redding (Aprilia) and Dani Pedrosa (Honda), who endured yet another difficult qualifying session.

KTM also had a session to forget, with Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro set to line up 20th and 21st.

Q2 results

Cla#RiderBikeTimeGap
1 93 spain Marc Marquez  Honda 1'32.791  
2 35 united_kingdom Cal Crutchlow  Honda 1'32.832 0.041
3 46 italy Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 1'32.850 0.059
4 4 italy Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 1'32.870 0.079
5 42 spain Alex Rins  Suzuki 1'32.933 0.142
6 25 spain Maverick Viñales  Yamaha 1'32.984 0.193
7 41 spain Aleix Espargaro  Aprilia 1'33.029 0.238
8 5 france Johann Zarco  Yamaha 1'33.072 0.281
9 29 italy Andrea Iannone  Suzuki 1'33.120 0.329
10 99 spain Jorge Lorenzo  Ducati 1'33.167 0.376
11 9 italy Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 1'33.292 0.501
12 19 spain Alvaro Bautista  Ducati 1'34.015 1.224

Q1 results

Grid#RiderBikeTimeGap
- 5 france Johann Zarco  Yamaha 1'33.578  
- 42 spain Alex Rins  Suzuki 1'33.600 0.022
13 30 japan Takaaki Nakagami  Honda 1'33.625 0.047
14 53 spain Tito Rabat  Ducati 1'33.666 0.088
15 55 malaysia Hafizh Syahrin  Yamaha 1'33.666 0.088
16 43 australia Jack Miller  Ducati 1'33.672 0.094
17 45 united_kingdom Scott Redding  Aprilia 1'33.995 0.417
18 26 spain Dani Pedrosa  Honda 1'34.125 0.547
19 17 czech_republic Karel Abraham  Ducati 1'34.145 0.567
20 38 united_kingdom Bradley Smith  KTM 1'34.149 0.571
21 44 spain Pol Espargaro  KTM 1'34.268 0.690
22 12 switzerland Thomas Luthi  Honda 1'35.192 1.614
23 10 belgium Xavier Simeon  Ducati 1'35.646 2.068
WD  21 italy Franco Morbidelli  Honda    
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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Dutch TT
Track TT Circuit Assen
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Cal Crutchlow , Marc Marquez
Teams Repsol Honda Team
Article type Qualifying report