Open class rider takes first MotoGP pole ahead of Marquez and Pedrosa
Aleix Espargaro set the quickest lap time during today’s qualifying for the Iveco Daily TT at Assen with the NGM Forward Racing man adapting best to the mixed weather conditions that saw light rain disrupting the Qualifying 2 session. Starting behind Espargaro on the front row in second and third respectively will be MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez and his teammate Dani Pedrosa for the Repsol Honda team.
I’m really happy. It’s so far a perfect weekend.
Andrea Iannone was once again near the sharp end with the Pramac Racing rider securing a fourth place start with a lap time of 1m 40.786s while factory Ducati rider Cal Crutchlow was back lapping near the front and the British rider will start from fifth place tomorrow and his fellow countryman Bradley Smith starts alongside him with a best lap of 1m 40.818s for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team.
Espargaro was ecstatic after taking his first career MotoGP pole and said, “I’m really happy. It’s so far a perfect weekend: yesterday we set the record of the track, today the pole position and tomorrow it will be a special feeling to take the start of my 150th GP from the first spot of the grid in front of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. We have been fast in all the sessions and when it started to rain at the beginning of the Q2, I decided to wait just 30 seconds to avoid to be packed in the group. It was a risk but it paid and it was the right decision. I want to thank the whole team for the great work”.
Marquez was happy to secure another front row start. He said, “I’m happy with this front row, although we obviously wanted to take pole! The weather was very unpredictable, as sometimes it was raining and then it stopped – meaning that conditions were far from ideal. My goal was to get onto the front row, so when I saw that I was up into second I decided not to take any more risks; there was a lot to lose and not much to gain, so I kept calm because I had already reached my target.”