ASSEN, The Neatherlands – Aleix Espargaro captured the pole for Saturday’s MotoGP event at a soggy TT Circuit Assen Friday afternoon, the first pole of his MotoGP career.
A group of riders were bunched up in an early dash from pit lane as they sensed light rain could become heavier right at the beginning of the Q2 run, with Espargaro initially hanging behind that group. That decision paid off as he was able to get a clean lap that put him at the top of the timesheets for his first MotoGP pole.
The 1:38.789 time which took pole was more than five seconds slower than the pace from the fourth practice, whilst Repsol Honda pair Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa managed to get onto the front row despite trailing Espargaro by 1.4 seconds and 1.9 seconds respectively.
Another good effort from Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) put him at the front of the second row, where he will be joined by Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) – who sneaked through from Q1 and took advantage for fifth despite struggling in practice. Crutchlow’s compatriot and former teammate Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) completes row two, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who are all on the third row.