One thing is certain, equilibrium reigns supreme this MotoGP weekend. This is undeniable if we look at the timesheets at the end of qualifying at Assen, with four riders within 0.079 of a second of each other. At the top of the pile is the real matator of the day, or rather Marc Marquez. The Spaniard closed all three of the day's sessions in first place and achieving pole number 75 of his career, his first at the Dutch track. “I've always struggled with the flying lap here. I did well with the first tyre, also because I was on my own, then on my second try I found traffic and didn't want to tow anyone; in the end we all completed a great lap, me especially. I'm particularly pleased about the pace, we'll see what happens tomorrow”.
The fact that the Hondas are quick at Assen is only confirmed by Cal Crutchlow, who during on the crazy final lap found himself in a group with Marquez, missing out on the pole by just 0.041 of a second. “I have to thank the team because we've improved in terms of pace too. On the flying lap I had good feeling and pushed even in points where I wasn't totally sorted. It's great to be on the front row here, the crowd is fantastic”.
Another man smiling is Valentino Rossi; #46 rounds out the front row in third place, just 0.059 of a second from the front. “I'm riding well this weekend and am getting on really well with the bike and tyres. In my first exit, I made three laps, important in order to find the right sensations again after the crash. With the second tyre, I had more confidence and also found myself in the right place (in the group with Marquez and Crutchlow), you need a little bit of luck in these cases”.
Italy has another favourite for the race, in the shape of Andrea Dovizioso who, after a complicated morning, was able to close fourth, the best Ducati on track, seeing as Jorge Lorenzo had to settle for tenth place, mainly as a result of difficulties in T4, with Danilo Petrucci set to line up alongside him in 11th position, having lost a little of his shine during his second time attack.
Back to the classification, Alex Rins scores an excellent fifth place finish having got through Q1 unscathed, ahead of Maverick Vinales. #25 will perhaps be disappointed with this result, considering his performance during free practice, but the minimal gap (0.193) combined with his solid pace bode well for the rebirth of team Yamaha.
A great day for Aprilia and Aleix Espargarò, seventh ahead of Johann Zarco, who came through Q1 and who closes ahead of another less than satisfied contender Andrea Iannone, who will be forced to play catch-up from ninth place on the grid tomorrow. A rider worthy of a mention is Takaaki Nakagami, who missed out on Q2 by just 0.025, while Dani Pedrosa is well down the field, 18th, never in the mix for Q2.