News 27 Jun 2015

Rossi rebounds with Assen MotoGP pole position

World championship leader stuns with first pole of the year.

Source: MotoGP.

Source: MotoGP.

Valentino Rossi sets the fastest ever MotoGP lap around the world famous TT Circuit Assen to claim his first pole position since Valencia in 2014.

Movistar Yamaha’s Rossi dramatically transformed his qualifying fortunes in Assen today by demolishing Casey Stoner’s 2012 pole record by over a second to claim his 61st career pole position.

The nine-time world champion set a 1m32.627s to become the fastest ever rider around the legendary 4.5km track.

Rossi, who admitted in the build-up to this weekend’s action that his qualifying performances have been his weakest link so far in 2015, responded in magnificent fashion to take his 51st premier-class pole position for the Motul TT Assen.

The Italian had earlier finished on top of the combined timesheets after FP3 for the first time since the new two-tiered qualifying system came into place in 2013.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro (+0.231s), who had been forced to battle it out in Q1, just missed out on his second successive pole position and will start from second on the grid.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez (+0.259s), who had earlier topped FP4, led the session after the first time attack on soft tyres. But he eventually had to settle for third to complete the front row. His teammate Dani Pedrosa (+0.360s) will start from the front of the second row, with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro (+0.386s) the leading Satellite rider in an impressive fifth.

Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone (0.389s) qualified in sixth with Cal Crutchlow (CWM LCR Honda) just 0.012s further back in seventh. Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo, the man who trails the Italian by just one point in the Championship standings, will have to start his quest for a fifth straight win from eighth.

Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completed the top 10. Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing), who made it through from Q1 behind Aleix Espargaro, will start form 11th, with Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) ending Q2 down in 12th.

Stefan Bradl (Athina Forward Racing) is the leading Open class rider and will start from the front of the fourth row in 13th, while Scott Redding (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Eugene Laverty are 16th and 19th on the grid respectively. Australian Jack Miller will start from 20th, with Laverty’s teammate Nicky Hayden and 2006 race winner down in 22nd on the grid.

Just 0.609s separated the top 12 riders in Q2, with less than three-tenths between second placed Espargaro and Petrucci in 11th on a day in which none of the 24-strong field crashed.

Johann Zarco took his third pole position of the season after annihilating the Moto2 lap record at the TT circuit Assen, leading EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Tito Rabat (+0.287s) and Sam Lowes (+0.532s). Queenslander Anthony West qualified 23rd.

Gresini Racing Team Moto3’s Enea Bastianini sets a new record lap on the way to claiming pole for the second grand prix in a row, followed by Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Karel Hanika (+0.400s). Remy Gardner starts out of 31st.

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