Bagnaia takes pole in Assen with a record

Francesco Bagnaia celebrates his pole at Assen. / Vincent Jannink / efe

Netherlands GP

The Italian will start from the top of the grid for the fourth time this season with the aim of finally transferring his dominance on Saturdays to race performance

RC

Francesco Bagnaia was once again the best in a classification. This time the Italian Ducati rider took pole position at the Dutch Grand Prix in Assen, the 'cathedral of motorcycling', and he also did so with a circuit record included.

The transalpine will thus start from the first position on the grid for the fourth time this season, with the challenge of finally transferring his dominance on Saturdays to race performance.

World Champion Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo took second place while Pramac Ducati's Jorge Martin completed the front row. Rookie Marco Bezzecchi was fourth, beating Aprilia's Aleix Espargaró.

With the threat of rain looming, the drivers started aggressively in Q2 and it was Martín who set the early pace, but the Spaniard was overtaken by Bagnaia, who also took pole in Germany last week but crashed in the race.

“For me it was very difficult today. This morning (during practice) I wasn't so happy... in the afternoon it was much better," the Italian said. "Pecco (Bagnaia) was just amazing, like he always is in qualifying," said Quartararo, who also set a lap record but had to settle for second. “I did my best…our place looks good. Let's hope for a great start and a great race before the summer break."

Enea Bastianini's slim championship hopes were dealt a serious blow after the Gresini Racing driver dealt with a mechanical failure early in Q1 and never fully recovered as he could only manage 16th on the grid.

Quartararo, chasing his fourth win this season, holds a 34-point lead over Aleix Espargaro at the top of the overall standings, with Pramac Ducati's Johann Zarco a further 27 points behind in third.

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