Johann Zarco has clinched a maiden MotoGP pole position in just his eighth race in the premier class to continue his storming start to his rookie campaign, having pinched top spot from Marc Marquez in the closing seconds of a wet qualifying at Assen.
As the typical Assen weather saw track conditions flip in between rain showers, the pole shootout was run with a fully wet track at the start but a drying line began to appear was the session ticked down.
As a result, the provisional pole times were chipped away at during the session which saw Zarco grab pole from Marquez with his final flying lap to take a first MotoGP pole by 0.065s from the Repsol Honda rider.
Danilo Petrucci, who had been on provisional pole for the majority of the session, slipped down to third late on for Pramac Ducati but stayed ahead of Valentino Rossi on the factory Movistar Yamaha.
Scott Redding, who progressed through Q1, used the extra session to get a good gauge on track conditions to place his GP16 Ducati sixth on the grid despite a late fall at the Gert chicane which prompted the British rider into a sprint on foot to the garage for his spare bike.
Jonas Folger completed row two for an impressive qualifying all around for Tech 3 Yamaha, ahead of Alvaro Bautista on the Aspar Ducati, while Cal Crutchlow’s late flyer saw him grab eighth on the LCR Honda.
Andrea Dovizioso endured a tricky session on the factory Ducati in ninth as Sam Lowes impressed on the Aprilia for 10th having qualified through Q1. MotoGP championship leader Maverick Vinales starts from 11th having struggled for grip along with Dani Pedrosa down in 12th.
Winner in the wet at Assen from 12 months ago Jack Miller starts from 13th having missed out on Q2 by 0.007s but ahead of Loris Baz and Aleix Espargaro. Andrea Iannone narrowly qualified ahead of Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins in 16th and 17th respectively but it was a nightmare qualifying for Jorge Lorenzo who suffered his worst qualifying down in 21st.
Full MotoGP qualifying results at Assen:
1. Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 46.141s [Lap 8/8] 292km/h (Top Speed)
2. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 46.206s +0.065s [8/8] 294km/h
3. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 46.526s +0.385s [7/8] 294km/h
4. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 46.705s +0.564s [8/8] 288km/h
5. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 47.574s +1.433s [6/6] 286km/h
6. Jonas Folger GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 47.663s +1.522s [8/8] 287km/h
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Pull&Bear Aspar Team (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 47.812s +1.671s [7/9] 292km/h
8. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 48.042s +1.901s [8/8] 289km/h
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 48.079s +1.938s [7/7] 293km/h
10. Sam Lowes GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)* 1m 48.128s +1.987s [6/6] 285km/h
11. Maverick Viñales ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 48.266s +2.125s [6/8] 289km/h
12. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 49.623s +3.482s [8/8] 280km/h
13. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 47.217s 291km/h
14. Loris Baz FRA Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 47.234s 288km/h
15. Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 47.277s 287km/h
16. Andrea Iannone ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 47.649s 293km/h
17. Alex Rins ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 47.804s 288km/h
18. Karel Abraham CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 47.947s 289km/h
19. Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 1m 47.957s 296km/h
20. Hector Barbera ESP Reale Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 48.080s 291km/h
21. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 48.219s 286km/h
22. Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 1m 48.448s 290km/h
23. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 48.700s 285km/h