MotoGP Dutch TT Qualifying | Vinales powers to pole as Marquez bins it at Assen

It's a week of two halves for Maverick Vinales as he qualifies on pole position for the Dutch TT at Assen while Marc Marquez bins it down in 20th 

Maverick Vinales - Yamaha Factory 2021

Maverick Vinales will start the 2021 Dutch TT at Assen from pole position less than a week after starting last of all in the German MotoGP, while Sachsenring winner Marc Marquez is down in 20th after another costly crash.

In a complete turnaround from last weekend’s activities, Vinales - who was fastest in the three qualifying-dependent practice sessions - produced a flyer of a lap record to get the better of championship leading team-mate Fabio Quartararo.

Indeed, the Frenchman - who has already achieved five pole positions in 2021 - looked set for another notch to his career tally as he powered to the first ever sub 1m 32secs lap of the Assen circuit, only to see an inspired Vinales better that comfortably on his flying run.

Quartararo attempted to respond but a minor mistake was enough to wipe out an early lap advantage, though his second place still marks a welcome 1-2 for Yamaha in what has been a difficult period for both it and Vinales.

Seemingly benefiting from having to come through Q1 prior to the pole-deciding session, Pecco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco put their extra track time to good use with a superb third and fifth on the grid respectively, in so doing giving their title hopes a boost having looked down and out earlier in the day.

Indeed, Zarco’s efforts deserved particular acclaim after he looked set for a 17th place start when mistakes on the first two laps of his final run held him back. However, with cooler conditions allowing riders a third lap without losing grip, Zarco managed to squeeze across the line before the chequered flag by the skin of his teeth, coming round to fire to the top of the timesheets and into Q2.

Between the two Ducatis on the grid will be Takaaki Nakagami, who scored his and Honda’s best qualifying position of the year with a surprise run to fourth on the LCR bike, while Miguel Oliveira - a podium winner in the last three races - looks poised again in sixth.
Alex Rins was still Suzuki’s best representative in seventh despite a crash at the end of the session, ahead of a disappointing Jack Miller. Aleix Espargaro rounds out row three from Joan Mir, Pol Espargaro and Valentino Rossi in 12th.

Beyond Zarco’s last gasp efforts, Q1 proved entertaining all round following an unexpected moment involving Marquez and Iker Lecuona.

Forced to come through Q1 again, Marquez - who suffered a huge accident in FP2 yesterday - took up his customary ‘caravan’ role, this time behind Zarco, in an effort to be dragged through.

However, with Zarco’s first run not proving quick, Marquez was instead held up so much that it allowed Lecuona to plant a brilliant last corner pass that had him up to second on the timesheets too.

Upsetting Marquez’s rhythm, he proceeded to crash out at Turn 9, tumbling him down to the back of the grid in 20th.

Despite Lecuona’s ballsy efforts - which drew a round of applause from even rival teams - he would miss out on Q2 by 0.060secs to start 13th, ahead of Jorge Martin and Alex Marquez.

Elsewhere, there was frustration for Brad Binder, who could only manage 21st having finished fourth in Germany a week ago. Debutant Garrett Gerloff starts 22nd and last but only 0.3secs off Marquez.

2021 Dutch TT MotoGP QUALIFYING Results | Assen

2021 Dutch TT MotoGP QUALIFYING Results | Assen | Round 9 / 19
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Maverick VinalesESPMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 31.814
2Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 31.885
3Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 32.116
4Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda IdemitsuHonda RC213V1m 32.314
5Johann ZarcoFRAPramac RacingDucati GP211m 32.394
6Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 32.450
7Alex RinsESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 32.597
8Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 32.609
9Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP1m 32.666
10Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 32.748
11Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 32.830
12Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M11m 32.919
13Iker LecuonaESPTech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 32.724
14Jorge MartinESPPramac RacingDucati GP211m 32.850
15Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP1m 33.258
16Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 33.288
17Luca MariniITASky VR46 EsponsoramaDucati GP191m 33.321
18Danilo PetrucciITATech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 33.378
19Enea BastianiniITAAvintia EsponsoramaDucati GP191m 33.404
20Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 33.477
21Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 33.597
22Garrett GerloffUSAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M11m 33.739