Italian racer Andrea Dovizioso took a dramatic pole position for the Dutch Moto Grand Prix at Assen.
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi stopped midway through the session to save the tyres on his Yamaha bike, this allows Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso to claim the 17th pole of his career and his fourth in MotoGP.
Dovizioso took the top spot on the final lap of the session as the track improved after heavy rain, lapping in 1m45.246s.
The Ducati driver was seven-tenths clear of Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding and Honda’s Marc Marquez, which bounced back after failing at the start of Q2 of the race.
“I nearly crashed two or three times,” Redding said, via the Strait Times. “It was stressful and difficult. If there were 10 minutes more I would have put the intermediate tyre in. We’ll see tomorrow in the race. We’ll give it our best.”
Honda’s championship leader Marc Marquez has crashed on his outlap with 9 minutes to go in the race. Marquez returned back to his pit, where his mechanics toiled to change his second bike from dry to wet settings.
The Honda rider could only manage fourth, just behind Ducati’s Scott Redding, while defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo goes into the race 10 points behind Honda’s Marc Marquez in the drivers’ standings.
Lorenzo has won around the Assen track seven times in his entire MotoGP career.
Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales crashed on his out lap at Turn 5 at very slow speed and need to abandon his bike and run back to the pits.
Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro and Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez had made some good progressed from Q1, while Ducati’s Dovizioso led the way on 1m47.638s, as the track dried towards the end of the session. But the Yamaha tried a strong comeback, Pol retook the top spot with 1m46.997s, just ahead of Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci.
As the chequered flag fell, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso grabbed P1 with a clear advantage, ahead of Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, Ducati’s Scott Redding and Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.
Ducati’s Andrea Iannone tried intermediates, destined to a back of the grid start after taking out Jorge Lorenzo last time out in Barcelona. Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was only sixth fastest in Q1, following a crash in FP4. He will start from 15th on the grid.
Born in Forlimpopoli, Italy, Dovizioso was signed by Ducati to replace Rossi in the Ducati factory team. The Italian has competed in the 125cc World Championship with Team Scot Honda, finishing 16th in the final standings. Dovizioso best performances were two 9th places in Le Mans and Donington.
Picture Courtesy: Willtron/Wikimedia Commons