Moto3: Business as usual as Martin takes Assen pole

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Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) will start Sunday’s lightweight class race from pole position for a record 14th time in his Moto3™ career, setting a 1:42.039 to beat Catalan GP winner Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) by 0.310 seconds. Martin suffered a heavy fall in Friday’s FP2 session but bounced back in sublime fashion on Saturday to spearhead the Moto3™ grid for the fifth time this season. Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) , meanwhile, rounds out the front row as his resurgent form continued, with the Italian taking his best qualifying of the year by some margin and his first top ten of the season.

Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was a solid fourth place in qualifying after being in and around the top three throughout the weekend. The Spaniard crashed at Turn 5 late in the session, but looks to have the pace to be right in the hunt on Sunday. Joining him on the second row is Leopard Racing’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta, just 0.055 off Canet’s time, with John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) leaping up from P18 to sixth on his final lap of the session. Can the Scotsman go one better than he did in Barcelona, with Assen the venue that hosted his last podium finish?

Second place man in the Championship Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) qualified seventh, bouncing back after a crash in FP3 to get back in the mix. Just behind the Italian is compatriot and Championship leader Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP), who starts eighth and was lucky to stay upright coming into the final chicane near the end of the session, almost hitting the back of his teammate Jakub Kornfeil. Bester Capital Dubai’s Marcos Ramirez joins Championship protagonists Bezzecchi and Di Giannantonio on the third row of the grid, 0.725 off pole.

Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) crashed early in the session after running wide at Turn 9, with Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) almost destroying his KTM machine at Turn 7 after a huge crash early in the session – both riders ok, and Masaki just able to head back out for a shakedown at the end of the session.

Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46), Kornfeil, Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) will serve 12-place grid penalties for riding slowly in 3 or more sectors, with Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing) starting from the back of the grid for the same, but repeated, offence.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer