MotoGP Assen: Maverick Vinales pips Fabio Quartararo to pole
Maverick Vinales broke the lap record at Assen to clinch his first MotoGP podium since Misano 2 last season.
Vinales posted a 1:31.814, which was enough to beat Yamaha teammate Fabio Quartararo by 0.071s. Quartararo also went under the lap record on his way to second overall and was on another quick lap before a small mistake at Turn 10 cost the championship leader valuable time.
It's a remarkable turnaround for Vinales, who has topped four of the five sessions of the weekend so far. Just seven days ago Vinales qualified 21st at the Sachsenring, before ending the race in last position (19th).
Francesco Bagnaia completes the front row on the factory Ducati. It's Bagnaia's best qualifying result since Mugello, where he qualified second. Takaaki Nakagami was the quickest Honda in fourth spot, and he'll be joined on the second row by Johann Zarco, who had to go through Q1, and Miguel Oliveira.
Despite a crash at turn eight in the closing stages, Alex Rins will start tomorrow's race from seventh on the grid. Jack Miller, Aleix Espargaro and reigning champion Joan Mir complete the top 10.
Pol Espargaro was unable to match his speed from Friday in 11th, whilst Valentino Rossi completed the Q2 session in 12th. Iker Lecouna impressed in 13th, as did Jorge Martin and Lorenzo Savadori in 14th and 15th respectively.
A crash for Marc Marquez in Q2 meant that he will start the race from 20th, which is his worst ever grid position in the premier class. Brad Binder also struggled on the Red Bull KTM and will start 21st.
Tomorrow's MotoGP race is due to begin at 13:00 (UK).
MotoGP Assen: Maverick Vinales ends the opening day fastest overall
First published: 25 June 2021 by Josh Close
Maverick Vinales bounced back brilliantly from his disastrous German Grand Prix to end the opening day of action at Assen on top.
The Monster Energy Yamaha rider topped FP1 this morning with a 1:33.072, a lap-time which nobody could match in FP2 before the rain began to fall at the Dutch circuit. Vinales was also quickest in FP2. Despite falling at turn five in the afternoon session, Pol Espargaro ended the day second overall (+0.111s).
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Miguel Oliveira continued his fine form in third overall after improving his lap time in FP2. Championship leader Fabio Quartararo was fourth ahead of Alex Rins, whilst Sachsenring race winner Marc Marquez was sixth.
The eight-time world champion suffered a massive highside in the middle of turn 11 during FP2. Marquez was thrown through the air and had an awkward landing, however he appeared to avoid too much contact with his troubled right arm. Marquez was able to walk away, albeit a little stunned, and returned to the Repsol Honda garage to regroup with his crew.
Joan Mir was seventh after battling back from a difficult morning session, whilst title-chasing Johann Zarco was eighth on the Pramac Racing Ducati. Danilo Petrucci enjoyed his day in ninth spot for Tech3 KTM, with Aleix Espargaro rounding out the top 10.
Takaaki Nakagami missed out on a crucial spot inside the top 10 by just 0.011s, finishing ahead of Jack Miller and the impressive Lorenzo Savadori. The latter has previous experience at Assen due to his time in the World Superbike Championship.
Elsewhere, Valentino Rossi's problems continued in 17th, whilst Brad Binder ended his first-ever day at Assen on a MotoGP bike in 18th. Based on 2021 form, expect Binder to improve as the weekend goes on and he becomes more knowledgeable on the RC16.
2021 rookies Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini finished 20th and 21st, whilst newcomer Garrett Gerloff was 2.672s off the pace in 22nd. The American, who is standing in for the injured Franco Morbidelli at Petronas Yamaha, had a big crash in FP1 but was able to walk away unharmed.
Augusto Fernandez was quickest overall in Moto2 ahead of Raul Fernandez and championship leader Remy Gardner. Jake Dixon was 11th, whilst Sam Lowes ended the opening day in 13th.
In Moto3, Tatsuki Suzuki was fastest overall for SIC58 Squadra Corse ahead of Darryn Binder and Dennis Foggia. John McPhee was 10th on the Petronas Sprinta Racing machine.