Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo became the youngest rider ever to take back-to-back pole MotoGP pole positions when he skinned Maverick Vinales to bag top spot in qualifying at Assen.
Vinales had put in an astounding lap of 1’32.157 to shatter the outright lap record Quartararo set in free practice three but the young Frenchman was having none of it and went 0.140s faster to bag top slot on the grid.
Ecstar Suzuki’s Alex Rins came through qualifying one to set a 1’32.458 to complete the front row in Holland as reigning champion Marc Marquez missed the front row for the first time this season after a massive 64° moment at turn one on his last lap.
Marquez was almost three-quarters of a second off the pace as he fenced with Andrea Dovizioso in the final run. The Repsol Honda man was trying to use the Italian as a marker as Dovi had no choice but to get his head down for a lap.
However, Dovi was having none of it and slowed at the De Bult sector as Quartararo blasted past on his pole lap. Marquez then lost the front at Haarbocht on his last flier and wasn’t able to claw his way on to the front.
It proved to be a fruitful qualifying for Suzuki as rookie Joan Mir hauled himself up to fifth place with a 1’33.085s lap which was enough to keep Britain’s Cal Crutchlow in sixth.
Danilo Petrucci couldn’t find the same pace he has shown previously and slipped to seventh with Taka Nakgami in eighth.
Jack Miller put his Pramac Ducati in ninth, one ahead of Dovizioso while the still-injured Pol Espargaro came through qualifying one to end in 12th.
Valentino Rossi’s hopes of ending his two-year win drought evaporated faster than a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in Miller motorhome as he failed to make it through Q1.
The Doctor couldn’t muster a laptime in his first run and made his crew take a wheel out of his spare bike, equipped with a soft front, and swap it with a medium-booted wheel in his number one bike. However, it didn’t do the trick as he finished down in 14th place, one behind protege Pecco Bagnaia’s Ducati.
Aleix Espargaro completed the top 15 while Johann Zarco suffered a crash in Q1 and ended in 18th with Andrea Iannone dead last.