Motorcycle Racing

Bagnaia smashes lap record to take pole, Marquez crashes

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

World champion Francesco Bagnaia headed Jorge Martin in a tight pole battle at the MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix, as a late crash for Marc Marquez left him seventh.

Bagnaia and standings leader Martin traded all-time Assen lap records at the start of the Q2 session, before the former smashed it with a 1m30.540s with just under six minutes to go.

So good was Bagnaia’s lap that he felt he could bail out of the session early, though Martin put it under threat on his final tour – coming up 0.081 seconds short.

Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales completed the top three, 0.330s further back, while Alex Marquez heads row two on the first of the Gresini Ducatis as team-mate Marc Marquez crashed late on to end up seventh.

Bagnaia set the tone for the record-breaking Dutch GP qualifying on his first flying lap, setting a 1m31.048s.

But Martin obliterated it with a 1m30.877s seconds later on his first flying lap, and was on course to better it next time around before making a small error at the last corner.

On the first lap of his second run, Bagnaia lit up the timing screens and produced a 1m30.540s to go 0.337s clear of the field at the time.

With the rest of the pack tripping over each other looking for tows, Bagnaia’s lap came under no threat as the clock ticked down to the chequered flag.

Once Martin got a clear run, though, on his last flying lap he started to put Bagnaia’s lap record under threat.

But he narrowly missed out with a 1m30.621s to secure second, while Vinales leapt up to third on his final effort with a 1m30.951s.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Alex Marquez was fourth on his Gresini Ducati ahead of the second factory Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro and Q1 graduate Fabio Di Giannantonio (VR46).

Espargaro was involved in a scuffle with Marc Marquez in the closing stages of Q2.

The Aprilia rider put on a hard move on Marquez for track position at the final chicane, before the latter returned the favour at Turn 7 while pushing on his last lap.

Marquez got through but crashed on the exit, leaving him down in seventh on the grid ahead of Pramac’s Franco Morbidelli.

Brad Binder was the top KTM in ninth ahead of Q1 pacesetter Pedro Acosta – who crashed at the end of the opening qualifying segment – while Ducati’s Enea Bastianini and Trackhouse Racing’s Raul Fernandez rounded out the top 12.

Fabio Quartararo was denied a place in Q2 by just over two tenths on his upgraded…

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