Assen MotoGP Qualifying Report: Rossi Sets Fastest Lap Ever

Valentino Rossi sets the fastest ever MotoGP lap around the world famous TT Circuit Assen to claim his first pole position since Valencia in 2014.

Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi dramatically transformed his qualifying fortunes in Assen today by demolishing Casey Stoner's 2012 pole record by over a second to claim his 61st career pole position. The nine-times World Champion set a 1'32.627 to become the fastest ever rider around the legendary 4.5km track.

With the sun breaking through the clouds and track temperatures reaching 100 degrees, the scene was set for an epic Q2 at the historic TT Circuit Assen, and the fans in the packed grandstands were not left disappointed. Rossi, who admitted in the build-up to this weekend’s action that his qualifying performances have been his weakest link so far in 2015, responded in magnificent fashion to take his 51st premier-class pole position for the Motul TT Assen. The Italian had earlier finished on top of the combined time sheets after FP3 for the first time since the new two-tiered qualifying system came into place in 2013.

Team Suzuki Ecstar's Aleix Espargaro (+0.231s), who had been forced to battle it out in Q1, just missed out on his second successive pole position and will start from second on the grid.

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez (+0.259s), who had earlier topped FP4, led the session after the first time attack on soft tyres. But he eventually had to settle for third to complete the front row. His teammate Dani Pedrosa (+0.360s) will start from the front of the second row, with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Pol Espargaro (+0.386s) the leading Satellite rider in an impressive fifth.

In fifth place on the MotoGP grid is Pol Espargaro, winner of the Moto2 race at the Dutch TT two years ago.

Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone (0.389s) qualified in sixth with Cal Crutchlow (CWM LCR Honda) just 0.012s further back in seventh. Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo, the man who trails the Italian by just one point in the Championship standings, will have to start his quest for a fifth straight win from eighth.

Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completed the top ten.

Spectacular save by Pramac Racing's Yonny Hernandez allowed him to continue through to qualifying. The #68 Ducati will start in the 14th spot in the middle of row five.

Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing), who made it through from Q1  behind Aleix Espargaro, will start form eleventh, with Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) ending Q2 down in 12th.

Stefan Bradl (Athina Forward Racing) is the leading Open class rider and will start from the front of the fourth row in 13th, while Scott Redding (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Eugene Laverty are 16th and 19th on the grid respectively. Australian Jack Miller will start from 20th, with Laverty’s teammate Nicky Hayden and 2006 race winner down in 22nd on the grid.

Just 0.609s separated the top 12 riders in Q2, with less than three-tenths between second placed Espargaro and Petrucci in 11th on a day in which none of the 24-strong field crashed.

More MotoGP photos from TT Assen in the gallery at top of page

TT Assen Dutch GP Qualifying Results

  1. Valentino ROSSI (46) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA
  2. Aleix ESPARGARO (41) Team Suzuki Ecstar SUZUKI
  3. Marc MARQUEZ (93), Repsol Honda Team HONDA
  4. Dani PEDROSA (26) Repsol Honda Team HONDA
  5. Pol ESPARGARO (44) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
  6. Andrea IANNONE (29) Ducati Team DUCATI
  7. Cal CRUTCHLOW (35) CWM LCR Honda HONDA
  8. Jorge LORENZO (99) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA
  9. Maverick VIÑALES (25) Team Suzuki Ecstar SUZUKI
  10. Andrea DOVIZIOSO (4) Ducati Team DUCATI
  11. Danilo PETRUCCI (9) Pramac Racing DUCATI
  12. Bradley SMITH (38) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
  13. Stefan BRADL (6) Athinà Forward Racing YAMAHA
  14. Yonny HERNANDEZ (68) Pramac Racing DUCATI
  15. Loris BAZ (76) Athinà Forward Racing YAMAHA
  16. Scott REDDING (45) EG 0,0 Marc VDS HONDA
  17. Hector BARBERA (8) Avintia Racing DUCATI
  18. Mike DI MEGLIO (63) Avintia Racing DUCATI
  19. Eugene LAVERTY (50) Aspar MotoGP Team HONDA
  20. Jack MILLER (43) CWM LCR Honda HONDA
  21. Alvaro BAUTISTA (19) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA
  22. Nicky HAYDEN (69) Aspar MotoGP Team HONDA
  23. Alex DE ANGELIS (15) Octo IodaRacing Team ART
  24. Marco MELANDRI (33) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA
In fifth place on the MotoGP grid is Pol Espargaro, winner of the Moto2 race at the Dutch TT two years ago.
Spectacular save by Pramac Racing's Yonny Hernandez allowed him to continue through to qualifying. The #68 Ducati will start in the 14th spot in the middle of row five.
Dani Pedrosa, practicing with his Repsol Honda pit crew, heads the second row of the grid – his best qualifying result since the opening race of the year in Qatar. Pedrosa has not won at Assen since he took his maiden GP win in the 125cc class at the Dutch TT in 2002.