By Sam Sims
NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro at Assen
2014 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Results
This season’s top-running open-class ride, Aleix Epargaro earned his first-ever pole of MotoGP Friday during a rain-affected qualifying two session at the Assen TT circuit.
The Spaniard, who was quickest during Thursday’s free practice, took the pole with 1:38.789. The lap time at “The Cathedral” was over five seconds slower than the the FP4 practice time, which was led by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.
Joining the NGM Forward Racing rider on Saturday’s Assen TT MotoGP front row will be Marquez, who won the opening seven rounds of 2014, and the other Repsol Honda RC213V pilot, Dani Pedrosa.
When qualifying 2 began, a bunch of riders were grouped up front at the track that caters to Yamaha’s, including Marquez, Pedrosa and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, who led the third free practice session.
But light rain began falling, and Espargaro was able to ride the best, taking the pole by 1.40.194 seconds ahead of Marquez, and 1.943 seconds ahead of Pedrosa.
The top-qualifying Ducati was the Pramac Racing GP14 machine piloted Andrea Iannone. He qualified ahead of Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow, who was able to progress in qualifying 2 from the first session, and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith.
Heading up the third row is Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, who qualified ahead of LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo.
Qualifying on the fourth row are three riders who were all over four seconds of Espargaro’s pole time – GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, Monster Yamaha Tech3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro and nine-time World Champion Rossi.
Several riders even switched to wet tires before the end of the session as the rain got heavier, but fortunately there were no crashes despite the tricky conditions, MotoGP reports.
As for the Americans, NGM Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards qualified …read more