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MotoGP Dutch TT Assen - Qualifying Results | Bezzecchi pole, Marquez in another controversial collision

Gold and Goose
Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing, Ducati GP22, 2023 MotoGP, Dutch TT, Assen, action [credit - Gold & Goose]

Marco Bezzecchi consolidated his spectacular form around the Assen circuit to take pole position for the 2023 MotoGP Dutch TT with a new lap record.

The rider to beat in all three practice sessions, Bezzecchi in imperious form when it mattered in Q2 too, edging out Pecco Bagnaia by a mere +0.060s for his second career MotoGP pole position.

Luca Marini completed the front row, a position he unintentionally safeguarded by crashing with 90secs to go, the subsequent yellow flags spoiling several other fast laps taking place just behind him


However, the big talking point come the end of qualifying was another costly incident involving Marc Marquez during the Q1 session.

Under pressure Marquez sparks more controversy

The Spaniard crashed at Turn 3 with just over a minute of the 15-minute session remaining when he struck the back of Enea Bastianini's Ducati while they were both touring.

The six-time MotoGP World Champion had chosen Bastianini as his reference, initially prompting the irritated Italian to deliberately sacrifice his first fast lap at Turn 1 by running wide in an attempt to shake the tow.

Nevertheless Marquez remained on his tail, following round for another lap but unintentional Bastianini's mistake into Turn 1 would force the close-following Repsol Honda man to ease up as well.

With both proceeding too slow to a tour, they were cruising around the outside of Turn 3 and both looking behind.

However, the break in concentration would lead to Marquez striking the back of the Ducati ahead. A low speed, but awkward, crash, it consigns Marquez to 17th on the grid, while Bastianini also missed the cut, down in 18th.

Bezzecchi resists Bagnaia threat for Dutch TT Assen pole

With Marquez and Bastianini failing to make it past the first hurdle, all eyes turned to Q2 and Bezzecchi to see whether the VR46 Racing Ducati rider could carry his dominant form through for pole.

The circuit where he clinched his first MotoGP podium a year earlier, Bezzecchi had been untouchable in each of the three Practice sessions but it remained to be seen whether his rivals had anything up their sleeve to reveal in qualifying.

To an extent they did, Bagnaia turning round a difficult Friday to emerge once again as a major pole position threat on the factory Ducati. However, just as Bezzecchi had smashed Bagnaia's lap record from 2022 with his am 32.472secs lap, the defending champion couldn't quite respond, falling less than a tenth short.


While there was time for Bagnaia to attempt another fast lap, his effort was ultimately spoiled by the man who will also join him and Bezzecchi on the front row, Marini.

The Italian turned in his quickest lap of the weekend by some margin when it mattered to place himself third before then coming down at Stekkenwal with just over a minute remaining. Ruining the laps of several riders as they filed past behind, the loss of momentum would also nix any hope of coming round to try another quick lap.

As such, Marini remained third on the timesheets at the flag, ensuring VR46 Ducati a prized double front row.

In fourth, Fabio Quartararo enjoyed his strongest qualifying of the season in what is proving to be a more positive weekend for the struggling 2021 MotoGP World Champion, the Yamaha rider being joined on row two by Brad Binder - another scoring one of his best Saturday morning performances of 2023 - and Aleix Espargaro.


>>> 2023 MotoGP World Championship standings <<<

Maverick Vinales heads up row three from Johann Zarco, who along with Miguel Oliveira had broken out of Q1, while Alex Marquez joined them in ninth.

Title contender and German MotoGP winner Jorge Martin, meanwhile, has work to do from tenth on the grid. The Spaniard suffered a low speed fall on his first flying lap in Q2, before then having his second time attack frustrated by Marini's late off. Oliveira and Jack Miller complete row four in 11th and 12th respectively.

Elsewhere, Q1 determined 13th place for Fabio di Giannantonio and 14th for Takaaki Nakagami, the Japanese rider swinging hard as the top Honda rider, but ultimately falling just short of making it into Q2 on the LCR machine.

Struggling to match the form of Yamaha team-mate Quartararo, Franco Morbidelli could only manage 15th, with 16th place Raul Fernandez starting just ahead of the feuding Marquez and Bastianini

MotoGP Dutch TT Assen | Qualifying Results

2023 MotoGP Dutch TT | Assen, Netherlands | Qualifying Results | Round 8 of 20
1Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 32.472
2Pecco BagnaiaITADucati Leonovo TeamDucati GP231m 32.533
3Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 32.630
4Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 32.671
5Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 31.704
6Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 31.812
7Maverick VinalesESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 31.837
8Johann ZarcoFRAPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 31.881
9Alex MarquezESPGresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 31.898
10Jorge MartinESPPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 32.170
11Miguel OliveiraPORCryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 32.174
12Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 32.715
13Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 32.185
14Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 32.497
15Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 32.530
16Raul FernandezESPCryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 32.671
17Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 32.672
18Enea BastianiniITADucati Leonovo TeamDucati GP231m 32.844
19Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 33.008
20Stefan BradlGERLCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 33.040
21Augusto FernandezESPGasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 33.082
22Iker LecuonaESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 33.088
23Jonas FolgerGERGasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 33.300

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