Alvaro Bautista continued his steamroll towards back-to-back WorldSBK titles with another commanding victory in the Assen Superpole Race.
After stalking his way to the front in Saturday's opening race to bring up his sixth win in seven races, not even a shortened eight-lap sprint race could halt the Spaniard's charge to victory number seven.
In doing so, it brings Ducati's tally to 399 WorldSBK victories, with Bautista well placed to make it 400 in this afternoon's longer race two.
With the expiring Bonovo BMW of Loris Baz on the warm-up lap forcing officials to delay the start of the race so as to check for oil on track, it was Jonathan Rea that got the better jump off the line to get the hole-shot.
However, with Bautista tucked in behind him, it wasn't long before he struck to the front with a pass into Hoge Heide, the Spaniard assuming a lead he'd control to the flag.
In a largely uneventful race, Rea held onto second position, just under a second behind Bautista, while third place Toprak Razgatlioglu ensured an identical podium to that of race one.
Alex Lowes trailed home in a lonely fourth place, three seconds off the lead but three seconds up on the battle for fifth, which went the way of Andrea Locatelli on the second of the Pata Yamaha R1s.
Sixth place Axel Bassani secured independent honours on the Motocorsa Ducati, fending off Dominique Aegerter, the Swiss rider in turn nosing across the line in front of Scott Redding on the best of the BMWs.
Rounding out the points in ninth - thus securing a guaranteed spot on the third row of the grid - was leading Honda representative Xavi Vierge.
With the front three rows for race two decided, the likes of Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Danilo Petrucci - who finished 13th and 14th respectively - face an uphill challenge this afternoon to bring their weekend's to a strong conclusion.
Same goes for Bradley Ray, who despite a bright start running on the fringes of the top ten, was eventually shuffled down to 16th.
WorldSBK Superpole Race Results - Assen
|2023 WorldSBK | Assen, Netherlands | Superpole Race Results | Rd. 3 of 12]|
|1||Alvaro Bautista||ESP||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||8 Laps|
|2||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+0.916|
|3||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||+1.757|
|4||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+3.126|
|5||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||+6.067|
|6||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+6.781|
|7||Dominique Aegerter||CHE||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||+7.054|
|8||Scott Redding||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||+7.125|
|9||Xavi Vierge||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+8.568|
|10||Michael van der Mark||NED||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||+10.344|
|11||Iker Lecuona||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+10.546|
|12||Remy Gardner||AUS||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||+11.246|
|13||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+11.807|
|14||Philipp Oettl||GER||Go Eleven||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+12.037|
|15||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||Barni Spark Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+12.825|
|16||Bradley Ray||GBR||Motoxracing||Yamaha R1||+13.079|
|17||Garrett Gerloff||USA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+13.549|
|18||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+20.193|
|19||Tom Sykes||GBR||Puccetti Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+21.340|
|20||Lorenzo Baldassarri||ITA||GMT 94||Yamaha R1||+24.463|
|21||Eric Granado||BRA||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+25.353|
|22||Gabriele Ruiu||POR||B-Max Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+25.706|
|23||Oliver Konig||CZE||Orelac Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+27.243|
|DNF||Isaac Vinales||ESP||TPR by Vinales Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|DNF||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR|