2018 Assen MotoGP Qualifying | Marquez on Pole; Top 4 Within 1/10

2018 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Honda Marc Marquez
Honda's Marc Marquez

2018 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Results

When qualifying for the Dutch TT at Assen wrapped up Saturday, the top 11 were within a half of second of each other.

Impressive. But even more impressive was the closeness among top four, which were all within a tenth of a second.

2018 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Honda Marc Marquez
Honda’s Marc Marquez

Leading the pack after the 15-minute qualifying two session was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who claimed his 75th career pole position across all classes (47th in the premier MotoGP class).

The reigning MotoGP Champion claimed the pole position – his second this season – by 0.041 of a second ahead of LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow, who won in Argentina. Taking the final podium position was Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, who finished 0.059 of a second back, and won last year’s Dutch TT.

“So far this weekend, things are going better than we were hoping for,” Marc Marquez says. “The pole has not been one of my strongest points this year, and actually this will be the first time I’ll start form the top spot, because in Austin I earned the pole but was moved back to fourth.

“I was very happy with the rhythm I could keep in FP3 and FP4 and now I’m even more happy for the Q2 result. We’re trying and working in a good way. At this track stability is one of the main targets to achieve and step by step we improved that a bit.

“Our first goal is a podium finish but honestly we now have the possibility to fight for the victory. We must remain focused and work well in tomorrow’s warm-up to try and make another little step to improve the stability and to make the final choice for the tires.”

2018 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Honda Cal Crutchlow
Honda’s Cal Crutchlow

Heading up row two is Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso – the final rider to post within a tenth of a second behind Marquez. The Italian will be joined on row two by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and the man who led Friday practice, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales.

Rounding out the top 10 in 2018 Assen MotoGP Qualifying were Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro; Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco; Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone; and the man who won the past two rounds, Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo, who joins Repsol Honda in 2019.

2018 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Yamaha Valentino Rossi
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi

Heading into Assen MotoGP, Yamaha’s Rossi has the most wins with 10 (eight in the premier class) at the “Cathedral,” which is the only track to remain on the GP calendar since the series begin in 1949.

After seven of 19 rounds, Marquez has 115 points – 27 ahead of Rossi, and 37 ahead of Vinales. The four-time MotoGP Champion only has one win at Assen, but is in the best position to take another in extend his points lead.

2018 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo
Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo

Photos by Luciano Bianchetto

2018 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Results

Pos. Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 115
2 Valentino Rossi 88
3 Maverick Viñales 77
4 Johann Zarco 73
5 Danilo Petrucci 71
6 Cal Crutchlow 69
7 Andrea Dovizioso 66
8 Andrea Iannone 66
9 Jorge Lorenzo 66
10 Jack Miller 49
11 Daniel Pedrosa 40
12 Alex Rins 33
13 Alvaro Bautista 27
14 Tito Rabat 27
15 Pol Espargaro 25
16 Franco Morbidelli 19
17 Hafizh Syahrin 18
18 Aleix Espargaro 13
19 Takaaki Nakagami 11
20 Scott Redding 9
21 Bradley Smith 8
22 Mika Kallio 6
23 Karel Abraham 4
24 Sylvain Guintoli 0
25 Thomas Luthi 0
26 Xavier Simeon 0