For the second-straight round in 2019 MotoGP, Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Fabio Quartararo has secured the pole position.The 20-year-old Frenchman, who claimed pole at Catalunya two weeks ago, earned his third-ever MotoGP top qualifying position Saturday at the Assen TT Circuit.
And he completed the task in record style, posting a new lap record of 1:32.017secs in the second qualifying session.The rookie Yamaha YZR-M1 pilot is now the youngest rider in MotoGP history to earn back-to-back pole positions, beating the record from of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who had consecutive poles in Silverstone and Misano in 2013.Joining Quartararo on the front row for Sunday’s 26-lap Dutch TT are Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, who finished 0.140 of a second back, and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins, who finished 0.441 behind.“There’s not much to say; it’s just incredible,” says Fabio Quartararo. “Assen is one of the most legendary circuits in the World Championship, and taking pole position and breaking the track record is amazing. I’m very proud of what the team have done.“I thought it would be very difficult to beat the time in the final part of the session, but I managed two very fast laps and was able to do it. The feeling we have at this circuit, especially on the last sector, is awesome.“Both yesterday and today we worked on race pace, and I think we are good in that regard. It’s a tougher circuit than Barcelona, so my arm is suffering a bit more here, but I was able to get pole position. I’m very happy.”Heading up row three is the current points leader, five-time MotoGP Champion Marquez. The RC213V pilot, who leads Mission Winnow Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso by 37 points finished Assen MotoGP qualifying 0.714 seconds behind Quartararo and was the final rider to post within a second of the leader.Marquez will be joined on row two by Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.Rounding out the top 10 in qualifying were Mission Winnow Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, Quartararo’s teammate Franco Morbidelli, and Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller.Dovizioso qualified 11th and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) 14th.As for Repsol Honda’s Jorge Lorenzo, he will miss round eight due to facturing his back in a Friday practice crash.The race gets underway at 8 a.m. ET Sunday. For television times, visit 2019 MotoGP US TV Schedule.Photos by Luciano Bianchetto
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.