On paper, the Assen track is particularly friendly to Yamaha, but Pecco Bagnaia made an incredible feat in qualifying. The Ducati rider will start from pole position in the Dutch Grand Prix, followed, however, by an equally effective Fabio Quartararo. El Diablo tried everything in the last timed lap, closing however at 116 thousandths, a gap that gave him the second position.
The two title contenders will thus start from the front row, an excellent position for the Yamaha rider, who arrives in Assen as championship leader and aims to consolidate his leadership at the end of the eleventh round, which marks the beginning of the summer break. Once again, both the reigning world champion and Bagnaia made a difference in terms of pace over all the others, but the time trial of the Ducati rider from Piedmont was unattainable for anyone. Also for Quartararo.
A small flaw on the last lap did not allow him to complete the perfect lap, but the Frenchman claims that it would not have been enough to beat Pecco: “It was the best lap I could have done, maybe I could have done something better at Turn 15, but not it was for pole. So I’m really happy with this second position. Here at Assen the front row is a little less important than at Sachsenring because there are more overtaking points, but above all the biggest difference is that here the tire is not used like in Germany, so even if you are a little behind it is different. But this front row is very positive, let’s make a good start ”.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
In terms of pace it therefore seems that Quartararo and Bagnaia are a cut above the others, however the Yamaha rider does not feel like excluding other riders from the fight, first of all Aleix Espargaro, who even starting from the fifth box can be a dangerous opponent: ” Can Pecco and I play it? I don’t know, Aleix made a different strategy in FP4, he went out on soft tires, while we opted for medium and hard to make the comparisons. So let’s see tomorrow. What is certain is that Pecco and I this afternoon had a bit stronger pace than the others ”.
The unpredictability of the current MotoGP also does not allow for long-term predictions. Despite the large advantage in the standings, Quartararo believes that the world championship is definitely open. While arriving at the summer break as a leader, he is aware of the fact that the season is still long and that there are many points to be played: “The rival in the championship is a question that is asked of me every weekend, but it is difficult. Pecco is far away, but there are more than 250 points up for grabs and anything can happen. Bagnaia is still fighting for the championship, as is Aleix. But Johann Zarco is there too. For me, the three of them are the most dangerous from a world perspective “.
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