146 13060 +Motogp Assen Qualifying Report+
Cal Crutchlow secured his first MotoGP pole position at Assen, the first Brit to take pole in over a decade.
Lorenzo returns to the Assen paddock just 14 hours after surgery to repair his fractured collarbone. He will attempt to make the race on Saturday.
In one of the more exciting MotoGP qualifying sessions in quite some time, several riders took turns holding the pole position in the dying seconds of the final 15-minute Q2 qualifying session at Assen, but it was Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow who ended up on top after time had expired. The British rider’s time was more than three-tenths of a second quicker than Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, and marked the first time in more than a decade that a Brit had taken pole position in the MotoGP class. LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl qualified on the front row for the first time in his two-year career, with the German’s time just ousting Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi off the front row. Dani Pedrosa was quickest before he suffered a crash in turn seven about midway through the final Q2 qualifying session that quickly dropped the Spaniard down the order; he got back to the Repsol Honda pits with about two minutes remaining, but decided not to go back out.
But probably just as newsworthy as Crutchlow’s maiden pole position was Jorge Lorenzo’s return to the Assen circuit, just 14 hours after having surgery to plate the left collarbone that was fractured in a vicious highside in the wet afternoon practice on Thursday. Although the Yamaha Factory Racing team has termed the reason for his return as “to be reunited with his team,” it’s obvious that the Majorcan’s real intent is to attempt to race tomorrow and collect valuable World Championship points. Lorenzo will have to pass the on-site MotoGP medical staff’s tests to prove he is capable of racing, both in the morning and then just before the race. If Lorenzo does pass the physical, he will start from the 12th position on the grid (end of third row) because his quick time in P1 was never bettered in the P2 or P3 practice sessions due to adverse weather conditions, so he was already entered into the Q2 pole position shootout. Since the top 12 qualifiers are entered in Q2, Lorenzo ended up at the back of group, thus his 12th grid starting position.
If the weather is rainy for the race, Lorenzo will most likely not race, as the consequences of a crash would be catastrophic to his recovery. Should he be given clearance to race if it is dry, there will probably be one frustrated competitor on the grid, and we’re not talking about Pedrosa, whom Lorenzo is battling with for the championship. In 2011 at Catalunya, Colin Edwards crashed during Friday practice and fractured his collarbone. After surgery on Saturday, the American—who up until that point had started 141 consecutive MotoGP races—attempted to make the grid in order to start the race and complete a lap in order to keep his streak alive. His efforts were rebuffed by circuit medical personnel however, leaving Edwards to remark that the real reason was because he “had the wrong passport.”
Ducati's Andrea Dovisioso and Avintia Blusens' Hector Barbera had a little run-in during Q1 qualifying, with Barbera cutting in front of Dovisioso while the Italian was on a flying lap. Dovisioso was incensed, and kicked at Barbera as he rode by ("That was the best kick I've seen in a long time," joked Crutchlow afterward). Both riders were called in by Race Direction and assessed one penalty point each under the new MotoGP rules for unsafe riding.
MotoGP Assen qualifying results:
1. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 1:34.398
2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Honda 1:34.755
3. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda 1:34.878
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 1:34.974
5. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 1:35.006
6. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha 1:35.454
7. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia 1:35.500
8. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda 1:35.508
9. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia 1:35.622
10. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 1:35.908
11. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati 1:36.866
12. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati 1:36.432
13. Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:36.490
14. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Ducati 1:36.524
15. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/BMW 1:36.695
16. Karel Abraham (CZE) ART/Aprilia 1:36.791
17. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:37.143
18. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda 1:37.315
19. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:37.625
20. Yonny Hernandez (COL) ART/Aprilia 1:37.781
21. Michael Laverty (IRL) ART/Aprilia 1:38.378
22. Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/BMW 1:38.704
23. Ivan Silva (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:39.077