English rider Cal Crutchlow will start on pole, the first in his career, for Saturday’s TT Assen, the seventh round of the MotoGP world championship. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider will share the front row with Repsol Honda’s Marc Márquez and LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl. World Champion Jorge Lorenzo will miss the race following his crash on Thursday.
In a dramatic Dutch TT qualifying session on Friday (June 28), several riders grabbed provisional pole, only to be demoted moments later. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, Bradl and Márquez held the top spot before Crutchlow recorded the pole time of 1:34.398 to become the first British pole-sitter since Jeremy McWilliams at Phillip Island in 2002. Behind him, Márquez qualified in the top three for the first time since Le Mans, and Bradl, the 2012 Moto2 winner, sealed his first front row start in the premier class. Honda’s championship leader Dani Pedrosa crashed at De Bult during his hot lap and will start fifth behind Rossi.
The Mahindra High
Earlier on Friday, Portuguese teenager Miguel Oliveira secured the first pole in the Moto3 class for Mahindra, the only Indian team in motorcycle Grand Prix racing.
In windy and cool conditions at Assen, Oliveira recorded the flying lap early on in the qualifying session to put his name at the top of the charts in case things became wet and difficult. The track stayed dry, and with ten minutes left in the session, the Mahindra rider was pushed to fifth position.
However, Oliveira went out again for a blazing last run that put him back on top. Mahindra’s second rider, Efrén Vázquez, qualified 17th.