After two days full of promise, Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez were left disappointed after being unable to deliver in Qualifying, Marquez walking away from his second fall of the event.
Saturday in Assen continued Pol Espargaro’s fine form from Friday, keeping his RC213V consistently inside the top ten as he showed impressive pace throughout the morning session. Improving to a 1’33.170 before the late time attack began and Espargaro found another half a second to end FP3 in third with a 1’32.641. Putting together a competitive Free Practice 4, Espargaro headed into Q2 ready to challenge and started the session well with a competitive first run. The #44 would be unable to make a dramatic step forward in lap time as he was left to rue a wrong choice of front tyres, his 1’32.830 earning him 11th on the grid.
Although sore and bruised from his Free Practice 2 high side, Marc Marquez was back on track for Free Practice 3 and immediately picked up where he left off. Within just a few laps, Marquez had improved on his best Friday time as he aimed for a Q2 spot. Less than 0.2s was all that stood between Marquez and a top ten finish in the session, the eight-time World Champion heading to Q1 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, a crash in the final minutes of Q1 ended Marquez’s chances of advancing to Q2, forced to start the Dutch TT from 20th on the grid.
Sunday’s race will take place over 26 laps around the TT Circuit Assen, lights for the race going out at 14:00 Local Time. After uncertain forecasts, it now looks as though it will be dry for the 2021 Dutch TT. Both Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro will be out to make a point in the race before heading into the mid-season summer break.
Assen TT Qualifying Result
Assen is the only venue to have held a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since its creation in 1949. The circuit was purpose built for the Dutch TT in 1955, with previous events having been held on public roads. The track is narrow, with rapid changes in… read more.
|4.542 kilometres / 2.822 miles
|0.487 kilometres / 0.303 miles
TT Circuit Assen, De Haar, Assen, The Netherlands - View in Google Maps
|1m 31.504s (178.6km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2022)
|1m 32.500s (176.7km/h) Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia, 2022)
|40m 25.205s (175.2km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2022)
|2023 Race Winner
|Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)
|2023 Sprint Winner
|Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati)