2016 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Result: A Game of Confidence

With wet conditions in play, MotoGP qualifying was an exercise in confidence, with the Ducatis showing plenty. Andrea Dovizioso continued his good run from the morning session and took a well-deserved pole position, leading Valentino Rossi by seven tenths of a second. Another impressive Ducati was Scott Redding, who got over the disappointment of a crash in FP4 to finish third, staring tomorrow’s race from the front row. The trio set their lap times together, with Rossi leading the group over the line in the final minutes of the qualifying session.

Starting qualifying as favourite after a fast FP4 in wet conditions, Marc Marquez joined the party late and crashed on the outlap. After literally riding a scooter like he stole it, he grabbed his second bike and managed a frantic fourth place after some last lap heroics. He will be joined on the second row by the sister Honda of Cal Crutchlow and a rapid Yonny Hernandez who survived Q1 to post an impressive final result.

The other Q1 graduate, Pol Espargaro, finished right behind Hernandez after leading the session early on.  He was followed by his brother, Aleix Espargaro, who will share the third row with Danilo Petrucci after Andrea Iannone’s penalty is applied.

The current world champion rounds up the top ten, Lorenzo continuing to struggle in the tricky wet conditions at Assen. Maverick Viñales was another victim of the weather, getting caught out on his first lap out the pits, unable to restart and needing to set a time on his second bike. He starts behind Lorenzo and in front of Hector Barbera, who narrowly missed out on Q2.

Forced into riding his number two machine after a late crash in FP4, Dani Pedrosa could not advance into Q2, starting tomorrow’s race from the back of the fifth row. As we know, despite posting a top nine laptime, Andrea Iannone will start last, the factory Ducatis bookending the classification.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'45.246    
2 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'45.961 0.715 0.715
3 45 Scott REDDING Ducati 1'46.312 1.066 0.351
4 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'46.430 1.184 0.118
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'46.568 1.322 0.138
6 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1'46.828 1.582 0.260
7 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 1'46.997 1.751 0.169
8 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki 1'47.118 1.872 0.121
9 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'47.567 2.321 0.449
10 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'47.601 2.355 0.034
11 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'47.897 2.651 0.296
12 25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki 1'48.415 3.169 0.518
Result of Q1            
Q2 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 1'48.482    
Q2 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1'48.535 0.053 0.053
13 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1'48.830 0.348 0.295
14 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'48.909 0.427 0.079
15 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia 1'49.163 0.681 0.254
16 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'49.364 0.882 0.201
17 50 Eugene LAVERTY Ducati 1'49.678 1.196 0.314
18 6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia 1'49.685 1.203 0.007
19 43 Jack MILLER Honda 1'49.775 1.293 0.090
20 53 Tito RABAT Honda 1'49.779 1.297 0.004
21 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'50.204 1.722 0.425


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Am I alone in finding myself shocked that Dani Pedrosa is down in 16th nearly 4 seconds from the pole lap?

No, you're not haha. If you saw him doing his qualifying, his bike looked a right handful. The cameras followed him for a few corners and his bike was twitching and wobbling underneath him constantly. Looked bloody horrible

Two strategies at play there. Lorenzo tried to go the whole session on the same tyre, the top few guys switched to new wets at the end. This time they got lucky. Very intense, interesting qualifying as usual. Love this format.

“it was the scooter of Tino, the photographer,” smiled Marquez, when asked about the incident in the paddock. “After I fell the first target was to get back to the box. There was nobody there to take me back and I saw one scooter with the keys in! 

“When I turned the scooter around I saw Tino and I ask if I can take it. He said 'ok' - but honestly if he say 'no' I would continue!” 


The grid is nicely mixed up for tomorrow's race. Really happy to see Dovi on pole after all he's been through this season. Would love to see him finish on the podium.

Scott as well hasn't had much in the way of results this season and has a great chance of collecting a good haul.

The clear disappointments of the day are the three Spaniards, Lorenzo, Vinales and Pedrosa. Dani has not looked comfortable all weekend, even in the dry he struggled to reach top 10.

Jorge and Assen is a match that doesn't seem to gel at all, and the accident from 2013 still clearly plays in the back of his mind. He has to do some serious damage limitation, especially as the next round at Sachsenring is statistically his weakest circuit on the calendar.

If the race is dry, I fully it expect it to be another Rossi/Marquez showdown. Marc looks in fine form here. Loved his commitment on borrowing the scooter after his crash and flying back to the paddock is no time at all! To rescue 4th was a super effort and vital for his race prospects.

Can't wait smiley

I heard the Dutch commentators on Eurosport say it, and afterwards on the MotoGP site as wel... but just checked it... MM93 was not on his outlap when he crashed. With 11mins to go he lets PE44 past right before GT, and he crashed with 9:49 mins to go, having two "orange" sector indicators. So he was on his first "hot lap".
When he crashed I saw the sector-indicators and kept on hearing/reading he was on his outlap. So was questioning my own assessment :D
Not that it matters though, he crashed and qualified reasonably well given the circumstances

I had wondered that myself, but I saw it happen two other times. What I'm talking about is orange sectors coming up for guys on their outlaps. Someone at the bottom of the timesheets racked up 3 then crossed the line, then his timer came up, starting a fast lap.
No idea what was going on

:) may have been in other instances, but not this time... how could he have been at the last chicane on track 1min11 before crashing on his outlap? timewarp? :)

Being at the track this weekend, I found it disgusting to hear a shockingly large portion of the "fans" in the grandstand cheer wildly when Marquez crashed during qualifying and also Lorenzo earlier in the day. Predictably, all of them wearing yellow in one place or another.

This is despicable behaviour at all times, but coming just three weeks after a rider died in a crash, this is beyond belief. I thought that after the events of Barcelona MotoGP and its audience have finally woken up a bit to the reality of the sport and moved away again from the ridiculous childish feuds between massive egos and towards a more mature appreciation of the sport itself and respect for all riders, but apparently not everyone got the message.

For me personally, this was the last straw. I have attended MotoGP races for about a dozen years or so, often going to multiple races a season, but I highly doubt I'll go to another one until the day Rossi retires and this gratuitous hooliganism that has completely blown out of proportion since the end of last season will hopefully, finally have an end. I am fully aware that not every Rossifan acts like this, but the people who do always appear to be wearing yellow and the utter joy of seeing these incredible MotoGP bikes and their riders up close is by now completely overshadowed by the mindblowing frustration about certain people on the sidelines acting more like obnoxious sheeple than human beings. The booing, the offensive banners, the cheering of crashes, the general hostility and mob mentality... it is all just too much, uncalled for, unnecessary and in my view no longer worth the steep entry prices.

At least WSBK and BSB are still always worth a visit.