Assen was back to its overcast self for the beginning of qualifying and the biggest news from the session came before the battle for pole even got underway, when it was announced that championship leader Pedro Acosta has been declared unfit to participate in the session due to upper back injuries suffered in the big crash at the end of FP3. That left the stage open for rivals to step into the limelight and no one was quicker to accept the invitation than Jeremy Alcoba, the Spaniard taking provisional pole after the first run in Q2 and then had an answer to all challengers to reclaim top spot on the second run and his maiden pole position in the class with a new all time lap record. Romano Fenati also looked like a contender for pole but had to admit defeat at the last minute and will start the race from second on the grid – a useful advantage given his double long lap penalty for an on and off track squabble with teammate Adrian Fernandez. Dennis Foggia was a fine reference for Alcoba on his way to pole and the Italian will also join him on the front row of the grid from third.
Sergio Garcia could smell an opportunity with his main championship rival on the backfoot and tried to have a go at pole but had to settle for fourth in the end, sharing the second row of the grid with Kaito Toba and Gabriel Rodrigo. The Argentinian rider started his session with a big moment at turn 15 and ended it in his teammate’s shadow but still qualified a solid sixth on the grid. Niccolò Antonelli, Darryn Binder and Q1 graduate Xavier Artigas complete row three, with Q1 leader Jaume Masia closing the top ten. The Spaniard will be joined on the fourth row by John McPhee and Tatsuki Suzuki.
Rookies Izan Guevara and Lorenzo Fellon had a good day, in which they escaped Q1 and qualified on the fifth row of the grid, ahead of Deniz Öncü. Elia Bartolini opens the sixth row ahead of a subdued Andrea Migno and possibly Acosta, if the championship leader’s medical checks allow him to rejoin the action on Sunday. Meanwhile, the BOE Owlride team had no representatives in qualifying, as both Riccardo Rossi and Stefano Nepa were undergoing further medical checks following the frightening crash that also involved Acosta at the end of FP3.
|24||19||Andi Farid Izdihar||Honda||1'44.320||2.388||1.062|