Vinales smashes Assen lap record to take pole

Published June 27, 2021
ASSEN: Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales (R) and Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro in action during qualifying for the Dutch MotoGP at the TT Circuit Assen on Saturday.—Reuters
ASSEN: Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales (R) and Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro in action during qualifying for the Dutch MotoGP at the TT Circuit Assen on Saturday.—Reuters

ASSEN: Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales edged out team-mate Fabio Quartararo in a late shootout to claim his maiden pole position of the season after both riders smashed the lap record in qualifying at the Dutch Grand Prix on Saturday.

World championship leader Quartararo looked set to take pole for the sixth time in seven races when he set a lap record of one minute, 31.922 seconds at the TT Circuit Assen also known as the ‘Cathedral of Speed’.

But Vinales, who had been fastest in all three practice sessions, turned on the style as he breached Quartararo’s early benchmark to finish in 1:31.814 seconds and grab front place on the grid.

Quartararo came through the first two sectors of his final lap with a slender lead on his team mate but made an error at Turn 10 to almost slip out of track limits, forcing him to settle for second place.

It caps a remarkable turnaround for Vinales, who finished last in last week’s German MotoGP.

He is clearly enjoying his return to the track, having already won the last MotoGP there in 2019 and also triumphed there twice in the lower formulas.

It will be Vinales’ first pole since the Emilia Romagna GP last year.

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia surged up to third in the closing moments, ahead of LCR Honda’s Takaaki Naka­gami and Q1 pacesetter Johann Zarco of Pramac Ducati.

Six-time world champion Marc Marquez, who won his first race last week since his injury comeback, will start in 20th after crashing out in the Q1 session.

Heading into Sunday’s race, Quartararo leads the championship table with 131 points, 22 clear of Zarco in second place.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

A new operation
25 Jun, 2024

A new operation

SERIOUS concerns had been raised by opposition political parties — particularly those with presence in KP — ...
Power theft
25 Jun, 2024

Power theft

FEDERAL Energy Minister Awais Leghari’s statement during a TV interview that electricity theft amounts to Rs600bn ...
Fatal air
25 Jun, 2024

Fatal air

TOXIC air can cost us our children. It causes life-threatening illnesses, inflicts lifelong damage and leads to ...
Time for dialogue
Updated 24 Jun, 2024

Time for dialogue

If the PML-N and PTI remain mired in mutual acrimony, an ever-widening gap will continue to allow non-political forces to assert themselves.
Property taxes
24 Jun, 2024

Property taxes

ACCORDING to reports in the local media, along with the higher taxes imposed on real estate in the recent budget, ...
Fierce heat
24 Jun, 2024

Fierce heat

CLIMATE change is unfolding as predicted by experts: savage heat, melting glaciers, extreme rainfall, drought, ...