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Although they started on wets, the Moto2™ World Championship quickly found the TT Circuit Assen dry enough to run on slicks. Dominique Aegerter (CarXpert Interwetten) was the first to explore the uncertain conditions and had set his best lap time of the weekend before too long.
This spurred on his fellow Moto2™ riders and soon everyone hit the track with slicks fitted. Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) again proved to be a master of timing his flying laps, the Swiss rider setting a 1’37.954 before the rain returned. With 23 minutes of the session left, the heavens opened and secured Luthi his second pole of 2016. In Le Mans, when he started from pole, Luthi went on to finish on the podium.
0.448s back on Luthi was Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport), the French rider having spent most of the weekend towards the top of the timesheets. After a torrid time at his home Grand Prix, Zarco has found the form that won him the 2015 Moto2™ crown and is looking for his third straight win on Sunday at Assen. In 2015 the French rider also won the Dutch GP on his way to the title, fitting a set of clogs for his backflip celebration.
Aegerter’s early adventure on slicks paid off as the Swiss rider secured third to complete the front row. Having been 16th in FP3, third was a significant improvement and sees him return to the front row for the first time since Mugello in 2015. Despite racing fulltime since 2007, this is only Aegerter’s sixth front row start across all classes.
Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) is set to lead the charge from the head of the second row of the grid. The Brit was half a second back on Luthi’s time but only a tenth slower than Zarco, gaps deceiving in the tricky conditions. Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top five and is guaranteed to make for some exciting racing on Sunday.
Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP), Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP40), Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team) formed the remainder of the top ten.
Several riders went out after the rain fell later in the session, but no one was able to improve their times. These laps could prove crucial should the run in similar conditions. Assen is known for unpredictable weather, as the intermediate class found out in 2014.
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