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26 days ago
By motogp.com

The qualifying master: Martin takes pole at Assen

The Spaniard secured a record 14th Moto3™ pole position, with Bastianini and Bulega joining him on the front row

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) will start Sunday’s lightweight class race from pole position for a record 14th time in his Moto3™ career, setting a 1:42.039 to beat Catalan GP winner Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) by 0.310 seconds, with Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46) rounding out the front row.

Martin suffered a heavy fall in Friday’s FP2 session but bounced back in sublime fashion on Saturday to spearhead the Moto3™ grid for the fifth time this season. His blistering time set in the final five minutes couldn’t be matched, with Bastianini continuing his fine form to take second on the grid. After a difficult season, Bulega secured his best qualifying result of 2018 after setting the third fastest time of the session – a huge moral boost for the Italian rider.

Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was a solid fourth place in qualifying after being in and around the top three throughout the weekend. The Spaniard crashed at Turn 5 late in the session, but will be right in the hunt on Sunday. Joining him on the second row is Leopard Racing’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta, just 0.055 off Canet’s time, with John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) leaping up from P18 to sixth on his final lap of the session. Can the Scotsman go one better than he did in Barcelona at the venue of his last podium finish?

Second place man in the Championship Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) qualified seventh for the Dutch GP, bouncing back after a crash in FP3 to give himself a real chance of a podium fight. Just behind the Italian is compatriot and Championship leader Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP) who starts eighth. The KTM rider was lucky to stay upright coming into the final chicane with two minutes to go after almost hitting the back of his teammate Jakub Kornfeil – can he extend his lead in the standings on Sunday? Bester Capital Dubai’s Marcos Ramirez join the two Championship protagonists on the third row of the grid, 0.725 back from Martin.

Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) crashed early in the session after running wide at Turn 9, with Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) destroying his KTM machine at Turn 7 after a huge crash early in the session – both riders ok.

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Dutch GP: Moto3™ fight for the front row

After cruising in Free Practice, Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46), Kornfeil, Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) were hit with 12-place grid penalties, with Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing) starting from the back of the grid after repeated offences.

So, it’s pole position master Martin who is the quickest man going into Sunday’s race, make sure you don’t miss what promises to be another phenomenal Moto3™ battle at Assen. Lights go out at 11:00 local time (GMT +2).

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