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It was a Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Saturday showdown at the Motul TT Assen as Maverick Viñales set a new all-time lap record to beat World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo to pole position. Now, it’s time for race day! Get yourselves in the mood for the MotoGP™ encounter with some juicy stats.
1. Viñales has qualified on pole position for the first time since the Emilia Romagna GP last year on his way to winning the race. This is Viñales’ 13th pole position in the premier class, equalling Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau. This is his second pole at Assen in Grand Prix racing along with 2011 in 125cc.
2. Since 2011, the winner of the MotoGP™ race at the Dutch TT has alternated between a Yamaha and a Honda rider (odd year for Yamaha, even year for Honda). In 2019, Maverick Viñales won the race riding a Yamaha. What will happen in 2021?
3. Quartararo has qualified in second for his 30th front row start in the premier class, on what is his 42nd race in MotoGP™, almost 71.4% success rate. This is the second Yamaha factory rider 1-2 in qualifying so far this year, along with Le Mans.
4. With Quartararo in second as the highest-placed French rider, this ends a sequence of six successive races with a Frenchman on pole position.
5. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) has qualified fourth for his best qualifying result since he was third in Valencia last year. He will be aiming to stand on the podium for this first time in the premier class. On his two previous visits in MotoGP™ to Assen, he’s failed to score any points.
6. After passing through Q1 for the first time of the season, Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) has qualified in fifth place which is only the fourth time he failed to start from the front row so far this year. However, he has always started from the front two rows this year.
7. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), who took his maiden MotoGP™ win at Assen back in 2016, has qualified eighth, which is the first time he’s failed to qualify on the front two rows of the grid since Teruel last year when he was 14th.
8. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) has qualified in ninth place, which is the eighth time so far this year he starts from the front three rows of the grid. He will be aiming to give Aprilia their first top five finish since the introduction of MotoGP™ in 2002.
9. Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT), who’s won 10 Dutch TTs, has qualified in 12th place for his best result since he was 11th in Barcelona.
10. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) failed to get into Q2 for the fourth time (along with Italy 2015, Spain 2021 and Catalunya 2021) and qualified 20th, his worst qualifying result in MotoGP™.