Aleix Espargaró grabs pole in rain-hit qualifying

Aleix Espargaró grabs pole in rain-hit qualifying

27 June 2014 – Aleix Espargaró claimed his maiden MotoGP pole position during Friday's rain-affected qualifying session for the Dutch TT at Assen.

The Forward Racing rider, who topped Thursday's practice timesheets, used Soft tyres to record a 1:38.789 in the damp opening minutes of Q2 before rainfall increased and prevented further improvements.

The result also marked the first pole position for MotoGP's new Open class.

Marc Márquez, who broke the lap record during the fourth and final practice session, conducted an aggressive opening run to take second, with Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa securing the final front row spot.

After a tough start to the weekend, Ducati's Cal Crutchlow cleared Q1 and took advantage of the adverse weather conditions in Q2 to post the fifth fastest time, ahead of fellow Briton Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha).

The second works Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso followed in seventh, with LCR's Stefan Bradl taking eighth.

Factory Yamaha team-mates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi struggled to get up to speed amid the massive pack of bikes in the early stages, with the pair due to start tomorrow's race from ninth and 12th respectively.

Gresini's Álvaro Bautista, who also progressed from Q1, and Tech 3's Pol Espargaró, finished between them.

Saturday's 26-lap race at Assen gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +2)

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