Premier class qualifying got underway with a sense of urgency, even more than usual, with darkening cloud cover gathering over the Dutch circuit. However, rain never made a significant appearance and the enthusiastic crowds got to see Pecco Bagnaia secure back-to-back pole positions with a new all-time lap record around Assen. The Italian could even afford to sit out the final couple of minutes of Q2 without anyone being able to retaliate. Fabio Quartararo did manage to close the gap to one tenth of a second, but his final flying lap was compromised by a moment at turn five and the world champion had to settle for second on the grid. Jorge Martin was the early pacesetter, the youngster attacking the lap record straight out the gates but eventually dropping to third, not helped by a late tumble at turn five.
The Ducati deja-vu continued on the second row of the grid, where Marco Bezzecchi and Jack Miller sandwiched Aleix Espargaro. The impressive rookie ended the session less than three tenths of a second off pole and ahead of title contender Espargaro, while Miller could not improve on sixth following a late tumble at turn three and with another penalty possibly incoming, for impeding Maverick Viñales on his final flying lap.
Johann Zarco adds a Ducati to the third row of the grid as well, ahead of Q1 graduate Miguel Oliveira and a subdued Alex Rins, while Q1 leader Brad Binder shares fourth row with Viñales and the lonely Honda of Takaaki Nakagami. The factory KTMs looked like the overwhelming favourites throughout Q1, so the likes of Luca Marini, Joan Mir and Fabio Di Giannantonio had to settle for a fifth row start, with Mir also joining the generous crash list at turn five.
Q1 got off to a pretty disastrous start for Enea Bastianini, who abandoned his machine with a technical issue just after exiting pitlane and having to jog back to his garage. Although the Italian was able to rejoin for the final half of Q1, the best he could do on his second machine was to match his teammate and start 16th, opening sixth row in the rather unfamiliar company of Andrea Dovizioso and Stefan Bradl.
|15||49||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Ducati||1:32.912||0.427||0.014|