2015 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result: Determination Makes The Difference

Results and summary of qualifying practice at Assen:

Valentino Rossi has taken a surprise pole in qualifying at Assen. The Movistar Yamaha has been fast throughout every session of practice, but has struggled ever since the new qualifying format was introduced. He found his feet immediately in Q2, being fastest through the first three sectors, then on his second run, the Italian set a pace no one else was capable of following. Rossi took pole with a margin of nearly a quarter of a second. It was his first pole position since Valencia 2014, but the one previous to that was back in 2010.

Aleix Espargaro had looked like making it two poles in a row, the Suzuki working very well round Assen with the soft tire, but he ended up being bumped down to 2nd. He just squeaked ahead of Marc Marquez, the Repsol Honda rider finding a way to ride around the problems of the RC213V, and threatening to take pole here before being knocked down the order. 

Dani Pedrosa will head up the second row, the Spaniard just a tenth of a second off the pace of his Repsol Honda teammate. Pedrosa leads a very tight group: less than a tenth of a second separates Pedrosa in 4th from Andrea Dovizioso in 10th. Jorge Lorenzo ended up swapping fortunes with his Movistar Yamaha teammate: the Spaniard will start from the middle of the third row in 8th.

The pace of qualifying was blistering. All 12 riders qualified under Casey Stoner's pole record from 2012, and under Marc Marquez' fastest lap from 2014.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'32.627    
2 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'32.858 0.231 0.231
3 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'32.886 0.259 0.028
4 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'32.987 0.360 0.101
5 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha 1'33.013 0.386 0.026
6 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1'33.016 0.389 0.003
7 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'33.028 0.401 0.012
8 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'33.042 0.415 0.014
9 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki 1'33.076 0.449 0.034
10 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'33.112 0.485 0.036
11 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'33.126 0.499 0.014
12 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 1'33.236 0.609 0.110
Q1 results
Q2 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'33.380    
Q2 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'33.503 0.123 0.123
13 6 Stefan Bradl Yamaha Forward 1'33.789 0.409 0.286
14 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1'33.875 0.495 0.086
15 76 Loris Baz Yamaha Forward 1'33.999 0.619 0.124
16 45 Scott Redding Honda 1'34.071 0.691 0.072
17 8 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'34.223 0.843 0.152
18 63 Mike Di Meglio Ducati 1'34.289 0.909 0.066
19 50 Eugene Laverty Honda 1'34.428 1.048 0.139
20 43 Jack Miller Honda 1'34.645 1.265 0.217
21 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'34.736 1.356 0.091
22 69 Nicky Hayden Honda 1'34.972 1.592 0.236
23 15 Alex De Angelis ART 1'35.189 1.809 0.217
24 33 Marco Melandri Aprilia 1'36.376 2.996 1.187


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I commented about his potential earlier this week. He just continues to shine. Right on the heals of Dovi despite being on the slower Duc.. truly impressive

He's one of those guys that jumps to the front when it's wet. That to me speaks volumes about his feel for traction and overall talent. Get him on that GP16 next year!

... in 5 years.... Rossi is a legend and I'm very fortunate to follow his whole career...To be right there at the top for so many years... Biaggi, Gibernau, Criville, Roberts JR., Melandri, Hayden, Stoner, Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Marquez........

Interesting qualifying session. Honda and Yamaha have been swapping top honors on the timing sheets. They say Assen is a physical track that rewards bigger riders. Vale seems to be in the catbird seat, but Dani has been sneaky fast all weekend. Not sure about Marc, he seemed a bit out of control during most of practice.

When a rider gets a string of wins (JL, MM) they always look invincible. But this sport is great because there are no certainties.

JL on only the third row, but 12 riders beating CS lap pole record, it's absolutely remarkable and, in part, says something of the standard of riders now, it's very high.

Obviously if VR is this fast in qualifying, then he is likely to be very good in the race, depending on start. But JL is a great racer (easy to forget when he pulls away like a scalded cat), and he could be at the front in two corners.

And if MM doesn't bin it and the Ducs are fast, and DP is fast too, tomorrow could be a great race at a great circuit.

Could we finally get the MM, JL, VR 3 way battle we've waited over two years for? Three great racers, wouldn't that be something?

It is not hyperbole in the case of Valentino Rossi.

Credit must also be given to Rossi's crew and the engineers who have done such good work on the bike. I'm sure Rossi would be quick to mention this if
he has not already done so.

Brothers and sisters, the bells at the Cathedral are a-ringing. Put on your best motorbike racing shirt and gather with open hearts and bright spirits to share in the greatest of glory. The big tent is up. We have before us a most blessed occasion.

The great mystery manifests in wonders untold but foreseen in visions and dreams of the wise and faithful. Miracles before our eyes as Father Rossi shares the good message of hope and triumph. The pliable envelope of the possible opened by Suzuki even while down a dozen KPH of top speed. A.Espargaro and bright sky blue of angels heralded by harps. Having availed themselves to divine redemption, Ducati changed their ways and no longer stray from the path to glory. Is Pastor Dovisioso to answer the call to trancendence? Reverend Lorenzo has brought the great graceful butter lamp to light the way at many such occasion and we have both reason that he may do so again despite his lack of faith while committed on the edge without solid grip of his path.

And be wary of the dark deceitful burn from below sisters and brothers. You know of what I speak. The hubris of grabbing and grasping. An insatiable hunger that leaves pain and suffering in its wake. Uncontrollable urgency and struggling with power. Unforgiving rigidity. A ruthless nature with which the good path is lost and one is cast into shadowy pits of gravel. So close are heaven and hell for those seeking to lead the march with such haste. A fall from grace and a trancendence of mortal struggle are not so different my friends. Let us hope that Brother Marquez and his unwieldy steed can come to grips with their higher nature while such darkness awaits them at every turn.

And let us please all hold in our hearts those less fortunate that still arise beyond limitations. Friends, the second pack is large and within a tenth. Brother Pedrosa may regain his majestic enlightened starts and join the heavenly saints in front. And behind him glory may await as well. Forget not those left in rags and remnants cast aside from the fortunate, for amongst them a child is born that carries the light of the future.

A portion of our collection on this special day will go to benefit both Aprilia and especially dear brother Melandri who was stricken from his former good fortune. May he return to it as soon as possible, or quickly find peace until flourishing with a new bike anointed with Michelins.

Glory in the highest! We gather in love and hope, for the heavenly arrival of the greatest of joys. Four manufacturers, a handful of riders, great 225mph and 62 degrees of lean, the wonderful mystery of Assen, and miracles.

May it be so!

thats a nice result to wake up to.. wrong side of the world for this European deal. I was across in the Netherlands for work a month or so ago... wish work would get me there at the right time. Race is at midnight. Should be good.

For Rossi, rather understated in the above here in my opinion sorry David-no velvet paragraph of wonderment, shock and awe like we get when Jorge or Marc do something similar? Rossi's form at Assen is stunning. That lap was certainly deserving of more praise, smashing the previous lap record by a second!
Harder rubber.... no surprises Marc is also looking more competitive, and Jorge is looking, well, off the pace possibly fighting for fifth again.

Whilst I'm all for excitement and good racing, I firmly believe now that someone needs to have a good chat to Marc Marquez about getting things more under control before we see something truly tragic occur.

...I'd like to order a parcel of whatever it is you consume at your kitchen table.
Preferably wrapped in brown greaseproof paper, tied with string and posted with lots of brightly coloured stamps to the People's Independent Republic of Yorkshire (South).

Guiness on racedays brother Funsize. Closer to you than me in Portland, Oregon USA. But there have been some special psilocybin mushrooms on rare occasion and I recommend them as a cure for conventional mediocrity! And or meditation. And or spending a good amount of time on tracks with a well sorted bike on decent tires. All do vaguely similar things and are cheaper than therapy.

This looks like the best race of the year so far, plenty to be excited about.