The Dutch GP qualifying session at the TT Circuit Assen was a showdown between the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders. The fight for pole was between Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo, with the former winning the shoot-out by just 0.071s.
Viñales had continued the positive momentum from Day 1 in Assen on qualifying day in the FP3 and FP4 sessions, and it put an extra spring in his step for Q2. He left the Factory Yamaha garage as soon as possible. His benchmark lap of 1‘32.413s put him in provisional first place until his teammate crossed the finish line after his first hot lap.
The Spaniard returned to the pit immediately for a fresh tyre. With seven and a half minutes remaining, he dashed out for his second run. He had a 0.491s gap to bridge to take over the top spot. Unable to improve on his next flyer due to a big moment in Turn 9, he put his head down once more. He then set a 1‘31.814, a new All Time Lap Record. He couldn't make further strides on his next attempt, but his incredible fastest time earned him his first pole of the season.
Quartararo had the opposite strategy at the start of the qualifying session. He allowed most of the riders to exit pit lane before stepping aboard his M1 to start the Q2 shoot-out in peace, without tailing rivals. He took over from Viñales at the top of the timesheets with a 1‘32.336s first attempt, but he had more to give. He set a 1‘31.922s, the first ever sub-1‘32s lap at the Circuit TT Assen. It put him 0.491s ahead of his teammate in second place.
With seven and a half minutes remaining, he entered pit lane for a quick stop and a fresh rear tyre. He improved his time to a 1‘31.885s, reducing the gap to 0.071s. El Diablo loves qualifying and doesn‘t settle for second place. However, a small mistake in Turn 10 cost him the pole on his last hot lap. He will start the race from second on the grid, making it a Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1-2.