The Assen TT circuit is iconic and has broken with the tradition of not racing on a Sunday for the first time, meaning Saturday is qualifying time. The Dutch weather was as unpredictable as ever with both Moto3 and Moto2 caught in showers despite being at opposite ends of the action.
Enea Bastianini found himself at the top of the timesheets when it mattered most to secure pole before the rain arrived for the first time during qualifying ahead of the Moto3 Dutch GP at the historic TT Assen circuit.
The Gresini rider was one of may vying for the top time in the early part of the session, but took his Honda for a fast 1m 43.463 second lap at just the right moment as the damp halted progress on track.
The Sky Racing Team VR46 bikes block out the next three places on the grid with Andrea Migno and top rookie Nicolo Bulega on the front row and Romano Fenati filling fourth after a great team effort to get in a good time with the weather predicted to change.
Championship leader Brad Binder also picked up some places over his practice form which had seem him struggle to make the top ten, placing his Red Bull KTM Ajo in fifth. The final spot on row two goes to Juanfran Guevara who put in his best qualifying performance of the season for sixth for RBA Racing.
The only Dutch rider, Bo Bendsneyder, pulled out the stops at home for seventh – a career best qualifying, with Fabio Di Giannantonio managing the same feat on his Gresini in ninth. Between them is Fabio Quartararo for Leopard in eighth.
Francesco Bagnaia was one of several riders to have a lap cancelled over the course of the session which saw the Aspar man drop to tenth.
Of all the riders one time favourite for the title Niccolo Antonelli had the most eventful of days with a crash at the beginning and end of the forty minutes, he starts 13th on the grid.
Not to be outdone practice leader by a margin Aron Canet crashed after just minutes, destroying his bike. Frantic rebuilding at Estrella Galicia saw him rejoin for the final ten minutes, but he could only progress to 16th in the wet.
The Peugeot team once again struggled with Britain’s John McPhee down in 21st after a promising start but still ahead of his team-mate Alexis Masbou who fills 23rd.
He is not the sole Brit in the class with Danny Webb replacing the outgoing Karel Hanika at Platinum Bay Real Estate, though 32nd and last he is just 2.7 seconds shy of the pole time in a tight class after a spell away.
Tom Luthi also made sure he had his fast lap on the timesheets early to secure pole position for the Moto2 Dutch GP at Assen, with experience ruling the way at the front of the grid.
The intermediate class followed a similar theme with an early fast lap crucial to success and though in Moto3 some of the riders on the cusp of the top ten able to find small improvements in the damp, the rain for Moto2 was much heavier, with riders only taking to track for wet weather practice and practice starts.
The Interwetten rider had shown strong pace throughout Friday and Saturday morning before setting his pole time of 1m 37.964s.
He is joined on the front row by reigning champion and title contender Johann Zarco, the last man to improve as the rain moved in as his Ajo Motorsport bike crossed the line, and fellow Interwetten rider Dominique Aegerter in third.
Sam Lowes also has one eye on the championship and will be looking to slip to the front from fourth for Gresini. He is joined on the second row of the grid by Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Taka Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda) who showed good pace around Assen in sixth.
The Dynavolt team had a good showing with Sandro Cortese seventh and Jonas Folger ninth, the pair split by championship leader Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) on the grid.
Lorenzo Baldassarri completes the top ten for the Forward Team.
Miguel Oliveira was once again top rookie in eleventh for Leopard, comfortably clear of his team-mate Danny Kent in 18th.
For the full Moto3 result click here.
For the full Moto2 result click here.