Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco took his first ever premier class pole position at the Dutch GP, dueling it out with reigning champion Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda right to the wire.
Marquez crossed the line first and his stunning lap left him in first position, but the flying Frenchman hit back immediately with a sensational ride to take his first pole on his final lap.
Zarco’s Assen heroics also make him the first French rider to take pole since Olivier Jacque in 2002.
Another rider who put in a riding masterclass was Danilo Petrucci, who followed up his first ever front row in the Catalan GP by repeating the feat in the Netherlands in very different conditions.
Factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi looked a contender for the top spot until his final sector, and although ultimately falling short, the Doctor heads the second row and has good scope to attack.
Scott Redding starts a season-best fifth after graduating from Q1 and topping FP3 on his Pramac Ducati, and Jonas Folger on the second Tech 3 Yamaha completes Row 2 after another impressive in the rain.
Alvaro Bautista piloted his satellite Ducati to P7 for his best QP of the season ahead of LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso completing the third row after suffering a crash in QP.
Aprilia’s Sam Lowes made the most of his first ever Q2 appearance, taking a top ten start to head up Row 4, ahead of championship leader Maverick Viñales on the factory Yamaha.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa starts from P12 after a more difficult day in the rain.