Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia set an all-time lap record at the Assen circuit to claim his second straight Moto GP pole this season at the Dutch Grand Prix on Saturday.

World champion Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha took second while Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin completed the front row.

With the threat of rain looming large, riders started aggressively in Q2 and it was Martin who set the early pace but the Spaniard was overhauled by a flying Bagnaia, who also secured pole in Germany last week but crashed out in the race.

“For me it was very difficult today. This morning (during practice) I wasn't so happy... in the afternoon it was much better,” said the Italian.

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Rookie Marco Bezzecchi was fourth, edging out Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro. “ Pecco (Bagnaia) was just amazing like he always is in qualifying,” said Quartararo, who also set a lap record but had to settle for second.

 

“I did my best ... our place looks good. Hopefully a great start and great race before the summer break.”

Enea Bastianini's slim championship hopes suffered a massive blow after the Gresini Racing rider faced a mechanical failure early in Q1 and never quite recovered, only managing 16th place on the grid.

Quartararo, chasing his fourth win this season, has a 34-point lead over Espargaro at the top of the overall standings, with Johann Zarco of Pramac Ducati 27 points further back in third.