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Rossi Scores Pole at Assen


The one chink in Valentino Rossi’s armor this year is his relatively poor performance in qualifying. Frequently starting from the third row, or worse, Rossi has repeatedly sliced and diced his way to the podium.

At Assen, he will start from pole position in his effort to retain the championship points lead over Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who qualified back in 8th position earlier today.  Here are the qualifying results for Q2 at Assen:

Pos. Num. Rider Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 46 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 313.0 1’32.627
2 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 300.5 1’32.858 0.231 / 0.231
3 93 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Honda 314.5 1’32.886 0.259 / 0.028
4 26 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team Honda 314.2 1’32.987 0.360 / 0.101
5 44 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 311.2 1’33.013 0.386 / 0.026
6 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team Ducati 315.8 1’33.016 0.389 / 0.003
7 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW CWM LCR Honda Honda 311.8 1’33.028 0.401 / 0.012
8 99 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 308.3 1’33.042 0.415 / 0.014
9 25 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 304.4 1’33.076 0.449 / 0.034
10 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team Ducati 317.9 1’33.112 0.485 / 0.036
11 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 308.9 1’33.126 0.499 / 0.014
12 38 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 311.8 1’33.236 0.609 / 0.110


  1. Vrooom says:

    Those Suzuki’s must handle really well. Their top speed is way below everyone else, but they’re right in the mix lap time wise. The Ducati’s look fast in the straights, and apparently are.

  2. hh says:

    Assen..the old matador vs the young bull..that’s the 2nd time this year Marquez has charged Rossi and did not get the result he wanted..learn from it.

  3. Artem_T says:

    Yes, he win. But I like Lorenzo.

  4. TF says:

    Wow, that was some race!

  5. Brinskee says:

    Finally Rossi pays respect to the qualifying process so he can get a good start and not sabotage his chances with the race. Finally! I’m pulling for him to get the win with this one!

  6. Provologna says:

    I rode in close proximity to good riders on bikes making 150hp+. But nothing is like being up close next to these guys at the track. If you have not experienced it, fix that at the first opportunity. The bikes alone are absolutely amazing. The fact that mortals can control them and ride them to their potential even more so (regardless the modern “rider aids” at their disposal).

    Say a prayer for Rossi. I did.

  7. achrider says:

    Can someone explain how qualifying works? I don’t follow qualifying so not sure. Do the riders need to complete all the laps as in the race?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The riders are shooting for the fastest time around the track to determine starting position on the grid. Fastest time gets pole position, 2nd fastest gets the number 2 starting position on the grid and so on. It actually starts with the free practice sessions whereby the riders are attempting to get into either Qualifying Session 1 (Q1) The 10 fastest riders automatically go to Q1. The rest of the riders fight it out in Q2. The two fastest riders from Q2 get to move on to Q1 while everyone else from Q2 starts in positions 13 and up according to their times. Then the Q1 riders fight for pole position through position 12.

      • Bigshankhank says:

        So if you are on the bubble, you might have to essentially run five sessions; three practice getting you into Q2 and placing 12/13 which then takes you into Q1. So, busy weekend for those two riders.

        • True, while noting that there are actually 7 sessions prior to the race: free practice 1 thru 4, Qualifying 1 and 2, then the morning warmup on race day.
          As described by Jeremy in TX, most riders will ride just 6 of the 7, except for the top two finishers in Q1.

      • Vince says:

        Great explanation J but the final Qualifying session is the one called “Q2”. The penultimate one , where only the top two advance is called “Q1”. It’s just a labeling difference…

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Thanks for the correction, Vince. I knew that – don’t know what I was thinking. Sorry for any confusion achrider.

      • achrider says:

        Thanks Jeremy!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      And to answer your other question, riders do not have to complete all the laps. They can complete as many as they can or as few as they want during the allotted time. Marquez got himself into trouble not long ago by pitting before the end of the session confident that a lap time he put down was good enough to secure a spot in Q1. It wasn’t.

  8. John II says:

    This looks to be a very exciting race. I will be up early to watch this one live, no catch up with DVR.
    Predictions anyone: Rossi wins, unless read further, Lorenzo second, and Pedrosa third. Marquez crashes out hopefully not taking out Rossi in the process, even with switch to 2014 frame to make 2015 engine work with his riding style. Everybody else fades as usual.

    • mickey says:

      I call Marquez 1st Rossi second, Pedro 3 rd and Lorenzo 4 th. After that its a crap shoot.

    • VLJ says:

      1: Rossi 2. Pedrosa 3. Lorenzo

      Marquez crashes out when his helmet speakers inexplicably switch from “Flight of the Valkyries” to “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” Lorenzo gets held up early and loses touch with the lead pack. Playing it safe, he cruises home to a lonely third-place finish, well behind Dani, who also runs a lonely race in second. Oh, and the British Rip Taylor doing the TV broadcast has a litter of kittens on air while incessantly exclaiming, “This has been a master class by Valentino Rossi! The Doctor is BACK!”

      • VLJ says:

        I forgot Nick Harris’s other ubiq1uitous exclamation: “That was a classic Assen pass!”

        Hmmm. Well, I got two out of three right, and the most important two, at that. Yay.

        • mickey says:

          Lol my prediction went all to heck when Pedrosa let his clutch out and nothing happened and everyone left him at the line lol. It looked for a short bit like it might be MM, Rossi, Lorenzo. Now if Dani had played his part and been in third I’d have been looking pretty smart at that point. Should never count Rossi out, and Dani let me down.

    • Gary says:

      I think Marquez is overdue … and very hungry. But he’s out of the hunt. If Rossi finishes on the podium, ahead of Lorenzo, it will be awesome.

  9. Scruby says:

    The last four races have been a bit of a snooze at the front.Maybe this race will make up for it.Go Rossi.

    • notarollingroadblock says:

      Today’s FP3 and Q2 were better than a lot of races. Let’s hope tomorrow’s race is as good.

  10. Gary says:

    Wow. Just … wow. Go, Rossi!

  11. Gutterslob says:

    Needed to rub my eyes at first because I thought they’d messed up and switched Lorenzo’s place with Rossi’s.

  12. Blackcayman says:

    A lot of “what ifs” are going to answered this weekend.

    Will VR46 run away from the start?

    I personally would like to see him dominate the rest of the season and capture the Championship. 10 has a nice ring to it.

  13. lynchenstein says:

    How do those Km/h numbers work? Dovizioso managed 317.9 while Rossi on pole got 313.0.
    Is that the maximum speed they achieved during their qualifying run? I wonder what’s the point of noting that. Can anyone who more knowledgeable in these matters please enlighten me please?

    • Gutterslob says:

      Yeah, it’s the speed recorded at the fastest point of the circuit. There’s no way they could average that on any track.

    • Gutterslob says:

      …and no, I have no clue why they include that in the timing-sheet or press-release.

    • Big Al says:

      It has a lot to done with the horse power of the motorcycle vs the torque. More horse power generally equals more speed on long straight-aways. Torque is useful out the corners to get up to speed.

      In short:
      more HP = more top speed
      More torque = getting to top speed faster

      You can fiddle with this by changing final drive gear ratios up and down to set the bike up for different tracks.

      In Rossi’s case, and here I tend to be biased, he is just that much better a rider. (IMHO)

      • MeanChuck says:

        Horsepower- how fast you hit the wall

        Torque- how far you go through the wall

      • Jon says:

        This is wrong though. Horsepower accelerates you and horsepower gives you a higher top speed.
        High peak torque in a street vehicle means you make decent horsepower at low rpm, so you have a decent spread of horsepower over a commonly used rpm band = good acceleration.
        Race machines are tuned for horsepower; peak torque is irrelevant without knowing the rpm it arrives at; don’t swallow the harley davidson marketing cool aid.

        • Big Al says:

          Motogp races are not decided by peak horse power, but by how the power can be applied to accelerate out of corners faster. All of the the digital aids on the bike are there to help make this happen. To an extent on the straight-aways as well. Some of the earliest aids in motogp were mechanical enhancements that were engineered to help the rider make line transitions around corners. Anti dive, counter rotating brake rotors, single rear shocks with adjustable linkages. All of these were developed on GP race bikes. Now the digital age is haveing a go at it. All of these enhancements, tried and true and somewhat dubious make little difference if the rider can’t or doesn’t have the bullocks to pin it and ride it to the edge. Mike Hailwood was one of those riders. Rossi, and some others tomorrow will have a chance to prove they have them too.

          The horse power vs torque debate is endless and is well documented. Perhaps try to consider regarding torque as the ability to not stall under load. Two stoke engines have lots of hp, but no torque except for a very narrow range within thier “power band”. In that range it would be hard to stall them. Two stroke GP bikes were notorious for needing to be “on the the pipe”.

          • Jon says:

            I didn’t say anything about peak horsepower. It’s about having a good spread of power over the rpm range you are using. If that range is at high rpm you don’t need a lot of torque to hit big horsepower.

            Two strokes only lack torque if they are tuned that way. Cc for cc they can easily make more torque than a 4 stroke.

          • Big Al says:

            Here is a pretty good explanation about what torque is and how it relates to HP.

            SPOILER ALERT

            there is a history lesson in it.


          • Dave says:

            Below a certain speed, all motogp bikes make more power than can be used. Above that speed, if you are at a deficit to a near-equal rival, you cannot win. They will have the power to achieve a higher top-speed than you.

            Assen dies not punish this difference as much as other, more open tracks. A. espargaro’s stellar 2nd place qualifying with a 14kph lower top speed proves that.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Anyone not familiar with MotoGP that has gotten into a discussion with me about the series asks this question: “How fast do they go?” Usually, it is the first question they ask. Sometimes the only question they ask. It was one of the first questions I had when I became interested in MotoGP. I suspect they record those speed figures for no other than reason than lots of people are just obsessed with speed and want to know.

      It is also revealing as to how much horsepower a particular machine has vs. another which is why I am still interested in those speeds.

    • lynchenstein says:

      thanks for the info, guys/gals.

    • Norm G. says:

      now look at the trap speed for the Zook in P2. that’s a corner speed carrying som-bitch.

      • Dave says:

        Holy smokes! A. Espargaro goes 2nd Q while 14kph down on top speed?

        If he gets even horsepower to the others in thet Suzuki, nobody will be able to stay within .5sec./lap of him.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        No kidding. That chassis is something special. If they can find a way to keep the engine from grenading at full power, that is going to be the bike/rider to beat.

    • bikerrandy says:

      200 mph = 322 kph, so Dovi did just under 200 mph at 1 point.