29.06.2019

Sixth Q2 entry of 2019 for Espargaro at hot TT Circuit Assen

MotoGP 2019 - Round 8, TT Circuit Assen (NED)
Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 MotoGP Holland 2019

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Fantastic summer conditions greeted the second and critical day of action at the Motul TT Assen for the oldest and one of the most prestigious Grands Prix on the calendar. The grandstands were already busy for the 71st running of the Dutch round and across a fast track that was bumpy in key spots but also offered considerable grip.

Pol Espargaro came to Assen struggling with a painful right hand as a consequence of his crash in the IRTA test directly after the previous race in Barcelona. The Spaniard had difficulty while turning and braking into certain corners but still persevered to make the cut in Q1 with his last (and quickest) effort of the weekend so far. Pol then tried to make inroads in the top ten with three attempts but finally rested his hand and accepted 12th after the fifteen-minute chrono.

Johann Zarco took profit of the work made in the last test in Catalunya to further develop his style and feeling with his racebike. The Frenchman dropped his fastest lap by 1.4 seconds between FP1 and FP2 and set his best time of the weekend in Q1 today but a late, slow speed fall in the session ended any more potential improvement.

Next door in the Red Bull KTM Tech3 pitbox, Miguel Oliveira was marginally faster than Zarco and will roll into 17th place as Hafizh Syahrin was the third of the KTM group in 19th.

Pol Espargaro: “For sure I am not riding as I want or I wish but it is what I have right now. It is better than in Barcelona where I could not move two fingers or my wrist up or down. We expect the race tomorrow to be really hot and very tricky for everyone. The whole grid might slow the rhythm and I will feel a bit more comfortable. Let’s see what lap-time I can hold.”

Johann Zarco: “Apart from FP3 we made improvements and went quicker in each session. I had a good solution that gave me a great feeling in FP2 and we were hopeful for Saturday but we reached a limit and couldn't go any faster. A hard Saturday. In the top fifteen would be my first satisfaction tomorrow and to have a constant race. 26 laps will be long but I will be focussed on it and see if the others are struggling more than me with the used tyre.”

Miguel Oliveira: “I think we had a decent qualifying today. In the last run I felt I had a bit more potential to improve the lap time. Finally the sixth row on the grid is not so bad overall. We really want to finish in the points again so starting already close to these positions is an important step. I’m confident for tomorrow.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “I felt quite well and overall the qualifying times were really tight. For sure it will be interesting for tomorrow’s race. I try to make a good start, which is very important and of course give my best to stay on the bike. It should be a bit colder on Sunday, so I hope we did the right choice regarding the tyre. After two DNF’s, I really just wish to finish the race and come back with a smile.”

Moto2 & Moto3

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder set the fastest lap after Free Practice 1 & 2 on Friday. The South African was part of a typically tight and tense Qualification period today and went through Q1 to seal 2nd on the grid, just a tenth of a second from Pole Position. Jorge Martin was 14th. In Moto3 SKY Racing Team VR46’s Celestino Vietti took his KTM to 5th position while Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Can Öncü was 17th for one of the rookie’s higher qualification rankings of the season so far.

Races: June 30, 2019 – Moto3 11.00 | Moto2 12.20 | MotoGP 14.00 CET

Results Qualifying MotoGP TT Circuit Assen 2019

1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), Yamaha 1:32.017
2. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha +0.140
3. Alex Rins (ESP), Suzuki + 0.441
4. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda +0.714
5. Joan Mir (ESP), Suzuki +1.068
12. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +1.297
17. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 1:33.706
18. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM 1:33.776
19. Hafizh Syahrin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 1:33.869

Results Qualifying Moto2 TT Circuit Assen 2019

1. Remy Gardner (AUS) Kalex 1:36.572
2. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.110
3. Xavi Vierge (ESP) Kalex +0.144
14. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.074

Results Qualifying Moto3 TT Circuit Assen 2019

1. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA) Honda 1:41.232
2. Kaito Toba (JPN) Honda +0.144
3. Tony Arbolino (ITA) Honda +0.157
20. Can Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.361

Contact:
Press & PR Manager
Sebastian Kuhn
+43 676 599 0084
sebastian.kuhn@ktm.com

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Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 MotoGP Holland 2019
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