Vinales on pole for MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix

Image Credits: Monster Yamaha MotoGP

It was time for MotoGP to qualify. The predicted rain never ended up arriving, meaning the session would be held in dry conditions. For those new to MotoGP, the top 10 in the combined practice sessions automatically go into Q2. The remaining 12 battle to get into the top two to get into the second session. third downwards would start 13th and down in the race, with Q2 deciding pole position.

Marc Marquez, Johann Zarco, and Francesco Bagnaia are the three biggest names in Q1, and only two could make it. However, it’s not out of the question that some underdogs like Lorenzo Salvadori and Jorge Martin could snag a place.

The pit lane opened, and riders came out to try and get a good banker lap in. The first laps left Bagnaia in front, from Salvadori, but there were problems for Zarco, who didn’t set a time early on. Martin took second on his second flying lap, as the minor placings chopped and changed.

With five minutes left, the riders began the waiting game, waiting for a top rider to come out. Indeed, when Zarco did come out, a line of riders followed. The first lap of the final runs left Bagnaia first with Iker Lecuona in second. Zarco made a mistake on his second lap, and it looked to be over.

Martin was flying though, a tenth up in sector one. It wasn’t to be though, as he mucked up sector four. It was Bagnaia and Lecuona into Q2. Marquez crashed on his second run and would start 20th, but Zarco made it over the line with a second to go and put in the latest lap humanly possible, making it into Q2.


It was time for Q2 then, Zarco and Bagnaia join MotoGP powerhouses of Fabio Quartararo, Miguel Oliveira, and Maverick Vinales in the shootout for pole position. Vinales looked difficult to beat in practice, but could he deliver where it counts in qualifying?

The lights went green, and the riders came out for their first run for pole. The first laps saw Quartararo on top from Vinales, with Zarco third, but this was all likely to change as the session unfolded. Then Quartararo took the all-time lap record, with the first-ever 1.31s lap in Dutch GP history.

It was time for the final runs then, with five minutes to go. Vinales had a moment in sector three, almost highsiding off the bike, but was up on his next lap. He did take provisional pole, lowering the lap record again. Quartararo began his last lap and needed to find 0.071sec to take pole off his teammate. Bagnaia then found a pile of time to put himself third, as Zarco and Quartararo put red first sectors in.

Oliveira went third in the dying moments but was pushed off by Nakagami. Quartararo made a mistake and would not start pole. It was Vinales, from Quartararo and Bagnaia. The second row would be Nakagami from Zarco and Oliveira.

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