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Bezzecchi on Dutch MotoGP pole, more misery for Marquez

Marco Bezzecchi nailed pole for the Dutch MotoGP in record style on Saturday as Marc Marquez suffered more misery.

Bezzecchi became the 13th different pole sitter at Assen in the past 13 visits to the classic venue known as ‘the Cathedral of Speed’.

The Italian secured only his second pole in MotoGP when lowering the track record with a flying lap of 1 minute 31.472 seconds.

Riding for Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Ducati satellite team he is joined on the front row by world champion Francesco Bagnaia and his VR46 teammate Luca Marini.

“I’m very happy with this pole, I feel good with the bike,” said Bezzecchi, who was building on his dominance of all three practice sessions.

After struggling in Friday’s opening practice on his factory Ducati, Bagnaia was relieved to qualify in second.

“It’s like night and day compared to yesterday morning when the bike was hard to handle,” said Bagnaia.

“But we made rapid improvements which gives me reason to smile and be optimistic for the races.”

Behind the all-Ducati front of the grid on the second row are Fabio Quartararo’s Yamaha, KTM’s Brad Binder and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).

For Marquez it was another difficult day at the office on his Honda.

The Spanish motorcycling star has endured a wretched season and the six-time champion’s woes continued in Assen.

He arrived at the eighth round of the season after five crashes in Sachsenring last weekend nursing injuries to his ankle and ribs.

The Spaniard hit the deck in practice on Friday, and was dusting himself off again after a calamitous loss of concentration in the first qualifying session.

As he was looking over his shoulder he ran into Enea Bastianini’s bike in front of him to end up once again falling off his Honda and on the gravel.

It left the 30-year-old starting way back in 17th in the grid for Saturday’s sprint and Sunday’s main event.

This season Bagnaia leads the standings by 14 points from Jorge Martin, who starts from 10th after a crash on one of his ‘hot’ laps.

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