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Assen Moto3: Miller finds space to snatch Assen pole

Jack Miller judged his run just right in qualifying for pole position ahead of the Dutch Moto3 Grand Prix at Assen.
Jack Miller broke the lap record to top the Dutch Moto3 Grand Prix qualifying session in Assen, his impressive run awarding him his fourth pole this year as he conquered the overcast and showery conditions.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took a risk in leaving the pits late in a planned effort to find some clear track despite rain being a constant threat.

The frantic action of the opening minutes saw Romano Fenati as the early pace-setter before the lap record - only set in FP2 by rookie Enea Bastianini- was to be lowered again by Alex Marquez.

Rain returned to splinter the session. The final ten minutes saw the skies clear and all the bikes return for a shootout for pole with the Australian championship leader timing his run perfectly to break the pole lap time even further, his 1m 42.240s time 1.34 seconds under Miguel Oliveira's old record from last season.

Marquez's time held strong to place the Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider in second on the grid.

Miller's KTM and Marquez's Honda are joined by the Husqvarna of Niklas Ajo in third after some tight towing pulled the Finn up to his best ever qualifying position, also a best for the Husqvarna brand since joining Moto3.

Fourth went to Alexis Masbou after a fast late lap aboard his Ongetta-Rivacold machine. The Frenchman is joined by Junior Team Go & Fun's Niccolo Antonelli in fifth and The second Estrella Galicia bike of Alex Rins after some running repairs in sixth.

Isaac Vinales starts seventh for Team Calvo with Karel Hanika the top rookie qualifier in eighth for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

They are joined on the third row by Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Fenati, who looked to have got past his practice problems; the Italian missed out on FP3 with his mechanics frantically repairing his bike; only to see his early pace swamped in the closing minutes by a flurry of fast laps leaving the Italian ninth on the grid.

John McPhee, who since changing engine has been battling against chatter, took his SaxoPrint-RTG to tenth as the session drew to a close, one place ahead of fellow Briton Danny Kent in 11th on the Husqvarna.

Moto3 remains as close as ever as the top ten riders were all under half a second behind Miller's top time.

Enea Bastianini could not find his practice pace and had to settle for 12th, while Miguel Oliveira was the top Mahindra in 13th as his old lap record was obliterated.

Jasper Iwema returns to the paddock to wild-card in his home grand prix. He finishes the best placed Dutch rider in 17th ahead of fellow wild-card Thomas Van Leeuwen, the only crasher despite the difficult conditions just ten minutes in leaving him 34th.

The championships regular Netherlands representatives Scott Deroue and Bryan Schouten were 21st and 29th respectively.
by Lisa Lewis

Tagged as: KTM , Miller

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