25 June 2016
Moto3 Assen: Bastianini returns to form for pole as rain arrives
Enea Bastianini claimed Moto3 pole position at 'The Cathedral' for the second year in succession, as the predicted wet weather arrived at Assen.
Enea Bastianini took his first pole since Aragon last year as a a well timed lap saw him top qualifying at Dutch Moto3 Grand Prix, rain stopping any late challenges at the iconic Assen track.
The Gresini Honda rider set the the best time of the day with a 1 42.463s lap just before the final flurry out of the pits in the search for a final fast lap, and with the weather far from perfect the cloudy and windy conditions were joined by rain flags with ten minutes remaining, leaving no-one able to challenge the time.
KTM's Sky Racing VR46 team riders were well organised for the changeable conditions with Andrea Migno securing second, just 0.053s shy of Bastianini's best, with top rookie Nicolo Bulega also making a return to the front row for the second time this year in third.
Their final team member Romano Fenati will lead row two of the grid after setting the fourth best time.
Championship leader Brad Binder improved on his practice form to secure a fifth place start for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team.
Juanfran Guevara secured his best grid position this year, slotting in to sixth for RBA with the championships only Dutch rider, Bo Bendsneyder, rising to the occasion at home for Red Bull KTM Ajo in seventh, a career best since joining the championship by four places.
Leopard's Fabio Quartararo sits in eighth after starting his session by stalling in pit lane, Gresini's Fabio DiGiannantonio impressed in ninth for Gresini, his best ever grid position, while Aspar's Francesco Bagnaia completes the top ten after dropping down the timesheets slightly after a cancelled lap.
Niccolo Antonelli had an eventful session for all the wrong reasons - crashing out at both the beginning and end of the session. In between he set a time good enough for a 13th place start for Ongetta-Rivacold.
Aron Canet had lead the way with a pair of confident practice performances after a crash in the first session, but after showing the pace to succeed a big fall just six minutes into the session saw the Spanish rookie smash his bike to pieces and hopes of a pole fade away.
Both sets of Estrella Galicia 0,0 mechanics worked hard to return the bike to the track, unfortunately the ten minutes they got for him were in the wet track time, leaving him 16th as one of few riders making progress at the close.
Netherlands based team RW Racing saw their rider Livio Loi place 19th.
The Peugeot MC Saxoprint team riders again struggled, a bright start for John McPhee saw him feature in the top ten before fading to 21st, Alexis Masbou starts 23rd.
Albert Arenas is a last minute replacement for Jorge Martin at Aspar, who tried to race in practice before electing for more recovery time. Arenas starts 27th.
Hiroki Ono also misses the Assen weekend through injury, he is not replaced, unlike championship challenger Jorge Navarro who after breaking his tibia and fibula in training sees Lorenzo Dalla Porta return to Moto3 to keep his seat warm at Estrella Galicia.
Danny Webb also stages a world championship return on the Platinum Bay Real Estate vacated by Karel Hanika. The British rider, fresh from his latest performance at the Isle of Man TT, sits in 32nd,
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