Scott Redding clinched his maiden MotoGP front row start after opting to 'take a gamble' in tricky conditions during Q2 at Assen.
Redding put his Pramac Ducati into third place and joins Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi after setting his fastest lap in 1m 46.312s, which left him 1.066s down on pole man Dovi as he finished as the leading independent rider.
The British rider said he decided to push harder in his second run by throwing caution to the wind, even though he was already holding a fine fifth place on the time sheets.
“I suffered a crash at the end of FP4 and my confidence was a bit different. I saw that the track was drying quite fast in Q1, so I knew it was going to be an advantage for me because I felt good in the rain and I didn't really know why I crashed, I guess it was just pushing too much with the front,” Redding said.
“In the qualifying I saw I was P5 when I came in to the pits and I had planned to make a stop. I felt I had nothing to lose and I could stay fifth or maybe slightly down or take some risks and be higher.
“I thought I'd just have to take the gamble and see how it goes. I got a good position out of pit lane behind Vale and Dovi and I said, 'OK, we will see what I can do',” he added.
“I made a couple of small mistakes off the line and it was quite slippery, but I'm happy to be in the front row for the first time.”
Redding says a degree of luck will be crucial if Sunday's race starts in wet conditions, with the track then beginning to dry out.
“In a flag to flag race, if it starts wet and starts to dry, you need to take the slick tyre as early as possible but you're taking more and more and more risks and you need to be lucky,” he said.
“For me, what was quite strange today was that when I went out, the track was looking quite dry, but when I put my foot down it was slippery but also on the tyres it was grippy.
“Sometimes I like to check a little bit in the braking or mid corner, but with the foot it was slippy and with the tyre it was grippy. I just decided to take a bit of a gamble.”
In the dry, Redding felt he struggled with the hard Michelin tyre and would have preferred extra dry track time to assess his options, but overall the satellite rider is satisfied with his day's work.
“We tried with the hard tyre but struggled a little bit and I feel we can have some more laps with the soft one,” said Redding. “It would've been nice to have had some more laps in the dry today but you can't have everything.”