Johann Zarco beat Tito Rabat to pole position at the Dutch Moto2 Grand Prix, as the pair took turns to lower the lap record.

After an exciting rivalry between Ajo Motorsports man Zarco and Marc VDS rider Rabat the session stagnated with fifteen minutes remaining, leaving Zarco's time of 1m 36.346 unchallenged and placing the Frenchman on pole.

The time is a new record around Assen. The old lap record, held by Marc Marquez and set in 2012 had looked secure after practice but first Rabat and then Zarco took chunks out of it with Kalex rider Zarco's final time better by over seven tenths.

Their battle for time left Rabat in second, with the EG 0,0 Marc VDS man putting in a massive 26 laps as he looked to maintain his pace over the race distance.

The only other rider to find sub 1m37s pace was Sam Lowes, bucking the trend and improving on his penultimate lap for Speed Up in a static close to the session, consolidating his third place position on the grid.

Simone Corsi had a spectacular crash sending his Athina Forward Racing bike spinning through the gravel at turn nine after a good start had seen the Italian post the fourth best time.

He returned for one more lap after his bike was fixed but it was that early charge which held to keep him in fourth as the session saw few improvements, though over a second off Zarco's top time.

Fifth went to Jonas Folger who had a personal best run in the middle of the session for the AGR Team, with Xavier Simeon leaving it late to improve to sixth for Gresini.

Alex Rins starts on row three as top rookie in seventh for the Paginas Amarillas HP 40 team.
The Spaniard is joined by Tom Luthi, who had impressed in practice but failed to match his form in qualifying for Derendinger Racing Interwetten in eighth and Lorenzo Baldassarri on the second of the Forward entries in ninth.

Taka Nakagami pushed in the closing minutes to take tenth for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia, displacing Axel Pons who had held the position with his best lap coming on just his fourth lap of the track.

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)and Ratthapark Wilairot (JPMoto Malaysia) saw their session end early after late crashes, Marquez had done enough before his fall for 13th on the grid, Wilairot starts 27th.

Last years race winner, wet weather specialist Ant West, qualified down in 23rd on the grid for QMMF Racing Team.

Local rider Jasper Iwema returns to Assen for a wild-card ride for the Abbink GP team, adding another Speed Up to the grid, he qualified 31st.

The Dutch rider will not be last on the grid as Franco Morbidelli is demoted to the back of the grid for his part in Axel Pons' crash in Catalunya, the Italian had managed 20th in the session.