Francesco Bagnaia will start the Dutch MotoGP from third place after a brilliant final sector saw him pip Takaaki Nakagami and Johann Zarco.

The Dutch TT circuit has been tough going for all the Ducati riders so far, however, Bagnaia and Zarco seemed to find some breakthroughs during FP4 and qualifying.  

But even with the improvements Bagnaia has made, the Italian is surprised by the struggles they’re having which include the Ducati ‘shaking’ on entry to ‘fast corners’ - which there are plenty around Assen. 

"We were not expecting to have this type of struggling this weekend. Our bike is very difficult to manage in the fast corners because it’s shaking a lot, and it’s very difficult to entry in the fast corners," added Bagnaia.

"But after yesterday we did a reset this morning and I started trying to do something different on the bike. 

"And from this morning to the Q2, I did some improvements on the riding style. 

"Step-by-step we were closer. In FP4 my pace was not too bad, but looking at the pace of the Yamaha, it’s five or six tenths slower. So, we need to do another step for tomorrow."

Bagnaia's top three Q2 time was initially at the expense of Zarco who was faster through the opening three sectors on their final laps, however, the Italian’s ability during the fast corners (a theme of 2021), in sector four allowed him to claw the time lost and even finish two tenths ahead of the Frenchman. 

When asked why he’s able to get more out of his Ducati compared to the others and especially Zarco this weekend, Bagnaia said: "I think it’s a mix of things. I’m always faster in some corners like this one (sector four fast turns). I know that he; maybe for the setting his bike is shaking more and I can control it better. 

"He’s always faster than me this weekend in the sector three, but me in the sector four. I think it’s just for the setting and because I like more corners like in the last sector."