Marc Marquez has undergone successful surgery on his arm, after the Honda driver underwent a "complex" procedure.

The six-time MotoGP world champion announced a leave of absence at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend to confirm a fourth operation on his right humerus.

The Spaniard broke his arm during his home Grand Prix in 2020, ultimately curtailing the rest of his campaign, while a struggle for fitness has been an issue since his return in April 2021.

That has prompted the decision to go under the knife once more for a complicated operation in Minnesota, which has now been cleared as a success by the medical team.

"Today we had the opportunity to operate on the right humerus of Mr. Marc Marquez," Dr. Sanchez Sotelo said in a statement. "The procedure was completed in approximately three hours.

"Despite the complexity of the procedure, the final outcome was satisfactory.  We would like to wish Mr. Marquez a swift recovery and a successful return to his professional career."

Marquez made his MotoGP debut in 2013 with Honda and promptly went on to win the first of his half-dozen world titles in his maiden campaign.

He will remain in Minnesota over the coming days for post-operative recovery before he returns home to Spain.

Enea Bastianini secured a big win at the French Grand Prix after a battle with Francesco Bagnaia, which ended with the latter crashing out.

Bagnaia started on pole alongside fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller, and led for most of the race.

However, after working his way up from fifth, Bastianini overtook Miller and started making ground up on Bagnaia at the front.

The drama arrived on lap 21 as Bastianini overtook Bagnaia, before the latter immediately took his position back, only to hit the kicker and run wide, allowing Bastianini to ease back into the lead.

Matters got much worse for Bagnaia just a few turns later as he crashed out, seemingly trying too hard to make the ground up.

Bagnaia had finished on the podium in six of his previous 12 MotoGP races (five wins), though had not reached it in any of his three Grand Prixs at Le Mans in the top category, and that run continued this time around.

Miller came home in second to at least give Ducati something to cheer, while Aleix Espargaro held off a challenge from Fabio Quartararo to take third.

Quartararo had finished on the podium in his previous two races and if he had done so in France, would have equalled his best run so far in the top category (three podiums in a row twice).

Alex Rins and Joan Mir made it a weekend to forget for Suzuki Ecstar as they both failed to finish, with Rins crashing out early after losing control of his bike when re-joining the track from the gravel on lap three. Mir made an uncharacteristic error to also go down in the gravel.

Marc Marquez finished sixth and has now collected points in his last nine MotoGP races (including two wins and three podiums), which was already his best run since 2019 and the best scoring run of any of the current riders.

TOP 10

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing)
2. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) +2.718secs
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +4.182s
4. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +4.288s
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +11.139s
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +15.155s
7. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) +16.680s
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +18.459s
9. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing) +20.541s
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) +21.486s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 102
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) 98
3. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) 94
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 69
5. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) 62

Teams

1. Aprilia Racing 131
2. Suzuki Ecstar 125
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 121
4. Ducati Lenovo 118
5. Red Bull KTM 99

Francesco Bagnaia converted pole position at the Grand Prix of Spain for his first victory of 2022 ahead of MotoGP defending champion and season leader Fabio Quartararo.

After finishing the previous campaign with four wins in six races – his first victories in the top category – Bagnaia had endured a slow start this year, failing to even reach the podium prior to this weekend.

But a record lap in qualifying put the Ducati man on pole in Jerez, and he led from start to finish to kickstart his season.

Quartararo, starting in second, was Bagnaia's closest challenger, making a strong start and applying intense pressure for the first half of the race.

But Bagnaia was then able to open up a gap and enjoy a slightly more comfortable ride for his first win at this event, and fifth podium in his past seven entries across all categories.

Quartararo could at least be comforted by his now seven-point lead in the championship on a tough day for Alex Rins, who had been level at the summit but had to settle for 19th.

With Aleix Espargaro – now Quartararo's nearest challenger – completing the podium, the top three ended as they began, although the battle for third was a thriller.

Both Jack Miller and Marc Marquez, chasing his 100th MotoGP podium, got the jump on Espargaro early on, seemingly setting up a direct battle between the pair.

Marquez eventually got past Miller with five laps remaining following a stunning move at Turn 5, which he made stick despite the pace of the Ducati.

But that manoeuvre opened the door for Espargaro, running in fifth, to come back at them, and he profited when Marquez went wide at Turn 13 and required an incredible save to stay on his bike, catching himself with his left elbow.

Espargaro was able to build a bigger gap, although Marquez at least passed Miller again for fourth, delivering the drama that was missing at the front of the race.

Francesco Bagnaia expressed his delight after claiming pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix with an all-time record lap at Jerez on Saturday.

Bagnaia set the new mark on the Circuito de Jerez with his 1:36.170 lap in Q2 to secure a first pole of the 2022 MotoGP season ahead of reigning champion Fabio Quartararo.

Quartararo was denied a fifth straight pole in as many premier-class appearances at the venue by the brilliance of Bagnaia, who returned in style following a crash at the Portuguese Grand Prix last week.

Speaking after the race, a thrilled Bagnaia said: "I'm really happy. We did a great job. 

"I was missing this feeling to be really fast and competitive. Thanks to all the guys in my team."

World champion Quartararo, who won in Portugal to take the lead in the overall standings, finished almost half a second behind Bagnaia and could only applaud the efforts of the Ducati rider.

"In qualifying, he was incredible: he was half a second faster than everyone else, so I think he managed to put in a really good lap," he said of Bagnaia after the race to reporters.

However, Quartararo remains confident heading into the race on Sunday after securing what he claims to be a vital second position on the grid.

"I think it will be super important for Sunday. It's a great position to start from," he explained.

"For us, the pace in FP4 was great. I think we can have a good race and the most important thing is tomorrow. I feel very confident."

Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro moved ahead of Bagnaia's team-mate Jack Miller to take third, while six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez settled for fifth.

Fabio Quartararo won a MotoGP race for the first time this season, sending him top of the championship after a routine victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix, with Johann Zarco in second and Aleix Espargaro third.

Quartararo won the last Portuguese Grand Prix in 2021, although failed to finish in the top 10 in his other two MotoGP appearances at the Algarve International Circuit (14th in 2020 Portuguese GP and did not finish at the 2021 Algarve GP).

However, despite winning last year's championship, the Frenchman's previous race win was at the British Grand Prix in August.

Quartararo eased past Joan Mir early in Sunday's race in Portimao, though, and never looked back as he cruised to the win, while all the drama happened behind him.

Previous championship leader Enea Bastianini crashed out on lap 10, appearing to clip the seam of the curb at turn eight before sliding off the track while in 10th place.

Mir was left fighting for second place and was eventually overtaken by a determined Zarco, but things were to get worse for the Spaniard as Jack Miller, while attempting to pass on the inside, slid his bike and took both of them out of the race at the start of lap 16.

Mir has now gone six races in a row without a podium, which was already his worst run in MotoGP since his first 20 races in the top category between 2019 and 2020.

It was a performance to remember from Alex Rins, though, as he took his Suzuki from 23rd all the way up to fourth, making up a remarkable 13 places on the opening lap alone.

Elsewhere, there was some good old-fashioned racing between the Marquez brothers near the end of the race, with Marc ultimately getting the better of Alex to take sixth place.

TOP 10

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha)
2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +5.409
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) +6.068
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +9.633
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +13.573
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +16.163
7. Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) +16.183
8. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo) +16.511
9. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +16.769
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) +18.063

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 69
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 69
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 66
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 61
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 51

Teams

1. Suzuki Ecstar 115
2. Aprilia Racing 91
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 86
4. Red Bull KTM 81
5. Pramac Racing 79

Enea Bastianini recorded his second victory of the 2022 MotoGP campaign, beating Alex Rins and Jack Miller to win the Grand Prix of the Americas in Houston, Texas.

The Italian became the first rider to rack up two victories this term after starting fifth on the grid, overtaking Miller with five laps to go in a fiercely competitive race.

The 24-year-old, who claimed his first MotoGP win in Qatar's curtain-raising race last month, made a strong start to fight his way into contention early on, entering second spot with nine laps to go.

Bastianini then passed Miller and pulled clear of the Australian, who dropped into third as Alex Rins clinched a second consecutive podium finish, keeping him second in the drivers' championship standings.

The Gresini rider ended the race 2.058 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, maintaining his lead at the top of the early-season riders' standings.

Elsewhere, Jorge Martin made a solid start from pole position, but suffered a poor end to the race in which he dropped to fourth with eight laps to go, and to eighth by the time he saw the chequered flag.

Marc Marquez suffered a horrendous start in Texas, dropping as low as 17th in the early stages, but recovered somewhat to finish sixth, while Joan Mir and Francesco Bagnaia rounded out the top five.

World champion Fabio Quartararo, meanwhile, finished in seventh as he struggles to match his terrific early-season form from 2021, and Aleix Espargaro could only manage a 13th-placed finish, one week after his sensational maiden victory in Argentina.

TOP 10

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini)
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +2.058
3. Jack Miller (Ducati) +2.312
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +3.975
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +6.045
6. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +6.617
7. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +6.760
8. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +8.441
9. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +12.375
10. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +12.642

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 61
2. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 56
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 50
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar)) 46
5. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 44

Teams

1. Suzuki Ecstar 102
2. Red Bull KTM 70
3. Aprilia 69
4. Gresini 61
5. Pramac Racing 59

Marc Marquez revealed he has been suffering from double vision again after a huge crash that ruled him out of the Indonesian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The six-time MotoGP champion hit the ground hard in a massive highside at Turn 7 during the warm-up for the race at the Pertamina Mandalika Circuit.

Marquez was left dazed after landing heavily and was taken to hospital for a check-up.

The Repsol Honda rider suffered concussion and was unable to start the first grand prix in Indonesia since 1997.

Marquez was diagnosed with diplopia following a crash in practice at the Portuguese Grand Prix last year and the Spaniard has been troubled by the same issue following his latest accident.

The 29-year-old revealed he has not suffered as badly as he did previously and did not state whether he will be able to get back on his bike for the next race in Argentina on April 3.

He tweeted on Tuesday: "It seems that I am experiencing deja vu... During the trip back to Spain, I began to have discomfort with my vision, and we decided to visit Dr. Sanchez Dalmau, who confirmed that I have a new episode of diplopia.

"Fortunately, it is less severe than the injury I had at the end of last year. But now it's time to rest and wait to see how the injury evolves."

Marc Marquez was forced to miss the Indonesian Grand Prix on Sunday after a crash during the warm-up.

The six-time world champion suffered a huge highside at Turn 7 and was left dazed on the ground after a heavy landing. He was taken to hospital for a check-up.

Race organisers later confirmed Marquez had suffered concussion and was not fit to start the first grand prix in Indonesia since 1997.

MotoGP medical director Dr. Angel Charte said: "Marc is fine. He had a high energy crash in the warm-up, which resulted in a head injury.

"Initially, we examined him here and then referred him to the hospital in Lombok. He underwent several radiological tests, which were negative.

"In agreement with the rider and the team, and due to the fact that this type of pathology requires a period of observation between 12 and 24 hours, the rider, the team and the MotoGP medical staff have decided to declare him as unfit."

The 29-year-old crashed twice during Saturday's qualifying session and had been due to start in 14th place, Franco Morbidelli's grid penalty pushing him up one spot.

The race at the Mandalika circuit was delayed by over an hour due to torrential rain, with television cameras capturing the dramatic moment that lightning struck the side of the track.

It had previously been decided to shorten the race to 20 laps as extreme heat had prompted concerns over tyre safety.

Reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo qualified in pole position ahead of Jorge Martin, with Enea Bastianini – who won the season opener in Qatar – starting in fifth.

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo says he felt the best he has for "a long time" after storming to pole position in qualifying for Sunday's Indonesian Grand Prix.

The 22-year-old edged out Jorge Martin with a lap of 1:31.067 on Saturday, securing a place at the front of the grid for the first time since the Catalan Grand Prix in June last year.

Quartararo's compatriot Johann Zarco will join the duo on the front row after posting a personal best time on his final lap, with Brad Binder and Enea Bastianini, the latter fresh from his maiden MotoGP victory in Qatar two weeks ago, both doing likewise to qualify as fourth and fifth fastest.

Six-time world champion Marc Marquez, meanwhile, crashed twice and will start from 14th as Honda experienced problems with their tyres in the heat.

"I felt great, finally on one lap, it's a long time since I felt so good," Quartararo, who came a disappointing ninth in Qatar, told reporters.

"Here I felt good from FP2 when I put in the soft rear and actually in FP4, I'm super happy because I made 15, 14 laps in a row and the pace was really good. 

"I think it was the most important thing to make those laps in a row and see the consistency of the tyres.

'I'm pretty happy, I expected much more drop from the rear and I feel great."

"With our bike we struggle quite a lot to overtake and then I think you need to play a little bit with the pressure before the start," he said, as reported by Autosport.

"But in this kind of track, where it's hot, it's always better to start at the front than on the back.

"So, I feel like it's a great track to start from the front row and let's see how my start goes."

Provisional classification

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 1:31.067
2. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.213
3. Johann Zarco (Ducati) +0.311
4. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +0.366
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) +0.437
6. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +0.440
7. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +0.499
8. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.515
9. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.647
10. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.656
11. Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing) +0.762
12. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.507

Enea Bastianini secured a brilliant maiden MotoGP victory after passing Pol Espargaro late in an eventful season-opening race under the lights in Qatar.

Espargaro had led for the majority of the race after storming from sixth to first in a blistering start, with Jorge Martin dropping from pole to eighth early on.

It was Gresini's Bastianini, a rookie at this level last year, who made a dream beginning to the season, though, overtaking Espargaro with four laps to go and taking the chequered flag ahead of Brad Binder for his team's first win in the premier class since 2006.

Bastianini's win at the Lusail International Circuit sparked emotional scenes, as Gresini's then team principal Fausto Gresini died just over a year ago.

Espargaro was the third man on the podium, while Marc Marquez was fifth and Martin crashed out.

Repsol Honda rider Espargaro got off to a flyer as Martin slipped back through the field, with Bastianini dropping a couple of places from second on the grid.

Espargaro's team-mate Marquez moved up a spot from third to second until the six-time champion was passed by Binder and Bastianini with 16 laps to go.

Martin's miserable race was summed up when he crashed with Francesco Bagnaia and slid into the gravel along with the Italian.

Bastianini had the pace to close in on the long-time leader and duly made his move on the inside, with Espargaro going wide in a costly lapse that allowed Binder to nip in for second place.

Aleix Espargaro took fourth place, while reigning champion Fabio Quartararo crossed the line in ninth.


TOP 10

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing)
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +0.346
3. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +1.351
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +2.242
5. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +4.099
6. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +4.843
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +8.881
8. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +10.536
9. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +10.543
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU) ++14.967

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders
1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) 25
2. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) 20
3. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) 16
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 13
5. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 11

Teams
1. Repsol Honda 27
2. Gresini Racing 25
3. Red Bull KTM 20
4. Suzuki Ecstar 19
5. Aprilia 17

Jorge Martin will start the season-opening Qatar MotoGP from pole position but the Spaniard is not confident he will be celebrating a victory on Sunday.

The Pramac Racing rider began the last race of 2021 at the front of the grid in Valencia, where he ended his rookie season with a second-placed finish.

On Saturday, Martin beat Enea Bastianini to pole by 0.147 seconds with a lap of 1:53.011, while six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez joins them on the front row as defending champion Fabio Quartararo was only 11th-fastest. 

Yet 24-year-old Martin will go into the race at the Lusail International Circuit under the lights without any great expectations of taking the top step on the podium.

He said: "I'm super happy about my performance. I wasn't expecting to be that fast.

"I'm not 100 per cent confident for tomorrow. We are still missing one to two tenths to fight for victory, but we will be one of the candidates. We have to work hard this evening and find this small thing to battle. 

"We are aiming for the win, but I am always a little bit on the limit. We have struggled with a new engine. It's not that easy.

"We are still missing how to manage the tyre and I am worried about the end of the race, but with my engineers and staff we will find something that will help me and we will be fighting for the victory."

Gresini Racing's Bastianini will start on the front row for the first time in the premier class and has his sights on a podium finish.

The Italian said: "For the first time I will start on the front row. I'm very happy about today, we did a very good job because it was difficult to go on the second qualifying.

"I did one error in the last sector, but I did a very good lap and I think tomorrow we can battle for the podium."

Marquez said: "It's important to start on the front row on a track that I'm not riding comfortably on. My style is not coming naturally on this race track but today I felt better, especially in FP4.

"We made an important change on the bike and since that point I started to feel better and in qualifying also the performance was there. I'm happy but tomorrow is the most important day. We are not the fastest but we will try to manage in a good way."

Provisional classification

1. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) 1:53.011
2. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) +0.147s
3. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.272s
4. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.287s
5. Alex Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.308s
6. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +0.335s
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +0.339s
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.396s
9. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +0.4s
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.47s
11. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.624s
12. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.971s 

Marc Marquez will miss the Valencia Grand Prix this weekend as he is suffering from issues with his vision.

Repsol Honda rider Marquez sat out the Algarve Grand Prix on Sunday following a training crash that left him with slight concussion.

The six-time MotoGP champion has also been ruled out of the last race of the season in Valencia and testing in Jerez on November 18 and 19.

A statement from the Spaniard's team said: "The Repsol Honda Team rider will not participate in the Valencia Grand Prix this coming weekend, nor in the IRTA Jerez Test scheduled for November 18 and 19.

"After Marc Marquez underwent a medical examination at the Dexeus Clinic in Barcelona last Tuesday, in which he was evaluated after a fall while practicing off-road, the rider has been resting all week at his home in Cervera.

"During these days of rest, Marc has continued to feel unwell and has suffered from vision problems, which is why this Monday he was visited by the ophthalmologist Dr. Sanchez Dalmau at the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, who examined him and performed the tests, which detected a new episode of diplopia."

Marquez suffered the accident last Saturday while preparing for the penultimate round of the season in Portimao, where he would have been going in search of a third successive win.

The 28-year-old missed the start of the season as he continued to recover from a serious arm injury.

He returned at the Portuguese Grand Prix in April and is sixth in the standings with 142 points following back-to-back victories in Austin and at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, when Fabio Quartararo sealed the title.

Marc Marquez will miss the Algarve Grand Prix this weekend after suffering a "slight concussion" when he crashed in training.

The six-time MotoGP champion suffered the accident last Saturday while preparing for the penultimate round of the season in Portimao, where he would have been going in search of a third successive win..

Marquez was still feeling unwell on Tuesday following a few days of rest at home and the Repsol Honda rider will not race at the Algarve Motorsports Park as a precautionary measure after a medical check-up.

The Spaniard's team said in a statement: "This past Saturday Marc Marquez, while preparing for the Algarve Grand Prix with one of his standard off-road training sessions, suffered a fall that caused a slight head concussion.

"After a few days of rest at home and seeing that he was still unwell, today Marquez has been assessed by doctors in a medical check-up to evaluate his current status.

"As a precautionary measure, this coming weekend Marquez will not contest the Algarve Grand Prix."

Marquez missed the start of the season as he continued to recover from a serious arm injury.

He returned at the Portuguese Grand Prix in April and is sixth in the standings with 142 points following back-to-back victories in Austin and at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, when Fabio Quartararo sealed the title.

All eyes will be on Francesco Bagnaia at the Grand Prix of Americas after the Ducati star claimed his third successive pole position.

Bagnaia became the first Italian rider to clinch a hat-trick of poles since MotoGP great Valentino Rossi in 2009, while he is first Ducati to do so in consecutive events since Jorge Lorenzo in 2018.

The 24-year-old achieved the feat after snapping Honda superstar Marc Marquez's run of seven straight poles at the Grand Prix of Americas in Texas on Saturday.

Bagnaia's last lap of two minutes, 02.781seconds left six-time world champion Marquez in third as Yamaha championship leader Fabio Quartararo earned second spot.

As Bagnaia seeks to become the second Ducati rider to clinch three straight victories along with Casey Stoner (2007 and 2008), Yamaha's Rossi lavished his countryman in praise.

"Pecco is impressive, it's his third consecutive pole position, with an incredible lap," seven-time MotoGP champion Rossi said after qualifying 20th fastest.

"He's in great shape and it's a real pleasure to see him ride. It's really been a long time since I've seen the Ducati ridden so well, so I'm very happy for him."

It is set to be another showdown between Quartararo and Bagnaia, who is 48 points adrift of the Frenchman ahead of Sunday's main race with crucial championship points on the line.

Quartararo is the only MotoGP rider who has collected points in the 14 races held so far in 2021. In fact, he has picked up points in his last 15 races – his best historical run in all categories and the best of any MotoGP rider since Maverick Vinales' 16 between 2020 and 2021.

But Bagnaia said: "I took some risk to do it because this morning I was more in trouble. Then we decided to stop and try to let the bike follow the bumps better. 

"I started getting a better feeling in FP4 and in the Q2 I was able again to have the same feeling. 

"It was easier for me to push more. Then when I saw I was down [faster] in the first sector by two tenths I tried to push more and I'm very happy because we started this weekend a bit in trouble and now we are again on top."

 

Qualifying results

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 2:02.781
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.348secs
3. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +0.428
4. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +0.497
5. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +0.511
6. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.598
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.672
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.747
9. Luca Marini (Avintia) +0.765
10. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.939
11. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +1.000
12. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +1.094

Maverick Vinales is full of confidence after putting his disastrous German Grand Prix showing behind him to claim pole position for Sunday's Dutch TT.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider finished last at Sachsenring last week, but stuck with the same bike at Assen and dominated qualifying on Saturday.

Vinales topped FP1, FP1 and FP3 before setting a new lap record of 1:31.814 seconds in qualifying, the 26-year-old finishing 0.071s ahead of team-mate Fabio Quartararo.

It was the perfect response on the back of last week's calamity, but Vinales insists the dominant showing at Assen should not come as a surprise.

"Honestly this should be the norm all weekends," he said. "I think we have a good level, our confidence is high.

"I have a really high confidence in what we are able to do but just we didn't find the way to do it before.

"This weekend we didn't touch anything. I said, 'don't touch the bike, it's perfect'. And working on that, it was good, I'm quite happy and now we'll see.

"Tomorrow we have a good chance, we will push at the maximum. For me the result isn't important – for me it's important to give the maximum from one to lap 25."

Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia will join Yamaha pair Vinales and Quartararo on the front row for Sunday's race, while Takaaki Nakagami and Johann Zarco are on row two.

Quartararo tops the riders' standings and has a 22-point lead on Johann Zarco, but the Frenchman accepts he faces a tough task overhauling Vinales on Sunday.

"I think with Maverick we need to be clever, because it's true that on the paper we have really good pace," he said.

"So, I think if we need to play something in my opinion it's great to be clever on the first lap and see at the end.

"But it will depend. I feel great to fight for the victory. It's not that because my main contenders are behind me that I need to be careful.

"For me, it’s the beginning of the championship, we are not even in the middle. So, if I have one chance to fight for the victory I will go for it."

Marc Marquez came out on top in Germany last week, but he will start from 20th in Sunday's 26-lap Dutch TT after crashing in qualifying.

The Repsol Honda rider was flung from his RC213V early on in Friday's FP2 session and admits that accident affected him the following day.

"It's true that today I started the morning and the first thing was I was like, 'OK, it will be impossible to ride the bike' because after the crash from yesterday I had a lot of pain," he said.

"Then it was very difficult. This was in the morning, then in the afternoon step by step I felt better, and this makes me happy because it looks like now if it's in a better way.

"But it's true that the crash from yesterday affected me a lot today."

Provisional classification

1. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 1:31.814
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.071s
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +0.302s
4. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +0.500s
5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +0.580s
6. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +0.636s
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.783s
8. Jack Miller (Ducati) +0.795s
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +0.852s
10. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.934s
11. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) +1.016s
12. Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha) +1.105

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