Zarco secures pole position in Dutch TT qualifying race

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Assen (Netherlands), June 24 (IANS) French Monster Yamaha rider Johann Zarco secured pole position for the first time in his career with a stunning performance in the second round of qualifying for the Dutch TT (Tourist Trophy) here on Saturday.

Zarco posted a best time of one minute 46.141 seconds in Q2 at the TT Circuit here to narrowly beat out Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who clocked 1:46.206, reports Efe.

Two Italian riders, Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci and Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, finished third and fourth, respectively.

Italian Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso, winner of the last two MotoGP races, finished ninth in Q2.

But his teammate, Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, had a day to forget in Saturday’s qualifying at the so-called “Cathedral” of motorcycling, failing to make his way out of Q1 and having to settle for a distant 21st spot on the grid in Sunday’s race.

Zarco’s stunning result marks the first time in this MotoGP season that a non-Spaniard has secured pole position. Marquez, his teammate Dani Pedrosa and Movistar Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales claimed the top qualifying spot for the first seven races.

Viñales (111 points), who will start 11th in the Dutch TT, narrowly leads the 2017 MotoGP riders’ standings with seven of 18 races completed, just seven points ahead of Dovizioso.

The riders third through fifth in the standings are closely bunched together: Marquez (88 points), Pedrosa (84) and Rossi (83).

–IANS

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