Key contenders ready for battle on Saturday as Quartararo gets back into Q2 but Marc Marquez suffers a tougher Day 1 on his return

The Championship fight remains as unpredictable as ever as Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) catapulted himself to the top of the timesheets on Day 1 of the Motul TT Assen. After the two Practice sessions, the Italian’s 1:32.063 saw him maintain a firm hold on the top spot by the end of the day. The stage is set in Assen as the Italian is joined by some key rivals at the top: Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) put his GP23 into P2, with the Spaniard eager to continue his Sachsenring form, and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) rounds out the top three following a late time attack during Practice 2… just ahead of reigning Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team).

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Miller crashes the party  

As Friday’s running drew closer to the end, the time attacks came flying in with the riders conscious of the importance of finishing inside the top 10 to bag a Q2 spot. Bezzecchi maintained a firm grip on the top spot though, with no one able to topple the Italian after he’d also topped P1 in the morning.

Martin had an eventful P2 session seeing him shortcutting the circuit on numerous occasions but put in a strong lap in the closing stages to finish the day 0.143s away from Bezzecchi.

Meanwhile, it was looking as Bagnaia was struggling to find a setup that worked for him around the Assen circuit, with the Italian showing visible signs of frustration during Practice 1. With the Champion sitting in P12 after the morning session, the Ducati garage worked away before P2 to give Bagnaia the feeling that he needed, and the bike was looking much more stable. Bagnaia blasted his way to the top three initially, but Miller had something to say about that.

The Aussie sandwiched himself between the title-fighting trio, pushing Bagnaia down to P4 in the closing stages. The job was done for both teams with secured Q2 spots in the bag ahead of Saturday’s qualifying action.

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On the comeback

Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) finished the first Practice in a comfortable P2, and showed strong pace in the 2nd Practice to finish the day in fifth overall. The Spaniard will be looking for a return to the podium after taking 3rd place at Assen just one year ago, his first rostrum with Aprilia, and at a track where he boasts one of the best CVs on the grid,.

Despite riding with that toe injury picked up when running, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ ) showed signs of progress aboard his Yamaha M1 after taking P6. The Frenchman will be relieved to be missing Q1 this time out, and will be hoping his smooth riding style will be able to put him right back in the mix at the fast, flowing Assen circuit.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) finished the day in P7 ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder, with both KTMs through this time round. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) showed flashes of brilliance throughout the day to secure P9, with Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) snatching the final Q2 spot.

Looking for more

It was a bump in the road for three-in-a-row podium finisher Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) as the Frenchman failed to secure himself a place in Q2 by just 0.088s, and he’ll have to battle his way through Q1 after finishing in P11.

The Frenchman will be joined by the two CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team riders of Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira who finished 12th and 13th respectively.

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Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) also failed to make the Q2 cut after finishing in 15th and 19th. Both riders made trips to the gravel trap, with Marquez hitting the deck just two corners into his only time attack of the day as P2 came to a close.


With some huge names in Q1, the stage is set for Qualifying and then the Tissot Sprint at the Cathedral of Speed. Make sure you don’t miss a single detail as the action unfolds! Here’s when it all gets underway in GMT+2:

  • MotoGP FP: 10:10
  • MotoGP Q1: 10:50
  • MotoGP Q2: 11:15
  • Tissot Sprint: 15:00