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Marquez grabs pole position, tough qualifying for Pedrosa

79   //    01 Jul 2018, 01:10 IST

Marc Marquez

Assen (Netherlands), Jun 30 (PTI) Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez grabbed the pole position after a close qualifying session of the Dutch Grand Prix here today.

Championship leader Marquez clocked 1 minute 32.791 seconds to earn his 75th career pole and 47th pole in MotoGP. He topped all three sessions today, showing good race pace and blistering speed.

The Honda star finished 0.041 seconds faster than team-mate Cal Crutchlow. Italian Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) completed the front row another 0.018 seconds back.

So close was the qualifying session here that the riders on the front row ended up within just 0.059, whilst the top-10 were split by less than 4 tenths of a second.

However, Dani Pedrosa was unable to improve on his pace from yesterday and will have to start from the sixth row of the grid tomorrow.

Marquez said: So far this weekend, things are going better than we were hoping for. The pole has not been one of my strongest points this year, and actually this will be the first time I'll start form the top spot, because in Austin I earned the pole but was moved back to fourth.

"I was very happy with the rhythm I could keep in FP3 and FP4 and now I'm even more happy for the Q2 result. We're trying and working in a good way.

"Our first goal is a podium finish but honestly we now have the possibility to fight for the victory. We must remain focused and work well in tomorrow's warm-up to try and make another little step to improve the stability and to make the final choice for the tyres."

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