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Rachit Thukral

Assen WSBK: Razgatlioglu claims pole by nearly half a second

Razgatlioglu was the first rider to break the 1m34s barrier in qualifying, lapping the circuit in 1m33.846s on his very first flying lap to put himself well clear of the chasing pack led by Jonathan Rea.

Rea managed to usurp Razgatlioglu when he returned to the track for a final attempt, but his reign at the top turned out to be short-lived as the Turkish rider immediately fired back with a 1m32.934s, setting a new all-time record for a WSBK bike at the Dutch circuit en route to pole position.

Lowes ended up second on the grid in the 15-minute pole shootout but his time of 1m33.412s left him a massive 0.478s adrift of polesitter Razgatlioglu.

Six-time WSBK champion Rea had to settle for the third spot behind his younger teammate Lowes and facing a massive 0.687s deficit to reigning champion Razgatlioglu.

Andrea Locatelli qualified a strong fourth on the other factory Yamaha, beating Friday pacesetter Alvaro Bautista of Ducati by just over a tenth of a second.

Garrett Gerloff was the top independent rider in sixth, grabbing the final spot on the second row of the grid on his GRT Yamaha bike.

Qualifying seventh was former MotoGP rider Loris Baz, who set a time of 1m34.453s on his BMW satellite bike to beat the lead Honda of Iker Lecuona.

Baz was the only representative of the Bonovo MGM team in qualifying, with teammate Eugene Laverty being declared unfit for the remainder of the weekend following his high-side crash in Friday practice.

The top 10 was completed by Axel Bassani on the Motocorsa Ducati and Puccetti Kawasaki rider Lucas Mahias, both finishing over 1.7s off the pace in qualifying.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi endured a tough qualifying on the factory Ducatis in 12th, finishing behind not only his teammate Bautista but also the satellite Ducatis of Bassani (ninth) and Philipp Oettl (GoEleven, 11th).

Scott Redding sat inside the top 10 on his works BMW after the first set of runs in qualifying, but ran wide at Turn 8 after returning to the track for the final five minutes of the session.

Although Redding was able to escape the gravel trap, the off-track excursion left him a disappointing 13th on the grid - two places ahead of teammate Michael van der Mark.

Leon Haslam’s return to WSBK on the Pedercini Kawasaki yielded a lowly 17th place result in qualifying.

Assen WSBK - Qualifying results:

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha 1'32.934  
2 United Kingdom Alex Lowes Kawasaki 1'33.412 0.478
3 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 1'33.621 0.687
4 Italy Andrea Locatelli Yamaha 1'33.888 0.954
5 Spain Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1'34.018 1.084
6 United States Garrett Gerloff Yamaha 1'34.175 1.241
7 France Loris Baz BMW 1'34.453 1.519
8 Spain Iker Lecuona Honda 1'34.543 1.609
9 Italy Axel Bassani Ducati 1'34.666 1.732
10 France Lucas Mahias Kawasaki 1'34.702 1.768
11 Philipp Oettl Ducati 1'35.018 2.084
12 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati 1'35.045 2.111
13 United Kingdom Scott Redding BMW 1'35.047 2.113
14 Spain Xavi Vierge Honda 1'35.199 2.265
15 Netherlands Michael van der Mark BMW 1'35.206 2.272
16 Japan Kohta Nozane Yamaha 1'35.215 2.281
17 United Kingdom Leon Haslam Kawasaki 1'35.590 2.656
18 Italy Gabriele Ruiu BMW 1'35.761 2.827
19 Argentina Leandro Mercado Honda 1'35.956 3.022
20 France Christophe Ponsson Yamaha 1'36.000 3.066
21 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin Honda 1'36.553 3.619
22 Italy Roberto Tamburini Yamaha 1'36.634 3.700
23 Oliver Konig Kawasaki 1'37.027 4.093
  San Marino Luca Bernardi Ducati    
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