Bo on pole in Assen

Bo Bendsneyder sits on Pole Position for his home round of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at Assen. The 15-year-old Dutchman held off two determined Italians, 17-year-old Manuel Pagliani and 15-year-old Stefano Manzi, to lead the front row. “It’s just fantastic, I can’t believe it, my first Dutch TT and I am on pole,” he enthused as the local journalists sought his quotes in the Rookies Cup garage immediately afterwards. “I know the track of course and that helps but I have also been getting quicker and quicker since the start of the season,” explained the first year Rookie. He was quick all through the two 30 minute free sessions and single 25 minute qualifier. Some rear suspension changes helped him and the KTM RC 250 R during Free Practice and all the hard work on the bike was done before Qualifying. Bendsneyder got settled in and then produced the definitive lap of 1’45.787, comfortably faster than both last year’s pole that was set by Karel Hanika at 1’46.442 and the lap record set last year by Manzi at 1’46.467. Manzi also upped his pace and set a time of 1’46.022, good enough for third behind Pagliani’s 1’45.948. “That was great,” grinned Pagliani. “The bike is perfect, I really enjoyed it. I am a lot happier than in Mugello as now my collarbone is fully fit. Last year I didn’t enjoy the track at Assen so much but for sure this year I am a lot happier. I am looking forward to the race, we will change nothing on the bike and I really think a win is possible, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.” In fourth is Brad Ray, the 17-year-old Briton. He said, “That was OK, the bike is working well, I just got held up on the last lap or I think we would have been at the front. Still the second row is OK and it should be a good race.”

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