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Zarco takes first MotoGP pole in Assen

Honda’s reigning champion Marc Marquez qualified second, in 1:46.206 on a damp but drying track, with Italian Danilo Petrucci completing the front row on the non-works Octo Pramac Ducati.Rossi was first to encounter backmarkers Hector Barbera and Alex Rins, who had changed bikes after rain flags, and The Doctor dealt with them best but Petrucci said in parc ferme that no blue flags had been shown, and that might well have cost him his maiden win.Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) penned another stunning chapter in what is now the longest winning career in the history of grand prix motorcycle racing, as the No. 46 took his 115th win in the Motul TT Assen, more than 20 years after his first.Viñales, however, was unable to break into the front and finish in the top three.The sport’s headline act crossed the line barely the length of his Yamaha bike in front of Petrucci, who was only six years old when Rossi lined up for his first ever grand prix in 1996. The Italian, who rode an outstanding comeback race, is now four points ahead of the Spaniard and seven ahead of Valentino. Behind was a mid-pack dogfight for fifth as Scott Redding (Ducati) led Andrea Iannone (Suzuki), Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso, Alvaro Bautista on another privately-entered Ducati, Rossi’s Yamaha factory team-mate Maverick Viñales, Crutchlow and Honda privateer Jack Miller in what would go on to be a classic.But Petrucci’s lead proved shortlived, as he was passed by Rossi at the final chicane with three laps to go in what turned out to be the decisive move of the race.Vinales was a poor 10th in Spain, two back from Rossi.And then? It started to rain – and the story evidently was far from over. Dovi finished 0.008 of a second behind Marquez and 0.038 ahead of fifth-place rider Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda).In the end, it was Marquez who grabbed the final podium spot by just 0.042s from Crutchlow, who in turn beat Dovizioso to the line by only 0.084s.With the podium positions sorted and Crutchlow able to beat Dovizioso, Jack Miller – who won here past year – finished in sixth after a lonely rider.Jack Miller navigated a hard race to take another impressive result at the TT Circuit Assen where he won in 2016, crossing the line sixth after staying at the sharp end throughout.The British rider passed Dovizioso for fourth with two laps left and then went under Marquez at the chicane for third.Last year’s race victor Jack Miller was sixth ahead of Aspar’s Karel Abraham and Avintia’s Loris Baz.