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Vermeulen takes Assen pole in Friday rain

Vermeulen takes Assen pole in Friday rain

A Suzuki will be on pole at Assen for the second consecutive year, this time courtesy of Chris Vermuelen in a wet qualifying session.

A Suzuki will be on pole at Assen for the second consecutive year, this time courtesy of Chris Vermuelen in a wet qualifying session. His 1'48.555 lap was seventeen thousandths of a second ahead of nearest challenger and current MotoGP World Championship leader Casey Stoner, and gave him the third Grand Prix pole of his career. Vermeulen's hot lap came at just the right time for the Australian, as it was almost immediately followed by an increase in rain and wind.

The man joining the Antipodean duo on the front row tomorrow had a tough task on his hands after choosing the wrong moment to come into the garage, the Frenchman languishing in 13th until a late burst onboard the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR800 gave him his second best ever MotoGP qualifying result.

Heading the second row, Marco Melandri had a similar session to De Puniet, and looked to have put himself in the top three at the death. The fastest Honda rider on the grid will be on his own this weekend after team-mate Toni Elias was ruled out of action with a broken leg. Melandri's Gresini Honda colleague today underwent surgery on the injury, which has turned out to be more complicated than previously thought, and has yet to receive word on when he will be able to get back onboard a MotoGP bike.

Last year's poleman John Hopkins was fifth quickest for tomorrow's race, ahead of the rider perhaps more motivated than any other for the A-Style TT Assen; last lap leader and crasher Colin Edwards onboard the fastest Yamaha of the day.

Like his Kawasaki team-mate De Puniet, Anthony West also left it late to get the best out of his run-out. West finished the session in sixth after only his second time riding his new machine in the wet, ahead of Alex Hofmann who had been pencilled in for a career best fourth place start until a final minute push from the other riders.

Dani Pedrosa and Loris Capirossi complete the top ten, whilst two World Champions in Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden were unable to carry on their practice session performances and will start from the fourth and fifth row respectively.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, A-STYLE TT ASSEN, QP

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