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Fagerhaug stays on Assen Rookies pole

Fagerhaug stays on Assen Rookies pole

Norwegian rider Sturla Fagerhaug, the series leader currently in the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, got pole at Assen on Friday even though he did not improve on his own best Thursday time.

The second qualifying session saw the Rookies field compressed as the top three, Sturla Fagerhaug, Jakub Kornfeil and Alex Kristiansson failed to improve on their Thursday times and were closed on by Danny Kent, Florian Marino and Jake Gagne. There are 8 different nations in the top ten.

Kent, the 15 year old Briton, was happy to make the front row. "I’m looking forward to a good race. The grip wasn't that good, the tyres were well worn by the end but that's OK, the race will be different. At times during the session it got pretty windy and you had to watch that but it's Ok and I'm happy with the bike set-up so I'm looking forward to the race."

Only late in the 30 minute session did he steal 4th back from 16 year old Frenchman Florian Marino who was OK with the demotion. "A second line start is good enough. I am happy with that. The bike is also working quite well after we did a lot of work to improve things in these 2 days. I still have a small problem but I think that is now the worn tyres and for the race it should be good. I'm looking for a good start and a ride to the podium."

Impressing again was 7th fastest Arthur Sissis, the Australian who turned 14 just before the event, "I was a bit worried for a while, I was 7th fastest then I went to 8th, to 9th and to 10. Then I ran off the track. But that was good because Jake (Gagne) came past and I went after him and put in a good time. I like the track, it's the best so far. I like the fast sections, it's like riding long-track," added the speedway and dirt-track expert.

Gagne kept his good weekend going with 6th and there was a big improvement from 16 year old Australian Joshua Hook who jumped from 15th on Thursday to 9th by finding the best part of a second. "Yes, a big improvement from yesterday. Mainly just more track time, learning where I am going. But I was also more focussed, yesterday before I went out I was too relaxed, playing table-soccer and I just wasn't concentrated on what I was going to do. I put that right today."

Even with the pack closer Fagerhaug is still very much the man to beat, fastest again even though he was 2 tenths slower than the previous day, the 17 year old Norwegian was not looking troubled. "I am quite happy with that, the wind was changing quite a lot, then you seem to have quite a lot of guys trying to follow so you have to let them go. Then the tyres started to get quite worn but I had some consistent times so that is good for the race and I am looking forward to it."

There were few fallers during the two days of practice and a single injury; 13 year old Briton Fraser Rogers dislocated a finger in his right hand but still hopes to race.

The 16 lap race is on Saturday, after the MotoGP event, at 15.30 CET. The race can be seen live on the Rookies website www.redbullrookiescup.com with an improved feed rate over the earlier rounds. Those early races can also be found on the site, in the Rookies TV section.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2009, ALICE TT ASSEN

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