Dutch TT sees Stoner snatch pole in dramatic qualifying

netherlands assen qp motogp stoner
Friday, 29 June 2012

In a dramatic qualifying session that was interrupted by spells of rain at the Iveco TT Assen it was Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner who snatched a last-grasp pole position for tomorrow’s race ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.

After numerous breaks due to showers, the sun reappeared in the final few minutes to allow Stoner, who crashed heavily in the morning practice, to put in a scorching lap in the high 1.33’s to oust Pedrosa into second on the grid. Rounding out the front row is Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, who could not match the Hondas’ pace, and seemed to be struggling with the last sector of the track.

The story of the afternoon was however LCR Honda MotoGP’s rookie Stefan Bradl, who heads the second row in fourth, after putting in his best qualifying display in the premier-class. Alongside him in fifth is Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who again seems to be not feeling the effects of his fractured left ankle. Sixth place is occupied by yesterday’s pace-setter Ben Spies on board his factory Yamaha, who will be looking to rediscover some of his earlier form for the race tomorrow.

Crutchlow’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso leads the third row in seventh as the last Yamaha on the grid, after failing to improve in the final few minutes of the session. To his right, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista starts in eighth, after he crashed out on his satellite Honda on the final hot lap.

Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden qualified in ninth, in front of teammate Valentino Rossi, rounding out a disappointing qualifying session for the Italian outfit. Top CRT performer was Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, who put his ART machine in 12th place.

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