Stoner captures pole for MotoGP TT Assen
Sat, 30 Jun 2012 1:53p.m.
Casey Stoner grabbed pole position for the MotoGP TT Assen at the end of qualifying in the Netherlands finishing ahead of Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa in second place and championship leader Jorge Lorenzo in third.
At the end of a qualifying session that was frequently interrupted by rain, the Australian recorded a fastest lap of one minute, 33.713 seconds.
The two-time MotoGP champion crashed in the morning practice session, but bounced back to claim pole for a third time in seven races this season.
Dani Pedrosa will start alongside his Honda Repsol team-mate on Saturday's (June 30th) grid.
The Spaniard finished 0.115-of-a-second behind Stoner with a one minute, 33.828 seconds lap.
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo was unable to match the pace of the Hondas, but steered his Yamaha to third place on the final time sheets.
Spaniard Lorenzo, who won the TT Assen in 2010 on the way to his maiden MotoGP title, record a one minute, 34.001 seconds lap to seal the last place on the front row of the grid.
Stefan Bradl will lead the second row after a fine performance in qualifying.
The German, who is in his maiden MotoGP season with Honda, finished ahead of several established names after a lap time of one minute, 34.035 seconds - enough for fourth place.
Briton Cal Crutchlow continues to soldier on despite a fractured left ankle and captured fifth place with a one minute, 34.486 seconds lap for Yamaha.
Having set the pace in Thursday's (June 28th) practice sessions, Ben Spies settled for sixth place on the final grid.
The American, who won the TT Assen last season, went around in one minute, 34.644 seconds.
Stoner, who plans to retire from MotoGP at the end of the current season, said a late switch to softer tyres paid dividends in the final moments of qualifying.
Six points currently separate Marc Marquez and his fellow Spaniard Pol Espargaro at the top of the Moto2 standings.
Marquez also held the edge over his compatriot in Friday's qualifying, topping the time sheets with a one minute, 37.133 seconds lap.
The Suter rider is seeking a third successive TT Assen title following a 125cc victory in 2010 and a Moto2 win in 2011.
Espargaro steered his Kalex bike to second place in one minute, 37.588 seconds, with Andrea Iannone of Italy taking third place.
Germany's Sandro Cortese led Moto3 qualifying with a one minute, 43.645 seconds lap - a quarter-of-a-second ahead of Briton Danny Kent in second place.
Current standings leader Maverick Vinales, who won last year's 125cc race at Assen, finished down in sixth.
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