For the second time in as many races, and less than one week, Jorge Lorenzo will line-up on pole position ahead of Randy de Puniet, after the MotoGP title leader took pole position at Assen on Friday.

Lorenzo had been just 0.126sec ahead of the on-form satellite Honda rider during qualifying last weekend at Silverstone, but stretched that slightly to 0.282sec for the Dutch TT.

Fastest in both free practice sessions, Lorenzo led the majority of the session, but de Puniet put his LCR machine on top with one-third of the hour to go.

Lorenzo responded with 13 minutes remaining, then improved further on his very final lap, although he would still have gained pole without it.

Joining the Fiat Yamaha rider and de Puniet on the front row will be Ducati's Casey Stoner, who had pushed Lorenzo throughout practice but was forced to call a slightly early end to his qualifying after what seemed to be clutch-related technical problems with his GP10.

Stoner set a best lap time 0.288sec slower than Lorenzo.

Heading the second row will be rookie Ben Spies, who built on his first MotoGP podium at Silverstone with his best ever grand prix qualifying performance.

Starting just behind the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider will be Stoner's team-mate Nicky Hayden, who struggled for much of the session before finding late speed, and Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso.

Dovizioso starts round six holding second in the championship, 37 points behind Lorenzo, but both he and team-mate Dani Pedrosa have struggled at Assen.

Mugello winner Pedrosa qualified seventh, just ahead of lone San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli, with Colin Edwards unable to repeat his Thursday form with ninth.

Pramac Ducati Aleix Espargaro completed a top ten, and was the first rider over one-second slower than Lorenzo, with Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista an evenly matched eleventh and twelfth for Suzuki.

Simoncelli's team-mate Marco Melandri has been ruled out of the event after dislocating his shoulder in a Friday morning fall, while Hiroshi Aoyama - injured last Sunday at Silverstone - has been replaced at Interwetten Honda by HRC test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi.

Akiyoshi qualified 15th and last, having lapped 3.683sec slower than Lorenzo and 1.6sec slower than Hector Barbera (Aspar Ducati).

Qualifying:

1. Lorenzo
2. de Puniet
3. Stoner
4. Spies
5. Hayden
6. Dovizioso
7. Pedrosa
8. Simoncelli
9. Edwards
10. Espargaro
11. Capirossi
12. Bautista
13. Kallio
14. Barbera
15. Akiyoshi

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment