Ducati’s Casey Stoner has taken his third consecutive pole position ahead of tomorrow’s Assen MotoGP.
The 22-year-old Australian took control of the session with just over a quarter of the session remaining with a 1:35.995 on his first qualifying tyre.
Valentino Rossi looked ready to upset Stoner’s domination as he snatched pole position with a stunning final sector with just over six minutes left recording a 1:35.659.
With a lot of wind swirling around the Assen circuit the riders had to push hard to get the times, but Stoner dug deep and pulled his laps down to 1:35.520 with two minutes left, which was good enough to take pole.
Former champion Nicky Hayden had another impressive session on the pneumatic valved Honda RC212V going top of the timesheets after three minutes. Although he didn’t remain there he looked set for a front row start until the dying minutes saw team-mate Dani Pedrosa shoot up to second and push Valentino Rossi down into Hayden’s third place.
Britain’s James Toseland will start tomorrow’s race from 13th place.
John Hopkins was the only crasher in the session suffering a fairly minor low side after 13 minutes. But there will be more concern for the American after he suffered a massive crash that destroyed the front end of his ZX-RR and sent him flying into the tyre barrier with just two minutes of the session remaining.
He was taken to the Clinica Mobile where he's being treated for a suspected broken left ankle and is a doubt for tomorrow's race. Hopkins suffered no further aggrevation to the broken fourth vertabrea he sustained in Catalunya.
Assen MotoGP qualifying results:
1 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team DUCATI 1'35.520
2 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1'35.552
3 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team YAMAHA 1'35.659
4 Nicky HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1'35.975
5 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP HONDA 1'35.985
6Colin EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha YAMAHA 1'36.278
7 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team YAMAHA 1'36.532
8 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP SUZUKI 1'36.768
9 Shinya NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini HONDA 1'36.804
10 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team DUCATI 1'36.823
11 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP HONDA 1'36.899
12 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini HONDA 1'36.948
13 James TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha YAMAHA 1'36.978
14 Toni ELIAS SPA Alice Team DUCATI 1'37.287
15 John HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team KAWASAKI 1'37.643
16 Anthony WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team KAWASAKI 1'37.793
17 Marco MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team DUCATI 1'38.726