Dani Pedrosa conceded he needed a huge helping hand from Valentino Rossi to claim only his third front row start of 2009 in Assen this afternoon.
The Repsol Honda rider clocked his best time of 1.36.110 while chasing Italian Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha YZR-M1 in the final stages of a dramatic session.
Pedrosa’s pursuit almost gave him pole position as he ended up just 0.085s adrift of Rossi as he continues to make steady progress recovering from the serious right hip injury he first suffered in Mugello last month.
The triple world champion, who is 39-points adrift of Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner in the title chase, said: “I was feeling a bit better compared to Barcelona and now I can concentrate better on my riding and this afternoon I was improving. I realised I could be faster and at the end I caught Valentino and I used him to make my lap time, so it is good to be on the front row and that’s important, though I expect it to be a tough race. I’m not sure if I can run the race pace but I will push for it. Physically this track is hard and at this moment I’m not very fit, but I will push.”
Pedrosa’s last front row start was when he claimed pole position for the French GP in Le Mans last month.