Assen: Rossi on pole
Valentino Rossi waited until the closing seconds of the final qualifying session to take pole for tomorrow's Assen GP, smashing the previous lap record by around one second in the process.
In the last minutes of a dramatic qualifying on a track which was finally drying out, it was Carlos Checa who looked likely to head the grid for Yamaha. The Spaniard claimed the lap record momentarily, before Rossi and Sete Gibernau both completed their final laps.
But it was the Italian reigning world champion who was able to claim the top spot by an impressive margin. Shinya Nakano became the top Bridgestone runner, despite a scare when a black object was seen to come from the rear of the Kawasaki on the main straight. Fortunately it wasn't a repeat of the tyre problems he experienced at Mugello, but a piece of carbon-fibre from the rear of his bike.