Dutch TT: Cal blazes to pole!

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Cal Crutchlow has blazed to pole position for tomorrow's Dutch TT, blowing away his rivals in an exciting session.

Crutchlow's late lap of 1'34.398 was 0.357 faster than that of second placed Marc Marquez. Marquez, delayed on his first fast lap by a big moment from Bradley Smith, also put in a late lap to take second.

Stefan Bradl led the session briefly, putting in a number of fast laps to steal pole from Valentino Rossi only seconds after Rossi had moved to the number one slot. The Italian finished fourth.

Early session leader Dani Pedrosa was fifth, after a fast crash where teammate Marquez Broke a finger and toe this morning, but made it back to the pits uninjured albeit out of time.

Bradley Smith rode to his best ever qualifying result of sixth, after getting a tow from Marquez on his fast lap.

Aleix Espargaro was an excellent seventh on his Aprilia CRT machine, ahead of satellite Honda rider Alvaro Bautista, Aspar teammate Randy de Puniet and factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden.

Hayden's Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso is languishing in 15th, and may face race control sanctions after lashing out at Hector Barbera on the slow-down lap of the Q1 session after the CRT rider stole a tow off him.

Jorge Lorenzo is a provisional 12th on the grid, as his time from yesterday's FP session still stands. Paddock rumours are that the World Champion may attempt to race tomorrow pending a medical.

The Spaniard had an operation on his broken collarbone at 3am this morning and is currently travelling back to Holland.

Crutchlow, the first Brit to top qualifying since Jeremy McWilliams in 2002, said afterwards "I'm pleased with the qualifying position but it’s not a true pole without Jorge. I would have liked a dogfight with him but maybe we'll get one of those for a race win later in the year. We've struggled to get a comfortable setting this weekend, but it's getting smoother and I think we can go faster again in the race."

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer