Honda’s Marco Simoncelli claimed his second pole victory at Assen after a close session with Yamaha’s Ben Spies.
San Carlo Honda’s Marco Simoncelli snagged his second pole of the season during qualifying at Assen. After being the fastest in wet conditions during Thursday’s practice, the Italian returned to take the quickest lap by just 0.009 seconds ahead of Yamaha’s Ben Spies, who originally topped the charts halfway through the session.
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner claimed third on the timesheets, rounding out the front row for Saturday’s race.
“Obviously I am really happy, but right now I just want everything to go to plan on race day and finally pick up the result I feel myself and the team deserve,” said Simoncelli. “The bike is good although obviously not quite 100% because we have not had much time to set it up and there is not a lot of grip in a lot of the corners. I have been fast in the wet and the dry and my pace is good, but now it is important to do well tomorrow – maybe the fact we’re racing on a Saturday could be a good omen!”
“The best qualifying of the year so far, it was a good session for us,” said Spies. “We would have liked to get pole position but unfortunately on my fast lap Loris [Capirossi] went down and there were a lot of yellow flags. I want to be a little bit upset but I want him to be ok a lot more than I wanted pole position. All in all it was a great qualifying, the bike is
working really good, race pace is good so I’m confident for the race tomorrow. I don’t know what kind of weather we are going to get so we’ll see how it goes.”
“Today hasn’t been the best day for us, after this morning’s fall, our confidence was dented a little and we weren’t willing to push too hard,” Stoner said. “The only dry track time we’ve had is today which has meant we’ve had to do everything in one day.”
Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo leads Row 2 after clocking in with a lap of 1’35.008. Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso qualified fifth, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow posted the sixth-best time despite still recovering from his broken collarbone.
Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards earned seventh and eighth respectively on the grid. Edwards lapped just 0.076 seconds ahead of Ducati’s Nicky Hayden, who completes Row 3.
Continuing his break-in of the Ducati GP11.1, Valentino Rossi struggled in the dry conditions. Rossi made multiple trips back to his garage throughout qualifying, but never found an ideal setup. The Italian posted the 11th-fastest lap and will have to start from Row 4 after being more than 1.8 seconds off the pace. Meanwhile Hiroshi Aoyama, who is currently filling in for Dani Pedrosa aboard his Repsol Honda RC212V at Assen, will start from 12th on the grid. Pramac Racing’s Loris Capirossi and LCR Honda’s Toni Elias both suffered crashes during the session and will have to start the race from 14th and 15th, respectively.
Assen MotoGP Qualifying Results 2011:
1. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1’34.718
2. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1’34.727
3. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1’35.008
4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’35.008
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1’35.244
6. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’35.329
7. Karel Abraham (Ducati) 1’35.742
8. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1’35.818
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’35.866
10. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1’36.435
11. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1’36.564
12. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’36.580
13. Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1’36.590
14. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1’36.820
15. Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 1’37.130
Viessmann Kiefer Racing’s Stefan Bradl once again topped the timesheets during a Moto2 qualifying session that was threatened by rain. The German claimed his sixth pole of the season early in the 45-minute session ahead of CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Marquez and Ioda Racing Project’s Simone Corsi, who rounded out the final spot on the front row.
“I am very happy to have achieved the second position in the qualifying, as from this morning to this afternoon we took a great step ahead,” said Marquez. “This weekend is being very difficult due to the changeable weather conditions, because the grip changes a lot. We are slowly getting closer to Bradl, who is very strong here because he had a test and is a step ahead of the rest. Tomorrow we will do our best with whatever conditions we have.”
Interwetten Paddock Moto2’s Thomas Luthi, Gresini Racing’s Yuki Takahashi and Pons HP 40’s Aleix Espargaro will begin Saturday’s race from the second row. Meanwhile, Technomag-CIP’s Kenan Sofuoglu, Marc VDS Racing’s Scott Redding and Gresini Racing’s Michele Pirro are all on Row 3 after being more than eight-tenths adrift of Bradl.
Assen Moto2 Qualifying Results 2011:
1. Stefan Bradl (Kalex) 1’39.305
2. Marc Marquez (Suter) 1’39.600
3. Simone Corsi (FTR) 1’39.700
4. Thomas Luthi (Suter) 1’39.844
5. Yuki Takahashi (Moriwaki) 1’39.890
6. Aleix Espargaro (Pons Kalex) 1’39.962
7. Kenan Sofuoglu (Suter) 1’40.123
8. Scott Redding (Suter) 1’40.149
9. Michele Pirro (Moriwaki) 1’40.234
10. Bradley Smith (Tech 3) 1’40.238
11. Pol Espargaro (FTR) 1’40.469
12. Mike di Meglio (Tech 3) 1’40.550
13. Dominique Aegerter (Suter) 1’40.647
14. Xavier Simeon (Tech 3) 1’40.726
15. Claudio Corti (Suter) 1’40.744