News 25 Jun 2011

Simoncelli, Spies and Stoner make up MotoGP front row for Dutch TT

Italian Marco Simoncelli continued to set the pace at Assen on Friday.

Italian Marco Simoncelli continued to set the pace at Assen on Friday.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) displayed his determination for a first premier class podium by sealing his second pole position of the 2011 MotoGP season.

The Italian’s hot lap of 1:34.718 left him just 0.009s clear at the top of the time sheet, ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies.

“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,” Simoncelli said.

“The bike is good although obviously not quite 100 percent 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!”

Spies stepped up his pace for the weekend, topping the timings at the halfway point of the hour long session and was the first to break into the 1:34s.

Stoner clocked a time of 1:35.008 on his Repsol Honda to join the front row for the Iveco TT Assen race.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) again set the fourth fastest time of the day, with a 1:35.143, followed by Andrea Dovizioso who was 0.101s behind the Mallorcan.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow, still nursing a broken collarbone from a crash at Silverstone two weeks ago, bravely rode to sixth on the grid, 0.085s behind the Repsol Honda of Dovizioso in fifth.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) had a strong qualifying run, running as high as third in the timings fairly late in the session, to finally put his Ducati in seventh with a time of 1:35.742.

Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team) followed the Czech by a margin of 0.076s with Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) completing the ten fastest times.

Valentino Rossi made several visits to the garages, attempted to find a dry set up for the Ducati team GP11.1 though did not make great improvements and will be starting the race from 11th position.

Standing in for Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda team, Hiroshi Aoyama will start from 12th position.

A disappointing qualifying was had by both Toni Elías (LCR Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing) who both crashed out of the qualifying session, leaving Capirossi unable to participate in tomorrow’s race.

Viessmann Kiefer Racing rider Stefan Bradl set an early fast time under darkening skies to put himself on pole position for the Moto2 race. He is joined by Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) and Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) on the front row.

Maverick Viñales (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team) will start from pole in the 125cc race, his second consecutive pole for the 2011 season in only his seventh world championship start.

French rider Johann Zarco (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo) pushed hard in the last seconds to surpass the Spanish rookie but had to settle for second ahead of Intact Racing Team Germany rider Sandro Cortese.

In the opening Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the weekend, Lorenzo Baldassarri took a narrow win ahead of Australia’s Arthur Sissis.

2011 MotoGP World Championship
Round Seven – Assen, Netherlands

MotoGP Qualifying:
1. Marco SIMONCELLI 1:34.718
2. Ben SPIES 1:34.727
3. Casey STONER 1:35.008
4. Jorge LORENZO 1:35.143
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO 1:35.244
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW 1:35.329
7. Karel ABRAHAM 1:35.742
8. Colin EDWARDS 1:35.818
9. Nicky HAYDEN 1:35.866
10. Randy DE PUNIET 1:36.435
11. Valentino ROSSI 1:36.564
12. Hiroshi AOYAMA 1:36.580
13. Hector BARBERA 1:36.590
14. Alvaro BAUTISTA 1:36.820
15. Loris CAPIROSSI 1:37.130
16. Toni ELIAS 1:37.651
17. Kousuke AKIYOSHI 1:39.006