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Lorenzo on pole position for Assen Assault

Another superb qualifying session from Jorge Lorenzo today means that the Fiat Yamaha Team rider will launch his Assen assault from pole position tomorrow, as he bids to take his first premier-class win in Holland. An inch-perfect final lap from the Mallorcan saw him qualify 0.282 seconds ahead of Randy de Puniet, with Casey Stoner filling the final front-row spot and Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies taking fourth, his best MotoGP qualifying position to date.

Lorenzo was the only rider to dip into the 1’34s this morning and was the first to do so again this afternoon as he set about refining the set-up of his M1 around the elegant twists and turns of the historic track. He surrendered the top spot to de Puniet for a short while but with ten minutes to go he moved back into pole position and remained in command to the end, extending his lead with a brilliant final lap to secure his second pole of the season for the 80th Dutch TT tomorrow.

Jorge Lorenzo – 1st, Time:1’34.515, Laps:31
“I’m very happy to take my second pole of the season but I feel even more comfortable and confident because I’ve been first in all three practice sessions, despite the other riders pushing hard during qualifying. I think tomorrow’s race could be interesting and of course I want to try to win, but as always the main goal is to finish and take points. I will try to escape but if I can’t I will fight for the podium. We can afford to be very calm because of our lead in the standings but the team and I are still working as hard as we can to keep going at this level; we’re not relaxing.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager Jorge Lorenzo
“Once again it’s been a very smooth weekend for us so far and we’re happy to get another pole position. Jorge is satisfied with the improvements we’ve made to the bike since yesterday and he was a few tenths faster today, plus he’s been extremely consistent in his pace so we can see everything is working well. The only thing left for us to do is to make our final tyre choice for the race, because both Bridgestone compounds are working well here. We will wait to see the temperature tomorrow, make some checks in warm-up and then decide.”

MotoGP career best qualifying for Spies

Ben Spies powered his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine to a career best qualifying result in Assen today after another dazzling display from the Texan.

Brimming with confidence after recording his first MotoGP podium at Silverstone last weekend, Spies set himself up perfectly for another rostrum challenge in the historic Dutch TT after qualifying on the second row for the second time in his premier class career. Aided by improved turning performance with his YZR-M1 machine after key front-end changes by his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew, Spies posted a best time of 1.34.926 with just over a minute of qualifying remaining to claim a brilliant fourth place on the grid.

The 25-year-old, who has demonstrated a fast and consistent pace on both soft and hard compound Bridgestone tyre options, was just 0.123s away from Casey Stoner in third position and just over 0.4s away from pole position.

Spies will now carefully analyse data and consult with Bridgestone and his Tech 3 crew before deciding on whether to race the hard or soft rear tyre in tomorrow’s race, which is the 80th running of the legendary Dutch TT.

Texan team-mate Colin Edwards will start from ninth on the grid after he concentrated on adapting to a new front-end geometry setting. Edwards made further adjustments to the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine today after an encouraging fourth place in practice yesterday. The experienced American declared himself happy with progress and finished with a best time of 1.35.393 in warm but cooler conditions than yesterday.

Tomorrow’s 26-lap race is round six of the 2010 MotoGP world championship.

Ben Spies – 4th, Time:1.34.926, Laps:21
“It’s my best qualifying session and I’m really happy. I wanted to get on the second row but I was a little bit worried that I would be at the back of it and for the first corner here I wanted to be in a better position. I wasn’t sure how much I would get out of the soft tyre, but as soon as we bolted it on I was faster. We’ve got good pace so we’ll look at the weather conditions and comments but I think both tyres will work. I’ve got good pace on the hard and soft tyre so we just need to see what Bridgestone’s opinion is. The soft tyre will be quicker in the beginning so we’ll see but it will be a tough call. Judging by where I qualified another podium is a realistic target. Obviously Jorge is a way ahead of me at the front but the fight between third to sixth is pretty close. I’m in that fight and that could land me on the podium. But it could easily be a dogfight and I could end up sixth or seventh. Going into the race though I’m closer than I was with the lap times than Silverstone, so anything is possible.”

Colin Edwards – 9th, Time:1.35.393, Laps:32
“We had both bikes set-up quite a bit differently with the front-end geometry and one I didn’t like that much. But the other bike felt better and I was able to push harder. It’s even closer to the front-end geometry that Jorge uses than I tried yesterday and it makes it feel like I’m not chasing the front and I can put the front tyre right where I want it. The set-up is still not perfect and I think the front fork spring is a little bit too hard but we’ll play with that tonight. To be back down in ninth shows how tough it is in MotoGP this year because I was really riding hard and the bike felt good. I certainly feel like we’re in better shape than we have been at some other races so I need to get a good start. I’ve pretty much decided to go with the softer tyre. I did a mid-35 on the 20th lap of the soft tyre so I’m going to go with that. The harder tyre doesn’t have the side grip that I want to make the lap time”

Circuit Length: 4555
Weather: SunnyLap Record: 1’36.411 (John Hopkins, 01/01/2006)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1’34.515 (Jorge Lorenzo, 26/06/2010)
Last Years Winner: Valentino Rossi
2010 MotoGP Netherlands – Assen 25/06/2010

Qualifying 1

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’34.515
2 Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 1’34.797
3 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 1’34.803
4 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 1’34.926
5 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’34.999
6 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1’30.015
7 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’35.162
8 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1’35.283
9 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1’35.393
10 Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP 1’35.593
11 Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 1’35.664
12 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 1’36.344
13 Mika Kallio Ducati FIN 1’36.502
14 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’36.569
15 Kousuke Akiyoshi Honda JPN 1’38.198


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