Assen MotoGP: Stoner Crashes, Earns Pole

Dutch Grand Prix Qualifying Results

Qualifying for the Iveco TT Assen was hampered by periods of light rain, but when the sun appeared during the final minutes of the session, one rider posted a blistering fast lap – Casey Stoner.

The Repsol Honda rider posted a 1:33.713 aboard the RC213V, allowing him to take his third pole of 2012 MotoGP (the others arriving at Catalunya and Estoril). It was tough work for Stoner, though, considering he suffered a hard crash in the morning practice session.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “This morning was probably one of my biggest crashes, which is saying something! The crash really knocked the wind out of me, I hurt my head, neck, wrist, knee and shoulder, it was a bad one for sure.

“The team did a really great job, they kept their heads down even when I wasn’t riding to my full potential or the bike’s full potential and when we were struggling to get the rear tire to work, they didn’t give up. Then when we came back onto the soft rear tire for the first time since FP1, the bike had much more feeling and we were able to put together a fantastic lap and put it on pole. As far as race pace goes, we’re still struggling and we need to work on this and make some decisions before the race.”

Joining the reigning champion Stoner on the front row for Saturday’s Assen MotoGP will be teammate Dani Pedrosa, and the man who won four races this season – Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, respectively.

Pedrosa trailed Stoner by 0.115 of a second.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “We did a very good job in all the practice sessions and I’m happy with qualifying, even though I missed the pole position at the very end. The target was to be on the front row because the first corner here is very close and tight, and to work hard to get a good race pace, I think we did everything well.

“It looks like the soft tire gives you a lot of potential but for the race distance we are not 100% sure, especially on the left side, which is softer. Here it is important to have good stability out of the corner and with the hard compound you get it, so we will need to wait and see what the conditions are like tomorrow and do the best in the race.”

Lorenzo couldn’t keep the pace of the Hondas, and continued struggling with the last sector of the 18-corner track. Lorenzo qualified in third, 0.218 of a second behind Stoner.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Racing Team YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I tried my best in the last lap of qualifying but I made a little mistake in the last chicane on braking and lost a few tenths. I was surprised at Casey’s last lap; it was fantastic and so fast and Dani was also very close to him. We have a good position for tomorrow on the front row and we have a good race pace and I’m confident with the bike so I’m happy. Qualifying is one thing but the race is another, tire choice will be important for the race.”

Heading up the second row is the satellite LCR Honda piloted by MotoGP rookie and reigning Moto2 Champion, Stefan Bradl. This was his best-ever qualifying result in the premier class, the German 0.322 of a second behind Stoner.

Joining Bradl on the second row will be Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, who continues to recover from fracturing his left ankle at Silverstone, and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, who led Thursday’s free practice sessions. Spies, who has struggled this season, will be looking for a repeat performance like last year when the American took his maiden premier-class victory.

The third row will be headed up by Crutchlow’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso. The Italian could not improve during the later portion of qualifying, and was the slowest of the Yamaha YZR-M1 motorcycles. Dovi was the final rider to post within a second of Stoner.

San Carlo Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista, who took his maiden pole at Silverstone during the last round, qualified eighth quickest, 1.009 seconds behind Stoner. Bautista finished ahead of the Ducati Team duo of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi, who qualified ninth and 10th, respectively.

The quickest CRT performer was Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, who put his ART machine in 12th place.

For a preview of 2012 Assen MotoGP, click here.

2012 Assen MotoGP Qualifying Results:

Pos.Num.RiderNationTeamBikeKm/hTimeGap 1st/Prev.
1.1Casey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda303.41’33.713
2.26Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda303.41’33.8280.115 / 0.115
3.99Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha305.71’34.0010.288 / 0.173
4.6Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda304.01’34.0350.322 / 0.034
5.35Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha299.01’34.4860.773 / 0.451
6.11Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha297.21’34.6440.931 / 0.158
7.4Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha299.61’34.6980.985 / 0.054
8.19Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda299.41’34.7221.009 / 0.024
9.69Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati300.01’34.7511.038 / 0.029
10.46Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati302.11’35.0571.344 / 0.306
11.8Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati305.01’35.2891.576 / 0.232
12.14Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART286.61’35.8302.117 / 0.541
13.41Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART286.31’36.0072.294 / 0.177
14.51Michele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR283.21’36.6472.934 / 0.640
15.54Mattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART284.71’36.9433.230 / 0.296
16.9Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda270.01’36.9673.254 / 0.024
17.17Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingDucati302.81’37.1103.397 / 0.143
18.68Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR279.81’37.1913.478 / 0.081
19.77James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART283.51’37.2813.568 / 0.090
20.22Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR284.31’37.5543.841 / 0.273
21.5Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter283.41’38.3054.592 / 0.751