MotoGPNetherlandsJune 24, 2011
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 07
Dutch TT at ASSEN Qualifying

Simoncelli and Stoner on Front Row in Assen

Race Results >>

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) sped to his second pole of the season at the Dutch TT, while Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V) recovered from a crash earlier in the day to take third on the front row.

Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini) Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)

Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)

Simoncelli dominated the session almost from start to finish, though Ben Spies (Yamaha) did put in a quick lap that threatened Simoncelli’s dominance. Simoncelli set the fast time early in the one hour session, held in cool, sunny weather, and was only displaced twice and both times by Spies. The first time was for only one lap, the second time for about ten minutes.

Simoncelli’s absence from the top, ended when he set his fastest lap with nearly 16 minutes to run. And on the next lap he set a time that would hold up for the pole, a lap of 1m, 34.718s. That put the Italian on pole for the second time in three races. It also continued a streak of qualifying excellence; he’s been either first or second for four races in a row.

MotoGP World Championship leader Stoner said that his confidence was knocked back a bit when he crashed early in the 90-minute morning free practice. Stoner fell when he hit a wet patch which he hadn’t seen the previous lap. The Australian later returned to the track, but couldn’t improve his time because he couldn’t generate enough heat in the left side of the rear tyre.

Stoner wasn’t the only member of the Repsol Honda team to fall. Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso also crashed on a wet patch, spectacularly. But other than some pain in his neck and back, he was unhurt. And Hiroshi Aoyama, standing in for the injured Dani Pedrosa, fell soon after Dovi at 190kph.

Stoner was off the front row when he put in his fast lap of 1m, 35.008s just as the checkered flag fell and when he was hopeful of one final pole run.  Later he would say that he didn’t have the pace to match “Super Sic” today.

Dovizioso had an eventful day. His morning high-side was the most dramatic and damaging of the three crashes suffered by the Repsol Honda teammates.  Following the spill, Dovi missed 45 minutes of the session before returning to the track in a new set of leathers. He was in third before Stoner moved him down to fourth, and Dovi would lose one more spot to Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), the Majorcan who was .101s faster with his final lap. Dovi will start from the middle of the second row and only .236s off the front row.

Hiroshi Aoyama, who normally races in the colors of San Carlo Honda Gresini, qualified 12th aboard the Repsol Honda RC212V of Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa continues to recover from surgery on his broken right collarbone and will almost certainly return to racing at next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. Being on an unfamiliar motorcycle, Aoyama needed as much track time as possible suffered from the cancellation of Thursday afternoon’s session. That practice was scrubbed after several Moto2 bikes leaked oil on the track and attempts to clean it expeditiously proved difficult. Aoyama received a pain-killing injection prior to qualifying, but it did little good.

Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP) ended his session prematurely with a crash. The Spaniard wasn’t able to make the most of the softer rear tyre, having set his fastest lap on the fifth of 26. He qualified 16th and one spot in front of Honda test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi. Akiyoshi was aboard Aoyama’s San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V while his fellow countryman moved to the Repsol Honda team.

Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex) continued his remarkable season by taking his fifth pole in six races in the Honda-powered Moto2 class. The German rider was .295s clear of Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter) in a session that was hit by typically inclement Assen weather, which limited quality track time. Bradl only completed eight laps, with his sixth lap of 1m, 39.306s standing up as the pole time.

Bradl goes into Saturday’s seventh race of the championship having won four of six, a performance that has ballooned his championship lead to 62 points. It’s the largest ever margin between first and second after six races in the history of the World Championships.

Spanish teenager Marquez completed twice as many laps as Bradl, though he wasn’t as quick. Marquez was hopeful of having a full dry session to improve the set-up of his Honda-powered Suter. With the weather turning for the worse towards the end of the session, Marquez wasn’t able to improve either his set-up or his time. His best lap of 1m, 39.600s came on his eighth of 16 laps.

Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project, FTR) only completed seven laps, with his third the fastest of the day. Corsi lamented the changing weather and the effect it had on his set-up time.

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team) Hiroshi AOYAMA (Repsol Honda Team)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

Hiroshi AOYAMA (Repsol Honda Team)


Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini: pole position – 1m. 34.718s
“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. 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!”

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: 3rd– 1m, 34.727s
“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. The only dry track time we've had is today, which has meant we've had to do everything in one day. We're struggling with the left hand side of the tyre; we just can't seem to get the temperature in to it, so I'm losing a lot of time on all the left hand corners. Also, we found it difficult to get the bike settled in the rear, so we have some work to do tonight and tomorrow in warm-up, but we're confident we can find something and improve. Qualifying went OK. We're happy with front row and I don't think we could have matched Marco's time; it was pretty impressive and he's been consistently fast all weekend here. To be honest, I'm a little bit disappointed with our race pace which we need to improve quite a lot, so we'll have to see what we can do for tomorrow.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: 5th – 1m, 35.244s
“I’m happy with today's final result. Starting from the second row, at five-tenths from the fastest rider is positive after this morning's incident. I crashed exiting turn nine on the second lap as there was a wet spot next to the white strip that you cannot see when you enter the corner. Also, the tyre on the left was not up to temperature yet. I had a high-side and it was a hard impact on the ground, but fortunately I have no real problems apart from some pain in my back and neck. This morning we lost 45 minutes of practice time, so I hope that tomorrow we can have a dry warm-up to make some small changes on the set-up of the bike. I’m confident for the race, but it will be important to take care in the first laps because with these conditions we struggle to bring the tyres up to temperature.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, Repsol Honda: 12th – 1m, 36.580s
“It's not been an easy weekend so far. Yesterday I didn't have much time to work on the bike because of the cancellation of FP2 and this morning I had a crash at the beginning of the practice. I saw Casey and Andrea falling in a left hand corner and I immediately thought I had to be careful because here it's very difficult to get grip in left corners. But a few corners later I crashed and it was totally unexpected. It was a big one, around 190 kilometres per hour and I hit my back. It was very painful. I received an injection at Clinica Mobile for the qualifying practice, but in the end the pain remained almost the same. I hope I can rest a bit tonight and feel better for the race tomorrow.”

Toni Elias, LCR Honda MotoGP: 16th – 1m, 37.651s
“I am very disappointed, because this morning we have found a good bike balance and I could ride with more confidence after a long time. But in the afternoon qualifying the same set-up has not worked as we expected and I have struggled with rear grip once again in the exit of the curves. Trying to increase the pace we went for a harder tyre, but I crashed at eight minutes to go. This means another tough start from the last row for me but I do not want to lose my concentration.”

Kousuke Akiyoshi, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 17th – 1m, 39.006s
“I am happy to be here at Assen and back in MotoGP. Obviously this track is not easy with the changeable weather conditions, but I have tried to do my best and I will continue to do so tomorrow in the warm-up in the hope of having a decent race. I want to thank HRC and Team San Carlo Honda Gresini once again for the opportunity.”


Stefan Bradl, Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex: pole position, 1m, 39.305s
“Yeah, this is the most difficult part of this weekend; the weather is changing so fast. But anyway we are having a great level. Normally Assen is not one of my favorite tracks, but, yeah, we arrived here with a great performance and this is good for us. I mean, we are having just a great package right now and it just has to continue to like this. And, yeah, to have the pole position here is a great feeling for me and just wait for tomorrow.”

Marc Marquez, Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter: 2nd, 1m, 39.600s
“This second position is important, especially for tomorrow, because this circuit it’s a little bit difficult to pass other riders, but we will see. Now, just I want to improve my set-up of the bike because in some points I think I can improve quite a lot, but for tomorrow we will see which weather we have. But for sure I hope will be dry conditions, but anyway I think we are in a good level in both conditions.”

Simone Corsi, Ioda Racing Project-FTR: 3rd, 1m, 39.700s
“Yeah, it’s a real shame how things have been this weekend. There just hasn’t been dry or wet at any one moment, it’s been in between all the time. So I hope for tomorrow that it’s one or the other. Stefan (Bradl) has been a step ahead of everyone else, but I’m working really hard to get up there and I just hope I can get away at the front tomorrow and try to put up a good fight in the race. That’s what we need to do.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 07
Grand Prix at Assen Qualifying

1 Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
2 Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3 Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)
6 Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
7 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
8 Colin EDWARDS (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
9 Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
10 Randy DE PUNIET (Pramac Racing Team)
11 Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
12 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Repsol Honda Team)
13 Hector BARBERA (Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP)
14 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
15 Loris CAPIROSSI (Pramac Racing Team)
16 Toni ELIAS (LCR Honda MotoGP)
17 Kousuke AKIYOSHI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
1 Stefan BRADL (Viessmann Kiefer Racing)
2 Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
3 Simone CORSI (Ioda Racing Project)
4 Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)
5 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Gresini Racing Moto2)
6 Aleix ESPARGARO (Pons HP 40)
7 Kenan SOFUOGLU (Technomag-CIP)
8 Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
9 Michele PIRRO (Gresini Racing Moto2)
10 Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)
1 Maverick VIÑALES (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
2 Johann ZARCO (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
3 Sandro CORTESE (Intact-Racing Team Germany)
4 Hector FAUBEL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
5 Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
6 Efren VAZQUEZ (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
7 Jonas FOLGER (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)
8 Nicolas TEROL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
9 Sergio GADEA (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
10 Danny KENT (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)

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