Lorenzo dominates at TT Assen, earns pole

Lorenzo dominates at TT Assen, earns pole

With his best time in the MotoGP qualifying by nearly three-tenths of a second faster than his nearest rivals, Jorge Lorenzo continued his domination at the historic TT Assen circuit. After setting, again, the fastest time in practice prior to ...

With his best time in the MotoGP qualifying by nearly three-tenths of a second faster than his nearest rivals, Jorge Lorenzo continued his domination at the historic TT Assen circuit. After setting, again, the fastest time in practice prior to qualifying, the Spaniard was unstoppable.

Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha Team.
Photo by Yamaha Motor Racing.

Lorenzo now has notched consecutive poles on his Fiat Yamaha M1 this season when he laid down a 1:34.515 to snag the best spot at the Cathedral of Motorcycling. The points leader is on the move as he aims to earn his first MotoGP championship.

"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," said Lorenzo.

Following up on his front row at the British GP last weekend, Randy de Puniet was second fastest, just edging out Casey Stoner by 0.006 seconds. The LCR Honda rider laid down a 1:34.797 on his fastest lap.

"Everything is going in the right direction for us and we completely deserved this second consecutive front row," boasted de Puniet. "I am still the Honda fastest rider and the top privateer rider in the classification so this is not just luck!"

Stoner could only bank one hot lap before his Ducati's clutch had a hydraulic problem. The Aussie decided to bring the bike in for immediate repairs instead of risking a bigger problem. Front row from a single qualifier is a good sign Stoner is in the fight this weekend. Yet, currently eighth in points the former champion has a long way to go before closing onto his rival Lorenzo.

Stoner is cautiously optimistic about tomorrow's fight, "...it was better to be safe than sorry and to start the race tomorrow fresh. We'll have to wait and see what happens in the race but if we will be able to make some more little steps in the tomorrow's warm-up we may be not too far off."

Taking the top slot on the second row is the series rookie from the Yamaha Tech 3 team. Ben Spies fought his way at Silverstone to earn his first podium visit. The American turned a lap of 1:34.926 which was one-tenth of a second slower than Stoner.

"It's my best qualifying session and I'm really happy," smiled Spies. "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."

In the middle of the second row is another American. Nicky Hayden has a best lap of 1:34.999 on his Ducati and only missed besting Spies by 0.073 seconds. The outside of the third row is the rider who sits second in the points -- albeit 37 points adrift of Lorenzo. Andrea Dovizioso rode his Repsol Honda to a best lap of 1:35.015 and like the rest of the pack, he was just shy of higher position by nearly two-hundredths of a second.

The top six are separated by exactly five-tenths of a second.

"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," commented Lorenzo. "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."

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