THIRD CONSECUTIVE POLE FOR STONER, MELANDRI UNABLE TO IMPROVE Casey Stoner took his third pole position in a row at Assen and the thirteenth of his career today, as well as setting an impressive race pace once again. Morning rainfall and...
THIRD CONSECUTIVE POLE FOR STONER, MELANDRI UNABLE TO IMPROVE
Casey Stoner took his third pole position in a row at Assen and the thirteenth of his career today, as well as setting an impressive race pace once again. Morning rainfall and afternoon wind did not make life any easier for the Australian but he came on strongly at the end of the session to improve his best lap on each of his three qualifying tyres.
During his last run on race tyres the antenna located near the finish line that sends data to the bike's transponder wasn't working; Casey could not see his lap times on his dash and they didn't show up on the circuit monitors. However the problem was quickly solved, and it was Stoner, Pedrosa and Rossi who would battle for pole in an exciting climax to the session, with the Ducati rider's final effort remaining just out of reach of his rivals. Marco Melandri was unable to improve his best lap time this afternoon and he starts from 17th place.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) Pole Position - 1'35.520
"This afternoon was a lot windier than yesterday and the rain this morning meant that the track conditions weren't at their optimum: the front was pushing in a lot of corners where you really have to rely on it, so that made life ten times more difficult than it should be! Before we put the qualifiers in we had that problem with the lap time transmitter and I didn't know how fast I was going. Luckily Dorna managed to fix it before we put the qualifying tyres in and I was feeling confident, but the extra grip offered by the softer rear put even more pressure on the front and I almost lost it on several occasions during the last three laps. To have qualified on pole despite all those things is fantastic! The rain this morning also meant that we didn't get many laps in on slick race tyres today but that is the same situation for everybody and we did enough yesterday to be confident about tomorrow's race. This is my third pole position in a row so it shows the great job being done by everybody at Ducati and especially at Bridgestone, who have made great steps forward with their qualifying rubber this season so congratulations to them."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 17th - 1'38.726
"I don't know what to say, other than that I am extremely disappointed to be in a position that doesn't correspond to my ability, or clearly that of the bike. We're all trying so hard but we just can't find a solution to our problems and it's going to be a very tough race tomorrow."