Marco Simoncelli has taken a second career MotoGP pole position by a narrow margin in qualifying for the Dutch TT at Assen.
The Gresini Honda rider set the early benchmark, before recording the eventual pole time of 1:37.72s with just under 15 minutes remaining.
A late charge from American Ben Spies saw the Yamaha rider finish the session just 0.009s slower than Simoncelli, while Honda’s Casey Stoner improved after a late-session damper adjustment to to secure a front-row start.
Jorge Lorenzo was fourth, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and an impressive Cal Crutchlow.
As was the case last time out in Silverstone, rookie Karel Abraham was the pick of the Ducatis. The Moto2 graduate will start from seventh position, while Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden and Randy de Puniet rounded out the top five.
De Puniet’s team-mate Loris Capirossi was taken to the medical centre after a fall early in the 60 minute session, while LCR Honda’s Tonio Ellias walked away unhurt after his own incident.
Earlier in the day, all three Repsol Honda riders fell in the final practice session, with Dovizioso breaking a bone in his foot.
See below for the full qualifying result
|1||Marco Simoncelli||Gresini Honda||1m34.718s|
|6||Cal Crutchlow||Tech 3 Yamaha||1m35.329s||0.611s|
|7||Karel Abraham||Cardion Ducati||1m35.742s||1.024s|
|8||Colin Edwards||Tech 3 Yamaha||1m35.818s||1.100s|
|10||Randy de Puniet||Pramac Ducati||1m36.435s||1.717s|
|13||Hector Barbera||Aspar Ducati||1m36.590s||1.872s|
|15||Loris Capirossi||Pramac Ducati||1m37.130s||2.412s|
|16||Toni Elias||LCR Honda||1m37.651s||2.933s|
|17||Kousuke Akiyoshi||Gresini Honda||1m39.006s||4.288s|