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Rossi outguns rivals for pole
Valentino Rossi will start his quest for a 100th Grand Prix victory from pole position at the Assen circuit on Saturday afternoon, taking the top spot for the Alice TT Assen with a 1’36.025 lap.

Although it is Rossi’s second pole position of 2009, it is also the first time that he has topped a qualifying session this season. His previous pole came courtesy of combined practice times when the grid-deciding session in Japan was cancelled due to rainfall.

The Fiat Yamaha rider was trailed by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who was less than a tenth of a second slower than the Italian’s hot lap. Pedrosa returns to the front row after two races away.

Jorge Lorenzo continued his 100% record of front line starts with a time three-tenths down on teammate Rossi’s marker, and the Spaniard made a final push for pole in the closing stages of the session. He is now the only rider to have qualified on the front row for every race of the 2009 season to date, having relegated the only other candidate –Casey Stoner- to fourth place.

Although Stoner had crossed the line with enough time to perform another hot lap, the Australian sat up and opted against a further attempt at pole. Problems with grip had plagued the Ducati Marlboro rider throughout the morning and afternoon sessions, and he had another wobble that left him obviously agitated during the outing.

Colin Edwards once again qualified on the second row after leading the session for a small period of time, alongside another veteran in Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi.

The only crash in the session came from Niccolò Canepa, the Pramac Racing rookie escaping uninjured.



Rider Time Nat Bike Team
1 Valentino Rossi 1m 36.025 ITA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 1m 36.110 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo 1m 36.393 SPA YAMAHA Fiat Yamaha Team
4 Casey Stoner 1m 36.633 AUS DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
5 Colin Edwards 1m 36.760 USA YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
6 Loris Capirossi 1m 36.953 ITA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
7 Chris Vermeulen 1m 37.194 AUS SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
8 Andrea Dovizioso 1m 37.237 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
9 James Toseland 1m 37.323 GBR YAMAHA Tech 3 Yamaha
10 Randy De Puniet 1m 37.473 FRA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
11 Alex De Angelis 1m 37.637 SMR HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
12 Mika Kallio 1m 37.749 FIN DUCATI Pramac Racing
13 Nicky Hayden 1m 37.759 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
14 Marco Melandri 1m 37.948 ITA KAWASAKI Hayate Racing Team
15 Toni Elias 1m 38.136 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
16 Sete Gibernau 1m 38.453 SPA DUCATI Grupo Francisco Hernando
17 Niccolo Canepa 1m 36.605 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
18 Yuki Takahashi 1m 38.619 JAP HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP
19 Gabor Talmacsi 1m 39.407 HUN HONDA Scot Racing Team MotoGP

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