Casey Stoner will start tomorrow's Dutch TT from pole position, with team mate Dani Pedrosa alongside him after one of the best qualifying sessions of the season for the Repsol Honda Team. It is the third time in 2012 that the Repsol Honda riders have started from 1st and 2nd, having also done so in Estoril (1st Stoner - 2nd Pedrosa) and Le Mans (1st Pedrosa - 2nd Stoner).
The session was interrupted twice due to light showers and the final grid positions were only decided in the final flying laps. Casey did a fantastic job to put this morning's hard crash behind him and whilst laying ninth on the grid with just six minutes remaining, put in an incredible lap to take his third pole of the season, after Portugal and Catalunya.
Dani, finally finishing second and just one tenth off his team mate, was topping the time sheets on both occasions when the rain stopped play but missed his chance at the top spot after he ran wide on his final lap. In the morning practice session, Dani set the fastest lap of the combined free practice times, and remains confident to maintain a high pace in tomorrow's race.
CASEY STONER 1st 1'33.713
"This morning was probably one of my biggest crashes, which is saying something! The crash really knocked the wind out of me, I hurt my head, neck, wrist, knee and shoulder, it was a bad one for sure. The shoulder isn't too bad, in some of the faster corners it's tricky but my knee is the worst on the change of direction in the chicane and a few other places. The team did a really great job, they kept their heads down even when I wasn't riding to my full potential or the bike's full potential and when we were struggling to get the rear tire to work, they didn't give up. Then when we came back onto the soft rear tire for the first time since FP1, the bike had much more feeling and we were able to put together a fantastic lap and put it on pole. As far as race pace goes, we're still struggling and we need to work on this and make some decisions before the race. It's been a really strange day for us but hopefully we can be competitive tomorrow".
DANI PEDROSA 2nd 1'33.828
"We did a very good job in all the practice sessions and I'm happy with qualifying, even though I missed the pole position at the very end. The target was to be on the front row because the first corner here is very close and tight, and to work hard to get a good race pace, I think we did everything well. We improved the feeling with the front tire a little and I'm really looking forward to confirm this in the race tomorrow. The times are very close again but the key point will be the race pace. I feel good, the bike is working well and we just need to make the correct tire choice, because the weather can be uncertain like it was in Silverstone. It looks like the soft tire gives you a lot of potential but for the race distance we are not 100% sure, especially on the left side which is softer. Here it is important to have good stability out of the corner and with the hard compound you get it, so we will need to wait and see what the conditions are like tomorrow and do the best in the race".
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