24/06/11 - 12:55
Netherlands Grand Prix
TT Circuit Assen • Qualification


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POLE POSITION MARCO SIMONCELLI! He wins the day, with Ben Spies an impressive second, followed by Stoner, Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Crutchlow.


Stoner responds and goes third, but it will surely be pole for Marco Simoncelli...


CRUTCHLOW THIRD!! Magnificent lap from the Briton! Staggering considering his collarbone injury!


Stoner begins what will be his final flying lap - as Valentino Rossi goes 10th! A triumph of sorts for the great man.


Dovizioso up from seventh to fifth.


Not much movement anywhere on the timesheets, and time running out...


Simoncelli is holding on to top spot with a 1:34.718 lap - Spies just nine thousandths behind!


Toni Elias has crashed... no sign of the bike, but the rider is absolutely fine. He is running next to last in 16th.


Stoner sets a new personal best lap but stays third.


Loris Capirossi has crashed and is lying on a run-off road receiving treatment. He is moving but appears to be in some pain. Let's hope it's not as serious as it looks.


It's shaping up to be a curious-looking grid - with the full factory riders really struggling. We should be in for a fascinating last 10 minutes.


Simoncelli on a quick one, two tenths up after three sectors... and FASTEST! 1:34.718 for the Italian!


It's 1-Spies, 2-Simoncelli, 3-Stoner, 4-Dovizioso, 5-Abraham - and the Czech has just dipped under 1:36.


Colin Edwards lies seventh with his best lap of the day a 1:36.012. And Karel Abraham is doing brilliantly - much the best of the Ducatis in fifth.


Poor old Vale is down to 15th on the Ducati - once again he is being beaten by team-mate Nicky Hayden, though the American is only 12th.


Spies, brilliant! The American and his Yamaha in perfect harmony - first a 1:35.003, then a 1:34.940 - and he is two tenths clear of Simoncelli.


Incidentally, the factory Yamaha is in a special red and white livery to commemorate their 50th year in world championship racing. Looks pleasingly old skool...


How they stand: 1-Simoncelli, 2-Spies, 3-Stoner, 4-Dovizioso, 5-Lorenzo, 6-Crutchlow, 7-Abraham, 8-Edwards, 9-Barbera, 10-Hayden, 11-De Puniet, 12-Rossi, 13-Aoyama, 14-Bautista, 15-Elias, 16-Capirossi, 17-Akiyoshi.


Some ridiculous skills from Casey Stoner through the chicane - he has his front wheel off the ground the whole time. That takes huge ability and even bigger, er, huevos..


Fastest lap Simoncelli! He skims three tenths off his own best time to go 1:35.113 - still six tenths off Jorge Lorenzo's pole position record, mind.


Bit of a scare for Kosuke Akiyoshi on the San Carlo Gresini Honda - he runs wide onto the gravel and has JUST enough run-off area to stay on board and get back on the black stuff.


A despondent Valentino Rossi comes into the pits - he is running 12th, nearly two seconds off the pace.


Great lap Cal Crutchlow! Tremendous guts from the injured Briton - he goes sixth in 1:36.513.


Credit to Dovi, who was badly shaken up this morning and was carried off on a stretcher - he is running fourth.


Stoner is the one of the few main protagonists still out there - he lost valuable time after that crash this morning. Crutchlow goes 11th, relegating Valentino Rossi as he does so.


It is an overcast but dry day in Holland - air temperature 17C.


And speaking of collarbones, Cal Crutchlow has made a remarkable recovery from his injury at Silverstone - he is running 12th but cannot be 100 per cent.


Of course, Aoyama is only racing as a stand-in for Dani Pedrosa, who is recovering from a broken collarbone.


A recap of this morning's Honda nightmare: In the space of just two minutes during the riders' opening runs, first Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso had violent high-sides at the De Bult left-hander, then their temporary team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama did likewise at the left-hand part of Ruskenhoek.


The times continue to tumble - 1:35.551 from Simoncelli. Here's how they stand: 1-Simoncelli, 2-Spies, 3-Stoner, 4-Lorenzo, 5-Barbara, 6-De Puniet, 7-Rossi, 8-Dovizioso, 9-Hayden, 10-Crutchlow.


Spies nails a quick lap - 1:36.026 to move top of the pile.


There you go - 1:36.581 from Marco Simoncelli. Sideshow Bob looks in fine fettle this weekend...


For reference, Marco Simoncelli was quickest in practice this morning, clocking a 1:36.149


Hector Barbera sets the early pace with a lap of 1:39.503 - that won't stand up as the session goes on, however.


It was a dramatic morning, with all three factory Honda riders falling - Casey Stoner's was a nasty-looking high-side but the Australian is OK.


We have a green light and the hour-long session is under way - the bikes stream out of the pit lane.


Welcome to LIVE coverage of Dutch TT qualifying from Assen!