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Anderlecht's Rigon takes Assen pole

Davide Rigon, Anderlecht, Assen 2010Davide Rigon scored his first Superleague Formula pole position since the first-ever round - at Donington Park in 2008 - at Assen in Holland.

Rigon, who now drives for Anderlecht, beat ex-Formula 1 racer Franck Montagny (Bordeaux) in the head-to-head final by over half a second, with the quickest lap of the entire qualifying procedure at 1m23.687s.

In the first semi final, Montagny chased and caught Julien Jousse (Roma) through every sector, ending the lap 0.198 seconds faster. This was remarkable, as Jousse had set the fastest lap overall in the group stages, some three tenths quicker than his fellow Frenchman had previously achieved.

In semi two, Franck Perera (Flamengo) was ahead of Rigon (the only non-Frenchman in the semis) in both of the opening two sectors, but the former champion nailed the last corners to turn around a 0.033s deficit to a 0.126s advantage in his favour.

The first quarter final saw Jousse defeat Galatasaray's Tristan Gmmendy by over half a second, while Rigon saw off Alvaro Parente (Porto) by 0.168s in the second. Perera beat Chris van der Drift (Olympiacos) in the third quarter.

The best was saved until last as Montagny beat home hero Yelmer Buurman (AC Milan) by 0.295s in the last quarter final, but that did not tell the full story, as they were separated at the sector split times by 0.004 and 0.011s until Montagny aced the final couple of corners. After the session, however, his name did flash up on the timing screens as being under investigation.

The big casualties of the group sessions were series leader Craig Dolby, whose Tottenham car was 1.139s off the fastest time, and only seventh in Group A. Also falling at this hurdle was ex-F1 man Sebastien Bourdais (on pole here in Champ Car in 2007), who was only sixth fastest for Lyon.

The unluckiest man was Sevilla's Marcos Martinez, who missed out on qualifying for the knockout stages by 0.064s. Also out of Group A were Borja Garcia (Sporting Lisbon) and Maria de Villota, who failed to make it out of the pits for newly-crowned Europa League champions Atletico Madrid.

Regular frontrunner Max Wissel was the leading light to fall in Group B, failing to make the top four cut-off by 0.14s. Also failing to make it through were James Walker (Liverpool), John Martin (driving for the returning Beijing Guoan), local hero Robert Doornbos (Corinthians) and Narain Karthikeyan (PSV Eindhoven).

Pos  Driver               Team                   Time
 1.  Davide Rigon         RSC Anderlecht         1m23.687s
 2.  Franck Montagny      Girondins de Bordeaux  1m24.244s
 3.  Franck Perera        Flamengo               1m24.093s
 4.  Julien Jousse        AS Roma                1m24.212s
 5.  Yelmer Buurman       AC Milan               1m24.330s
 6.  Chris van der Drift  Olympiacos             1m24.384s
 7.  Alvaro Parente       FC Porto               1m24.431s
 8.  Tristan Gommendy     Galatasaray            1m25.015s
 9.  Max Wissel           FC Basel               1m24.417s
10.  Marcos Martinez      Sevilla FC             1m24.643s
11.  James Walker         Liverpool FC           1m24.638s
12.  Sebastien Bourdais   Olympique Lyonnais     1m24.705s
13.  John Martin          Beijing Guoan          1m24.711s
14.  Craig Dolby          Tottenham Hotspur      1m25.376s
15.  Robert Doornbos      Corinthians            1m24.881s
16.  Borja Garcia         Sporting               1m25.881s
17.  Narain Karthikeyan   PSV Eindhoven          1m25.739s
18.  Maria de Villota     Atletico de Madrid
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Rigon adds final win for Anderlecht
Van der Drift wins for Olympiacos
Anderlecht's Rigon dominates Assen
Rigon: Pole was unexpected