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Simoncelli secures pole for Dutch TT

Marco Simoncelli, Gresini Honda, AssenMarco Simoncelli claimed the second pole of his MotoGP career as he edged out Ben Spies at Assen.

Gresini rider Simoncelli had been fastest in both the practice sessions, in a variety of conditions, and a 1m34.718s relatively early in qualifying was sufficient to give him the top spot on the grid.

Spies (Yamaha) mounted his strongest qualifying performance since joining the factory team to take second, with Simoncelli only pipping him by 0.009 seconds.

Championship leader Casey Stoner was slightly off his usual pace as he completed the front row on his works Honda. Spies' team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will start fourth - the first time the world champion has been outqualified by the sister factory Yamaha in 2011.

Despite breaking a bone in his foot in his violent crash this morning, Andrea Dovizioso managed to qualify fifth for Honda.

Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow continued his heroic weekend with sixth place, despite having surgery on a complicated collarbone break just a week ago.

Karel Abraham impressed again on the Cardion Ducati. As high as third at one stage, the rookie held on for a still creditable seventh, ahead of Colin Edwards (Tech 3), Nicky Hayden (Ducati) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Ducati).

Switching to the GP11.1 - a 2012 Ducati with an 800cc engine - did not pay any early dividends for Valentino Rossi. The former champion languished in 15th for a long while before clawing his way up to 11th.

Hiroshi Aoyama qualified 12th on his first - and probably only - appearance on the factory Honda, with his Gresini Honda stand-in Kousuke Akiyoshi bringing up the rear of the field.

Both Pramac's Loris Capirossi and LCR Honda's Toni Elias had accidents, with the former taken to the medical centre for checks.

Pos  Rider             Team/Bike       Time       Gap
 1.  Marco Simoncelli  Gresini Honda   1m34.718s
 2.  Ben Spies         Yamaha          1m34.727s  + 0.009s
 3.  Casey Stoner      Honda           1m35.008s  + 0.290s
 4.  Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha          1m35.143s  + 0.425s
 5.  Andrea Dovizioso  Honda           1m35.244s  + 0.526s
 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
 9.  Nicky Hayden      Ducati          1m35.866s  + 1.148s
10.  Randy de Puniet   Pramac Ducati   1m36.435s  + 1.717s
11.  Valentino Rossi   Ducati          1m36.564s  + 1.846s
12.  Hiroshi Aoyama    Honda           1m36.580s  + 1.862s
13.  Hector Barbera    Aspar Ducati    1m36.590s  + 1.872s
14.  Alvaro Bautista   Suzuki          1m36.820s  + 2.102s
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
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Simoncelli insists he wasn't reckless
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Dovizioso pleased to hang on to third
Stoner settled for points in Dutch TT
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