Alvaro Bautista claimed his first premier class pole as rain during the last five minutes of the session made sure no other rider was able to better Bautista’s 2’03.303. Almost exactly a year since Marco Simoncelli’s last pole position at Assen it was an achievement full of emotion for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini.
Ben Spies will start second on grid, his best this season while Stoner will settle for third.
Jorge Lorenzo will be fourth on grid after a hot lap where he erred on turn 6. Dani Pedrosa was next, and as another surprise for the weekend, Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá will be sixth on the grid, the fastest Ducati on the track today.
Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso, Stefan Bradl and Valentino Rossi complete the top ten. Best CRT finisher was Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró in 11th.
The Qualifying Practice did not include local rider Cal Crutchlow, as he crashed his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine in the morning practice, injuring his ankle. He underwent medial checks at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, which confirmed he did not incur any fractures, but that it was sprained. Crutchlow is undergoing treatment at the hospital, and will have a final assessment tomorrow morning to see if he is fit to race.