Jorge Lorenzo continues to dominate in a Rossi-less MotoGP, taking his second pole this season while at Assen for the Dutch TT. Also making waves was American Ben Spies, who after taking a third place finish at Silverstone, finds himself fourth on the starting grid tomorrow for the Dutch TT’s Saturday race day start. Lastly, a big shirt-less high five goes to Randy de Puniet for taking his second second-place qualifying in a row. The Frenchman continues to make the Repsol Honda team look bad with his impressive season, and apparently hasn’t gotten the memo that satellite riders are supposed to be slow.
Always humble, de Puniet was quick to downplay his efforts in Assen this week. “Everything is going in the right direction for us and we completely deserved this second consecutive front row,” said de Puniet. “I am still the fastest Honda rider and the top privateer rider in the classification, so this is not just luck!” Unconfirmed reports say that Randy ripped off his shirt after that statement, and began washing the jersey on his abs in the team garage.
For Spies, the attention continues to build around the young American rider, who has consistently impressed MotoGP fans with his acumen for learning GP racing. Spies has been cautious about his performance so far, but doesn’t discount another podium finish this weekend. “Obviously Jorge is a way ahead of me at the front but the fight between third to sixth is pretty close,” says the American rookie. “I’m in that fight and that could land me on the podium. But it could easily be a dogfight and I could end up sixth or seventh. Going into the race though I’m closer than I was with the lap times than Silverstone, so anything is possible.”
Unlike Spies, Lorenzo will play a more conservative game on Saturday. “I will try to escape but if I can’t I will fight for the podium. We can afford to be very calm because of our lead in the standings, but the team and I are still working as hard as we can to keep going at this level; we’re not relaxing.” The only thing that seemingly could lose the Championship for Lorenzo would be a race time crash, which he’ll be sure to avoid tomorrow during the Dutch TT.
Results from Qualifying at Assen for MotoGP’s Dutch TT:
|Pos||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff||Diff. to Prev.|
|2||14||Randy DE PUNIET||HONDA||1’34.797||0.282||0.282|