Stoner on pole in Assen
Australian rewarded for switch to soft tyres as he clocks fastest lap
Last Updated: June 29, 2012 4:02pm
Casey Stoner: clocked a best lap time of one minute 33.713secs in the closing stages
Reigning champion Casey Stoner took pole position for Saturday's MotoGP race despite a heavy crash in final practice in Assen.
The Australian pipped Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa by 0.115 seconds at the end of a qualifying session that was plagued by rain.
Stoner had come off his bike in practice and looked to be struggling as he languished in ninth when the second of two rain breaks arrived.
However, a switch to soft tyres saw an upturn in his fortunes and he managed to clock a best lap time of one minute 33.713secs in the closing stages.
Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha will start from third on the grid after finishing just ahead of LCR Honda rookie Stefan Bradl, who managed a career-best qualifying performance.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow showed no ill-effects from his fractured left ankle, sustained in the previous round at Silverstone, finishing fifth quickest on his Tech 3 Yamaha.
Ben Spies, winner of the race last season, was sixth fastest for Yamaha, with Crutchlow's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso heading up the third row.
Meanwhile, Ducati endured a disappointing day as Nicky Hayden and former world champion Valentino Rossi were ninth and 10th respectively.