Rossi claims pole at Assen as he seeks century of wins

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The Independent Online

Valentino Rossi claimed pole position for the Dutch TT at Assen as the Italian bids to record his 100th grand prix victory in Holland today.

The Fiat Yamaha rider and defending MotoGP world champion, who is tied at the top of the current points standings with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and Ducati Marlboro's Casey Stoner, left it late in the qualifying session before claiming pole with a lap time of one minute 36.025 seconds.

Dani Pedrosa was second quickest on the Repsol Honda despite still being hampered by a hip injury. Third on the grid is Lorenzo who will be looking to bounce back after Rossi won a thrilling duel between the two of them at the last GP in Spain. Lorenzo was leading on the last lap when Rossi forced his way to the front at the Catalonia circuit near Barcelona. Lorenzo became the only rider to qualify for every race of the MotoGP season so far on the front row after his best time relegated Stoner to fourth on the grid.

Veteran Colin Edwards had led the session but was eventually relegated to fifth on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha as the times fell rapidly in the closing minutes. Rizla Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi was sixth fastest and his team-mate Chris Vermeulen was next. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), James Toseland (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) made up the top 10.