Repsol Honda rider grabs pole on weekend of attrition at the Sachsenring
Marc Marquez secured another pole position in his rookie MotoGP championship with the Repsol Honda man setting a scintillating pace ahead of tomorrow’s eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Taking second place was an impressive Cal Crutchlow on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi securing his first front row starting position since the 2010 season. The second day was dogged by incidents with heavy falls for many riders including current championship leader Dani Pedrosa with no confirmation as yet if the Repsol Honda rider will race tomorrow.
I'm very happy with this pole position. It's important to start from the front row at this circuit.
All eyes were on German rider Stefan Bradl with the LCR Honda rider trying his hardest to secure pole position in front of the home support but he was also to fall victim to the notoriously tricky German track after he lost the front of his RC213V machine that ended his challenge for the front row and having to settle for a 4th place start with a best lap time of 1m 21.862s. Marquez’ best time of 1m 21.311s was comfortably the fastest with Crutchlow setting a 1m 21.434s lap and Rossi on a best time of 1m 21.493s. There was joy in the Power Electronics garage with Aleix Espargaro sealing the best ever qualifying position on a CRT machine with the 5th fastest lap time of 1m 21.887s ahead of Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden on a 1m 22.157s and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith (1m 22.297s).
Substituting for Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies, Michele Pirro will start from 15th place on a best time of 1m 23.349s with Laverty alongside (1m 23.549s). Yonny Hernandez starts from 17th for the Paul Bird Motorsport team setting a best time of 1m 23.565s while NGM Mobile Forward Racing rider Colin Edwards starts from 18th on a best lap of 1m 23.631s. Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham set the 19th best time despite being affect by a flu yesterday and the Czech Republic rider’s best lap of 1m 23.752s was better than that of the returning Hiroshi Aoyama with the Avintia Blusens rider starting from 20th (1m 23.820s). Lukas Pesek (Came IodaRacing Project) will start from 21st with a lap time of 1m 24.395s and Starting’s best of 1m 27.273s puts him in a 22nd grid position with 23rd allocated to Iannone although there was no time set this afternoon.
Marquez was very happy in sealing another pole position and is looking forward to tomorrow. He said, “I'm very happy with this pole position. It's important to start from the front row at this circuit, since it's quite difficult to overtake! I felt very comfortable, especially after the pace I had in FP4. In qualifying I struggled a little to get the most out of the bike, but things went better on our second exit. I think we have done a great job and we will try to do our best, have a good race and fight for the podium, and with a little luck for the victory. After I saw Dani's crash this morning I was definitely a little more cautious going through turn one. I really hope he recovers quickly and can race tomorrow. It will be a difficult race, because Valentino will be fighting also Stefan and Cal, if he's okay physically, will be up there as well"
Following a number of heavy crashes this weekend, Crutchlow was delighted to be on the front row. “I am really pleased to be back on the front row after all the drama of yesterday,” said Crutchlow who continued, “They were two really big crashes in practice and my body took a bit of beating to be honest. The first crash was completely my fault because I made a mistake on the brakes but the second was because the front tire was cold. It was definitely my worst day of the season, so to put all that behind me and get a front row when I am not close to my physical best is a great achievement.
When I woke up this morning I didn’t feel that great because my body took a big impact in a few places. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to ride and just to be out there is great. It is going to be a very difficult race in my condition but I will be giving it my all to get another podium. Today was a great result for my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. I gave them plenty of work to do yesterday but they did a great job and as always I am grateful for their efforts,” Crutchlow added.
If we want to stay with Marc we have to make a small improvement for tomorrow. Anyway, I am so happy, the last front row for me was in 2010 in Le Mans, a long, long time ago. Tomorrow it will be a strange feeling to have nobody in front! For Jorge it is a great pity because he made a small mistake and unfortunately landed on the wrong shoulder. After what he did in Assen he was very close to a superhero. It’s a pity also for his championship but now I think he’s made the right choice to take some quiet time to recover. For him the Championship will be hard but still not impossible before the end,” Rossi added.