Honda locks out front row with Dani Pedrosa in second and Stefan Bradl in third
Marc Marquez romped to another pole position during today’s qualifying session for the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland with the championship leader taking his seventh pole of the year for the Repsol Honda team. Starting from second place tomorrow is Marquez’ teammate Dani Pedrosa while the German fans were thrilled to see home hero Stefan Bradl setting the third best lap for the LCR Honda team.
Marquez took some time to get up to speed this morning but he set this afternoon’s session alight with blistering pace on his bike to eventually set a record time of 1m 20.937s while Pedrosa was nearly .3s off with Bradl a further .107s off pole. Just like Honda on the front row, the second row sees Aleix Espargaro and the NGM Forward Racing Yamaha team in 4th with a best lap time of 1m 21.376s while Movistar Yamaha pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino start from in fifth and sixth respectively.
The third row sees Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone starting from 7th with a best time of 1m 21.679s while Pol Espargaro finished the session in 8th place with the Spaniard lucky to be in Q2 after a high speed crash this morning. Espargaro’s best lap of 1m 21.771s sees him start in front of Bradley Smith and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team on a best time of 1m 21.794s with Alvaro Bautista closed behind for the GO&Fun Honda Gresini Team with his best time of 1m 21.906s good enough to start ahead of Ducati Racing’s Andrea Dovizioso (1m 22.120s) and Nicky Hayden in 12th for the Drive M7 Aspar team with a best lap of 1m 22.647s.
Speaking about taking the 16th pole position of his MotoGP career, Marquez said, “The weekend has been affected by the crash I suffered yesterday, but I kept my nerve and little by little we’ve been getting better. I felt good yesterday afternoon and I was much better this morning. In the few laps I did in FP4, I could see that we had a good pace and a chance to fight for pole position. With the first tire I didn’t feel entirely comfortable, but with the second one I had a good feeling and could see that there was good grip - so I decided to push a little more and put in a strong lap. Starting from the front is important for the race tomorrow, because this is a circuit where it is difficult to overtake. We will try and keep up the pace from practice, which I think has been good.”
Pedrosa was happy to have qualified in second especially after another crash today. He said, "It was a good qualifying session and we had a good pace, despite the crash which was my fault when I think I hit a bump under braking but luckily I'm fine. I’m very grateful to my mechanics for the work they did yesterday to get the bike back running again after my crash in FP2. Tomorrow we will try to do our best, position ourselves well from the start, make a good tyre choice and hope the weather is kind to us! Our setup is definitely good, so I hope to have a good race.”
Bradl was thrilled with taking a front row start in front of his home fans and will try and doe one better tomorrow as he explained afterwards. “It’s simply fantastic for me to get the front row in front of my home crowd,” said Bradl who added, “I could see my fans waving and clapping their hands when I was on track and this is an incredible feeling. I think we have done a good job so far especially this morning when we have found further improvements and it’s easier for me to turn the bike now. Tomorrow, depending on the weather, it will be very important to choose the right front tire because this track is very demanding for the front rubber. Actually the pressure is high now because everybody is expecting me to climb the podium but I keep my feet on the ground because it’s important to score points.”