German GP, Sachsenring: Qualifying roundup – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News



The surprises had hardly stopped as the MotoGP™ World Championship headed out for Q2 to decide the grid for the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had made it into the session by the skin of his teeth, crashing while on a flying lap in Q1.

Most riders elected to do two runs, the field roaring out of the pits with under five minutes remaining. It was with this that the king of Sachsenring made himself known, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) setting a 1’21.160 to take his fourth straight pole position in the premier class in Germany. The Spaniard is looking to continue his perfect record at the Sachsenring, having won from pole for the last three years in the premier class and setting the fastest lap along the way. His incredible record extends even beyond that, having not stepped off the top step in Germany since his first win there in 2010.

Behind him was a marvellous Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing), the Spaniard taking his second ever front row start in the premier class. His first came back in 2012 at the Italian GP, on a Ducati for that race as well. Not only was he the leading Independent Team rider, but also the leading Ducati and the only Ducati man on the front row. Second place is Barbera’s best grid position in the premier class and his best Qualifying result since his last race in the 250cc class at Valencia in 2009.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will complete the front row for the German GP, half a second off pole position. ‘The Doctor’ was pleased to stay on the front row after traffic got in the way during his second run on track with new tyres. Rossi’s race pace looks strong enough to challenge Marquez and he’ll be hoping to end Honda’s domination of the German circuit. Having already failed to score on three occasions in 2016, he needs to get back on the podium.

Setting an identical time to Rossi, Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) will lead the second row of the grid ahead of Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). Marquez may have had a distinct advantage with his pole time, but both Espargaro and Petrucci were within a tenth of second place.

Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) formed the rest of the top ten.

Just as sectors started to flash red, Jorge Lorenzo suffered his second crash within 30 minutes, coming off at Turn 1. His day could hardly get any worse, the factory Yamaha man set to line up in 11th. This is his worst grid position since he was 12th at the Dutch GP in 2013 after breaking his collarbone.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) fell just five minutes into the session at Turn 1 as he began his second flying lap. It was a small crash but took valuable time away from the session and forced him to use his second bike.



Picking a favourite for pole position as Qualifying for the Moto2™ World Championship began was almost impossible, one second splitting the top 22 riders during FP3. Most of the usual names were towards the top of the timesheets immediately, finding themselves the target of riders looking for a slipstream.

Just a round after his first ever victory, Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) continued to build his confidence as the Japanese rider took his first pole since 2013 with a 1’24.274. In Barcelona Nakagami achieved his first podium of 2016 and quickly followed it up with victory, the confidence from the two results pushing him forward in Germany. It’s his fourth pole in the Moto2™ class, his three previous all coming in 2013. Two of these poles saw him go on to finish on the podium, could he make it two wins in row races?

Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport), who celebrated his 26th birthday on the day of Qualifying in Germany, was the man to beat for most of the session. A 1’24.514 on his 11th lap of the session would stand as the fastest time until Nakagami’s last lap. In typical Zarco style, he’s not worried about missing pole position and is confident his race pace will at least have him alongside Nakagami on Sunday.

Throughout the weekend Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) has steadily improved his pace and climbed higher and higher with each session. His progress continued in Qualifying as he secured third on the grid, 0.367s off pole. This is his fifth front row of the year and continues the pattern of taking to the front row in every second race. All but one of his front row starts have converted into podium finishes, Qatar the exception due to the jump start penalty.

Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) will begin the German GP in fourth ahead of Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS). Both the Italians have shown great pace at the Sachsenring during their previous visits and will be looking for their first wins in the intermediate class. Sachsenring has a habit of producing first time winners, the last three Moto2™ races being won by riders who had never won before.

Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team), Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), Marcel Schrotter (AGR Team) and Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completed the top ten.

Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) was forced to withdraw from the German GP after injuring his ribs in a karting accident. The injury was aggravated while riding in FP3.



Track temperatures of 33.5°C welcomed the Moto3™ World Championship to Qualifying at the Sachsenring. Low 1’27s were the benchmark as the lights went out and Qualifying for the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland began. There were a number of crashes early in the session and the red flag was brought out with 25 minutes remaining as there was oil down at Turns 4, 5 and 6. The oil had come from the bike of Danny Webb (Platinum Bay Real Estate), the Brit’s bike seen smoking before he was flicked off at Turn 7. Webb went to the medical centre for checks on his shoulder.

Jorge Martin (Pull & Bear Aspar Mahindra) was flicked off early in the session at Turn 6. He was unharmed and able to get back to the pits for repairs. Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) suffered his third fall of the weekend, coming off at Turn 4.

Turn 4 claimed Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) almost immediately after, the Italian holding his collarbone when he stood up. After checks it was revealed the Italian had broken his left collarbone, thus being declared unfit for the race. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing Moto3) was the next victim at the corner due to the oil, tumbling through the gravel trap but avoiding any serious injury.

Action resumed once the spillage had been cleared. The drama didn’t stop with the crashes, 11 riders starting their last laps with red sectors. Having been strong all weekend, Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) set a 1’27.129 to take his second pole of the year. The Italian has had six poles during his career, always coming in pairs.

For the second time in his career, Andrea Locatelli (Leopard Racing) will start from the front row. A 1’27.448 saw the Italian 0.319s behind his countrymen, half a second faster than any of his teammates. Locatelli’s previous front row came in Austin in 2015 when he was third, going on to take seventh in the race.

Completing the front row and leading the rookies was Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), 0.053s off second place. Canet has had an up and down weekend with a big crash earlier, but is showing no signs of slowing down. In France he showed that he could stay with the front-runners, tighter tracks seeming to suit his style.

Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) secured his best ever grid position with fourth, ahead of the injured Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0). Many had expected Navarro to struggle to evens core points in Germany; his fifth place an incredible result given his recently broken leg.

Championship leader Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completes the second row of the grid. As ever he was followed by a number of riders looking for a tow, traffic ruining several of his faster laps.

Maria Herrera (MH6 Team) suffered a nasty fall in the final five minutes and was taken to the medical centre where she was diagnosed with a left wrist fracture. Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team) was a late faller in the session coming off on the exit of Turn 12.



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