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Marc Marquez takes his eighth successive pole in Germany in a washed out Q2 
2017 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
2017 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
MotoGP 2017 – Round Nine – Sachsenring

Reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has taken his eighth consecutive pole position at the Sachsenring, but it was anything but easy for the number 93 as he dueled Q1 graduate Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) for the honour under the Saturday afternoon rain.

Marc Marquez – P1

“When I saw that it was going to be a wet qualifying session, I set a front-row position as my target. Anyway, I’ve felt very good on the bike since the beginning and I saw that the rain was easing off, so I tried to find a good rhythm as I prepared to attack in the final stages. Halfway into the session there was a bit of confusion with Maverick. In qualifying everyone pushes a lot and there was some contact, but luckily nothing happened. In the end I was able to do a very good lap and I’m quite happy with that, as it’s always very difficult to manage in the rain. Now we just need to focus on the race, which will be tough as there are many fast riders with a good pace, starting with my teammate! It seems that it won’t rain, but whatever conditions we find, it will be okay, as we have a really good pace both in the dry and in the wet.”

Danilo Petrucci – P2

“I am very happy to be here because it was a real fight. I was coming from Q1 and I had good feelings. I knew I could be there. It was a beautiful battle with Marquez, I also pulled it a bit but he was better. However, I am happy to start in the first row. Since last year, I was looking for this result in this circuit. For tomorrow, we will see what the weather will be, however I feel I have great confidence on both wet and dry conditions”.

Only a tenth and a half back despite the conditions, ‘Petrux’ will start second to split the Repsol Hondas – with Dani Pedrosa completing the front row after a weekend of impressive pace.

Dani Pedrosa – P3

“I’m very happy with this front-row position, as the start is very important at this track since the first corners are very tight. So I’m happy with the result and also to have found my feeling in the wet again, which I had lost in Assen last week. It was a very interesting qualifying session because the asphalt was so “grippy” with the rain. Watching Q1, it was amazing to see how fast they went and how tight the lap times were. When our session started, the track began to dry and the temperature also began to rise. The conditions were tricky but ultimately we got a good result. We lapped well enough in the dry as well, so we’re ready to try and get a good result tomorrow. We’ll try to do a good start, be aggressive in the first corners, and quickly set a good rhythm.”

In a late rush for pole as the sun began to peek out, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was a key protagonist in the session and will start fourth, ahead of home hero and rookie Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3).

Cal Crutchlow – P4

“I’m a little frustrated as I made a couple of mistakes in the last sector, but the tyres were destroyed and had too much heat in them and when I went back to the wet I was not turning the bike too well and lost two and half tenths just on the exit to the last corner. But I’m happy to be in the top four and it gives us a chance to get away with them tomorrow and battle”“I’m not too disappointed, yesterday I was 13th with the dodgy conditions and I said I was going to give everything to make sure I didn’t have to go to the Q1. I’d like to make it a Honda 1-2-3 tomorrow, but Dani Pedrosa is like a rocket round here. We’ll have to see what we can do in the early part of the race, try to get away with them and then just do our job.”

Jonas Folger – P5

“I’m delighted about my qualifying position for tomorrow, but the situation was very tough due to the weather and it was similar to Assen. Anyway, we did a really good job in both the dry and the wet conditions and FP3 went well, so as a result, I went straight through to QP2. There, I was able to ride a solid lap time behind Marc Marquez and I felt confident in a lot of corners. We have done everything right so far and I am really looking forward to tomorrow where I am sure I will have a great time at my home Grand Prix.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) completes the second row, putting in a solid performance as he gets to grips with the Desmosedici in the rain.

Jorge Lorenzo – P6

“Today was a positive day because this morning we found something in the set-up that allowed me to go quicker, and I also got a better idea of how to ride the bike in these conditions, as well as getting into the top ten. In Q2, on a wet track, I was able to ride quite smoothly and I got up to sixth place and row 2, which is not bad. If we make a balance of these two days, I have to say that I’m happy, because we have continued to improve, both in the dry and the wet. Tomorrow we’ll see what the weather conditions are like for the race, but in any case tyre choice will be crucial, as well as being able to manage tyre wear for the most number of laps.”

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was the second man to move through from Q1, and the Spaniard took the Austrian factory’s best ever qualifying result in seventh to continue the incredible form into Q2.

Pol Espargaro

“A really good day for all at KTM. Superb! In Q1 I think I did the perfect lap: I was really good on that lap, pushing my all getting the lap time to advance to Q2, but in that second session I might have waited a little bit too much at the end to wait for the track to dry a little bit. I think the tyres got a little bit too hot so I couldn’t quite make a better lap time, but hey, 7th position here at the Sachsenring in front of all the KTM fans is super nice. Me and all of the team are super happy, but now we’ve done a good qualifying we must look forward to keep this up for the race as that is the most important part.”

Older brother Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) complete the third row.

Valentino Rossi – P9

“It‘s been a difficult weekend so far. It happened a lot of times this year: the feeling with the bike and especially with the tyres changed a lot from one track to the other. This makes it always a big surprise, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. In the dry I’m not so bad, it’s nothing fantastic, but my pace is not so far from the front, but unfortunately in the wet I suffer more. It looks like all the Yamahas, except Folger who isn’t so bad, suffer in the wet. We didn’t expect it, because last week in Assen I was competitive in the wet, but it looks like this time it’s more difficult, so we need to try some modification for tomorrow and try to be stronger.”

Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was another of those to have a slightly more difficult session to take tenth, but starts ahead of key rival in the points standings Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who was eleventh fastest in the wet.

Andrea Dovizioso – P10

“I’m not satisfied with my qualifying at all and starting from tenth place at the Sachsenring is not ideal to say the least. Strange to say, but we weren’t able to manage the situation in the best possible way; today was completely the opposite of yesterday, when we did 25 laps in the wet without any drop in tyre performance, but it was just a question of feeling at the front. Instead after four laps in Q2 we finished the rear tyre and when I decided to push I didn’t have any grip and was unable to do a good time. Pity, but Rossi and Viñales are also close to me on the grid and so I hope we’ll be able to recover positions in the race.”

Maverick Vinales – P11

“I‘m feeling quite confident on the dry, but unfortunately we couldn‘t improve the wet setting in the afternoon. I was feeling quite strong on the brakes and carrying corner speed, but I suffered from not having enough traction whilst accelerating out of the corner. If it‘s dry tomorrow, I hope for a good start and I will push myself to be on the limit on every lap and I will try to be on the podium, that will be very important. Either being on the podium or even trying to win: we have to stay open-minded. If it‘s wet tomorrow, we will continue to try to improve the bike and manage the situation as best we can.”

Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) completes the top twelve on the grid from Q2.

Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) just missed the cut in Q1 and will start P13, with Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) and Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completing the top fifteen.

Jack Miller – P13

“The session was good all the way until I got bumped out of Q2 but I have had good pace all weekend and the bike is working well in all conditions. It was a shame not to make Q2 but I feel really comfortable and confident going into the race, it is always a long, hard slog at this track. No one knows what the conditions will be for the race but we are ready. I came in early because there was really heavy rain in the final sector and I thought I had done enough for Q2 with a 1.27.9 lap.”

One big name further down the grid for the German GP is Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) after a more difficult weekend for the French rookie superstar, with Zarco readying himself to line up in P19.

MotoGP Qualifying Results
  1. Marc Márquez (SPA – Honda) 1’27.302
  2. Danilo Petrucci (ITA – Ducati ) +0.160
  3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA – Honda) +0.647
MotoGP Qualifying Results
Marc Márquez (SPA – Honda) 1’27.302
Danilo Petrucci (ITA – Ducati ) +0.160
Dani Pedrosa (SPA – Honda) +0.647


Franco Morbidelli steals pole as Cortese flies the flag at home

Championship leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) just pushed teammate Alex Marquez off the top spot on his final run in Moto2 qualifying, after the session took some heavy rain before conditions began to improve.

Franco Morbidelli – P1

“It was very difficult at the start of qualifying because we had to start on wet tyres, even though we could clearly see there were a lot of dry patches around the track. It was hard to pick the right line and gauge where you could push, so I wasn’t very fast. Then it started to rain hard again and it looked like I was going to have to start tomorrow from around eighth position. That would have been a pity after we were able to demonstrate how strong we were in the dry this morning. I got more optimistic when I saw Xavier Simeon lapping at a very good pace, even though the track was completely wet. I just went out to push as hard as I could and the track was in decent enough condition to get pole position. I am very happy to take this pole position because it came in such difficult circumstances with the changing conditions.”

Álex Márquez – P2

“I have mixed emotions right now because I felt I had done enough for pole position, but honestly I have to be happy to be on the front row. In the dry it has not been easy for me to be as competitive as I would like. We made a step this morning and I was hoping we could make more progress in a dry qualifying session. The conditions were very difficult and it was easy to make a mistake, so you had to judge perfectly how hard you could push. I lost a bit of time with Manzi on my final lap but the front row is still a very positive result.”

Just behind the EG 0,0 Marc VDS duo’s continued domination of 2017 was a sandrissimo performance from home hero Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) as the German looked set for pole before the final laps, with the 2012 Moto3™ World Champion nevertheless completing the front row.

Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) heads the second row to bounce back from a more difficult Friday, with a stunning performance from Hector Garzo – replacing injured Xavi Vierge – putting the Tech 3 Racing team into fifth in his one-off appearance. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was sixth after proving the fastest man before the conditions began to improve.

Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) lost out the most in the final dash, threatening for pole before eventually gearing up to start seventh. Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) is P8, with rookie duo Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP40) and Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) completing the top ten.

Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) had a solid showing in the wet to take P11, ahead of Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) and second home hero Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP). 

Remy Gardner continued his positive streak by qualifying 14th for the round 9 battle at the tight and twisting track. The young Australian resolutely fought against the challenging track conditions and sped over the finish line on his last lap to finish under a second back from the second row. Tomorrow he aims to muscle his way into a strong point scoring position in the highly competitive intermediate class sprint.

Remy Gardner – P14

“It was a strange day with regards to the weather but my qualifying result is decent so I think that we can be confident for the race tomorrow. At the beginning of the day, FP3 went well and I was quick in the dry, which was certainly positive. However, then qualifying started and the asphalt was drying, but it looked like a lot of rain was coming so everyone rushed out onto the track. Then the weather turned but in the end, every rider went faster even in the worse conditions, plus there was so much grip in the wet and it was unbelievable. I made it over the line with a second to spare, which was good because in the following lap I set my quickest time. Throughout the practice, I got more and more confident but I definitely think that I could have cut around half a second or more from my personal best. It’s not the greatest grid position but I am content and I think we can do a good job in the dry tomorrow so let’s see what happens. Also, I must say congratulations to Hector.”

Moto2 Qualifying Results
  1. Franco Morbidelli (ITA – Kalex) 1’32.159
  2. Alex Márquez (SPA – Kalex) +0.253
  3. Sandro Cortese (GER – Suter) + 0.377


Aron Canet conquers the Sachsenring for last dash pole

Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) took to the top of Moto3 qualifying despite a light rain shower towards the end of the session, pushing hard in the final minutes when it looked like improving laptimes would prove impossible. Joining him on the front row are Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) and Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) after another solid session for the 2015 Moto3 Junior World Champion.

Marcos Ramirez again showed some impressive pace to take P4 for Platinum Bay Real Estate, just pushed off the front row by Canet’s final effort. Tony Arbolino (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was another to impress in P5, with the rookie just edging veteran compatriot Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers).

Home hero Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) heads up row three for a push towards the front at his home round, ahead of Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and a solid session for Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) despite a fall for the Italian in FP3.

John McPhee (British Talent Team) was another big mover after the shower, shooting up from P19 to P10 to set himself up for another podium charge ahead of Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) and Tatsuki Suzuki, who completed a good day for SIC58 Squadra Corse in twelfth.

After an improved weekend and top three pace in FP3, Leopard Racing’s Livio Loi was thirteenth fastest, ahead of Malaysian Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) and Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team), who completed the top fifteen.

Replacement rider and 2015 Moto3 World Champion Danny Kent (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was sixteenth fastest, but has also received a 12 place grid penalty due to slow riding in FP3.

Moto3 Qualifying Results
  1. Aron Canet (SPA – Honda) 1’26.688
  2. Joan Mir (SPA – Honda) + 0.245
  3. Nicolo Bulega (ITA – KTM) + 0.293