Record breaker Marquez takes pole with fastest ever Sachsenring lap
Marc Marquez notched a new best pole lap in the MotoGP™ Q2 session at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, with Dani Pedrosa and Stefan Bradl also on row one – Pedrosa setting a fast lap before a crash.
A 1’20.937 effort from Marquez gave him pole by just under 0.3s from Repsol Honda Team colleague Pedrosa who went down at turn 1 with three minutes remaining. The rapid lap time for Marquez broke Casey Stoner’s six year old best pole lap record of 1’21.067 from 2008.
The home fans were delighted with Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) registering a 1’21.340 lap, as the German qualified third having initially been on provisional pole five minutes into the session.
The second row, meanwhile features a strong Yamaha presence with Open-equipped Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) placing his Forward-Yamaha machine ahead of the factory Movistar Yamaha MotoGP machines of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi on the grid.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) impressed again in seventh, ahead of Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) on row three. Smith suffered a fourth crash of the weekend in Q2 but was not hurt.
Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) was tenth, whilst Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) complete the fourth row having come through from Q1.
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) missed out on a Q2 ride having crashed at high speed at turn 11, taking a big tumble through the gravel at the end of Q1. Crutchlow was unhurt and quickly went back to his pit box for a debrief despite initially looking quite shaken by the accident.
MotoGP™ Qualifying Practice Classification
Moto2™: Round nine pole goes to consistent Aegerter
The Saturday afternoon qualifying action at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland was completed with Dominique Aegerter taking Moto2™ pole, just ahead of Mika Kallio and Esteve Rabat on the front row.
Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) achieved his first ever pole by registering a hot lap of 1’24.761 late in the session, the Swiss rider qualifying just in front of Marc VDS Racing Team pair Kallio and Rabat.
An improvement from 2013 Sachsenring winner Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) gave him his best grid slot of the year in fourth, with Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team) and Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) joining him on row two.
Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham), Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Alex De Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2) were the trio to qualify on the third row, whilst Randy Krummenacher (IodaRacing Project) will head row four as he completed the QP top ten.
Tetsuta Nagashima (Teluru Team JiR Webike), Louis Rossi (SAG Team) and Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) all crashed in the session but were all unhurt.
Moto2™ Qualifying Practice Classification
Moto3™: Rampant Miller takes Sachsenring pole in rain-curtailed session
Jack Miller set the fastest lap in Moto3™ qualifying at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland before rain affected the end of the session, so he will therefore start at the front of row one ahead of Alexis Masbou and Alex Marquez.
Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) set a new best pole lap for the Moto3 class at Sachsenring with a 1’26.997 time giving him the top slot on the grid, with experienced Frenchman Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) trailing by 0.109s in second – whilst Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) completes the front row with a 0.146s deficit. It is Miller’s fifth pole of 2014.
With light rain affecting the last 20 minutes of the session several regular frontrunners were caught out, with Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) qualifying 25th and Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) 17th.
The second row will feature rookie Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) and Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) as they all got fast laps in before the rain.
Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Eric Granado (Calvo Team) and Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) will feature on the third row, with youngster Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3) heading row four as he completes the top ten on the grid.
Moto3™ Qualifying Practice Classification
Honda riders Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) dominated qualifying at the Sachsenring this afternoon, filling all three places on the front row.
At the end of the 15 minute session it was reigning World Champion and current points leader Marquez who went fastest to score his seventh pole position from the first nine races of the year. His performance was all the more impressive considering the nasty crash he had during Friday practice, when he was highsided from his RC213V at Turn Two after accidentally nudging the gear lever and changing into third gear. He landed heavily and hurt his neck, to which the Clinica Mobile staff have attended with their usual expertise.
Marquez has worked hard throughout practice, both on track and with his crew to tune his bike and tyres to the particular challenges of this heavily anti-clockwise circuit with its many long left-hand corners. After qualifying he announced himself happy with his race pace also. Marquez is so far unbeaten this season and at the halfway point in the championship he heads the title chase with a 72 point lead over Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Pedrosa.
Pedrosa led qualifying until he slid off at Turn One at the start of his second run of the session, his second tumble of the weekend after he fell in FP2. This track is notorious for catching out riders in right-hand turns, because the anti-clockwise layout puts little heat into the right side of the tyres. Unhurt in the incident, Pedrosa ended the afternoon second quickest, 0.296 seconds behind his team-mate. Like many riders, the Spaniard believes that front-tyre choice will be fundamental to tomorrow’s race result. As usual, the choice must be made between ultimate grip and ultimate longevity.
Bradl was delighted with the third-fastest time of the day, just 0.107 seconds shy of Pedrosa. His first front row since April’s Grand Prix of the Americas sets up a huge day of sport for German fans, who have the German MotoGP race to look forward to, followed by the World Cup football final with Argentina in Rio de Janeiro.
Bradl has had a good weekend, building speed steadily to end the third free practice session a close third overall and then repeat that performance in qualifying. Like Pedrosa, he knows that front-tyre choice will be crucial and will depend very much on tomorrow afternoon’s track temperature.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) completed the top ten on his RC213V, at a track where he scored a great fifth-place finish last season. His problem has been converting the extra grip of the soft tyre used in qualifying into extra speed on the track.
Top RCV1000R rider Nicky Hayden (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) who was delighted to top the QP1 session which put him through to the QP2 session for the first time since May’s Jerez Grand Prix. The former MotoGP World Champion ended QP2 in 12th, which puts him on the fourth row for tomorrow’s race.
Scott Redding (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) ended the afternoon 14th after making a mistake at the start of qualifying, choosing the softer front which caused too much movement and forced him to come into the pits for a harder front tyre.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) might have done better than 16th but he admitted he lost time with a small mistake. However, he has improved his race pace and is confident of a good result.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) had high hopes of a better result in this afternoon’s qualifying session until he found himself baulked by another rider. The Czech rider ended the day in 17th place.
Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert, Suter) scored his first-ever Grand Prix pole position this afternoon, broad-sliding his Suter to better Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) and Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) on his penultimate lap. Rabat currently leads the Moto2 points chase, just ahead of his Finnish team-mate.
Tomorrow’s German Grand Prix precedes MotoGP’s summer break. The next race takes place at Indianapolis in the USA on August 10.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: pole position – 1m 20.937s – “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 tyre 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.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd – 1m 21.233s – “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 set-up is definitely good, so I hope to have a good race.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 3rd – 1m 21.340s – “It’s simply fantastic for me to get a front-row start in front of my home crowd. I could see the 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 found further improvements, so it’s easier for me to turn the bike. Tomorrow, depending on the weather, it will be very important to choose the right front tyre because this track is very demanding for the front. Actually the pressure is high now because everybody is expecting me to climb the podium but I will keep my feet on the ground because it’s most important to score points.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 10th – 1m 21.906s – “Today we worked a lot to find some more rear grip, because yesterday we struggled a lot with that. This morning we found something which helped me to be more comfortable and during FP4 we wanted to try another setting in order to improve further, but unfortunately we couldn’t do it due to the bad weather. In qualifying we continue to struggle when we fitted the new tyre. I don’t know why, but I have exactly the same feeling when I use either a new or used tyre. This is not a good sign, obviously. However, in FP4 with used tyres I managed to keep a good pace, so I remain confident for tomorrow’s race, but when you start from the back it’s always difficult to stay with the front group. Anyway, we have to work to improve our performance with the new tyres, because if we have a good rhythm but we can’t start from the front of the grid, it’s quite difficult to make a good result.”
Nicky Hayden, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 12th – 1m 22.647s – “Our main goal today was to qualify for QP2, though that’s another league and you have to push even harder. I’m happy because our times were quite good – we were faster than the rest of the weekend, but everyone has dropped their times. It would have been interesting to have an extra tyre to try to improve our best time a little more. Nevertheless, I am satisfied. Today we did our best qualifying in a long time. I want to thank the team for their work this weekend because we have made a step forward. Nothing too important, but MotoGP is so fierce that any significant evolution is very small. Now we can continue to concentrate and try to keep in shape for the race. We know it will be hard but we will try to have fun as much as possible.”
Scott Redding, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 14th – 1m 22.436s – “Today we had a good opportunity to go to Qualifying 2, but at the beginning of Qualifying 1 I made a wrong decision with the front tyre: I went out with the soft front tyre and I felt a lot of movement, so I came back to the pits to go out with the harder one, which was better, and doing so I lost some precious time. Moreover, if we check my ideal time, my best lap time would have been three tenths faster: in my best lap I lost most of the time in the first sector. Tomorrow it’s going to be a long and demanding race, we have to see what happens. We will use the rear soft tyre; regarding the front tyre, it will depend on the weather conditions.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 16th – 1m 22.659s – “Before the qualifying session the situation was rather critical because it has rained at the end of Moto3. Looking at the track we decided to mount the soft front tyre. I think we made the right decision because I felt more comfortable than during the practice sessions, also this allowed me to shoot three tenths faster. At end of that outing I tried to push a little to jump up a few places but I made a small mistake in the last corner. Finally we qualified in 16th, which isn’t a bad result considering that today we found some improvements. I hope they allow us to be more consistent during the race. In this circuit the differences between the other riders is smaller, so it gives us more options to achieve a good result.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing: 17th – 1m 22.778s – “I’m quite upset right now. Qualifying started quite well. From the first lap it was okay, I made a good time. Then we have changed tyres and we had time for two or three fast laps. Unfortunately during the first fast lap, Crutchlow crashed and it put me off my balance and concentration. In my last lap Hayden didn’t keep his line and he blocked me, which ruined my lap. I didn’t make another, because qualifying had already finished by just a few seconds. I understand that something like that can happen in free practice, however, but in qualifying when there’s not so much time it is unforgivable. I could’ve improved by at least one tenth. I’m angry a lot today.”
Today the Ducati Team faced up to a difficult qualifying session at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany, where the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship will be taking place tomorrow.
Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow first had to tackle the Q1 session after failing to get through directly into the Top 10 following the three combined free practice runs. After setting two excellent split times on his fast lap, Crutchlow was pushing hard when he lost the front of his GP14 at the notorious Turn 11, a fast downhill right-hander, but he emerged unscathed from the crash. Cal was unable to conclude the session and he will start from fifteenth place on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Dovizioso on the other hand managed to get through Q1 with second-quickest time, but then in Q2 he never found the right feeling with his Desmosedici and had to settle for eleventh place, which means the Italian will start from row 4.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 11th (1’22.120) – “It was a bit of a strange qualifying session for us, because I also had to do Q1. For me it was difficult to set a good time and I was unable to get the best out of the bike. I didn’t have the right feeling to be able to do a perfect lap on my own. It’s a pity about my grid position, because on this track it’s important to start close to the front. As for race pace, we’re actually not that bad but it will be important to make up some positions at the start because the track is very narrow and it becomes difficult to pass.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 15th (1’22.529) – “It was obviously a tough day, and I’m disappointed with how the qualifying went. I was doing a good lap and it looked like we were going through to Q2 but unfortunately I crashed at Turn 11 and didn’t make it. We always knew the risk with our setting, but I never had enough heat in the front tyre because we were going too slow the previous lap with other riders on the line. For the race I think we can be in a better position than what we are, but it seems that all the Ducati riders are struggling on this track, so as a team we look to progress in tomorrow morning’s warm-up.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will start tomorrow’s Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland from the second row of the grid having taken fifth and sixth respectively in today’s qualifying session.
Both riders had a good start to the sunny 15-minute qualifying heat, Lorenzo initially taking second and Rossi taking fifth place with their first flying laps. The M1-riders had multiple hot runs to determine their starting position, improving their times by more than 0.3 of a second from this morning’s free practice. Both then unfortunately suffered from a lack of grip with their second qualifying tyres, restricting their ability to make a further attack towards the end of qualifying.
Lorenzo had a late start to the qualification session in order to get a flying lap in without any traffic. With eleven minutes to go the Spaniard showed his consistency as he rode a sequence of laps into the 1.21’s and clocked a 1’21.526. With six minutes left of the session he came in for a fresh set of tyres to have another go at putting his name at the top of the leading board. Two minutes later he was back on track and able to improve on his time by 0.350 of a second, delivering a session best of 1’21.508 to finish in fifth place.
Teammate Rossi had the opposite approach to the qualifying session. The Italian was one of the first riders to get out on track, but soon returned to the pits after two laps. With eleven minutes remaining he was back on his way and immediately shot up to fifth in the standings with a hot lap of 1’26.651 seconds. With five minutes remaining Rossi had another return to the pit box, before quickly heading out for another hot run. The Doctor wasn’t able to improve on his time during his third stint, and will start tomorrow’s race next to his teammate in sixth place on the grid.
Jorge Lorenzo – 5th / 1’21.508 / 10 laps – “Fifth is definitely not what we expected from today’s qualifying session, especially because we have a good pace and because we’ve always been in the top three during the weekend. In the qualifying we couldn’t take profit from the new tyres and the second tyre didn’t have the same traction, I don’t know why, it was spinning a lot and felt like a different tyre. The maximum we could do would have been third or fourth at this track. It’s going to be a very long race, the first lap will be important because it’s difficult to overtake here but we will try to get another podium. We are not so bad in pace so let’s see if we can stay with the front guys.”
Valentino Rossi – 6th / 1’21.651 / 10 laps – “Fortunately I did quite a good lap with the first tyre. Usually you can go faster with the second tyre by two or three tenths, but there was something wrong with the second one. It didn’t have any grip and it was also very difficult to get the bike back to the box. There was something wrong, so unfortunately I couldn’t push. I’m on the second row and the second row is the limit for a good race. Today we worked well on the bike, we’re not so bad, but for tomorrow it will be hard. Our competitors are very fast so we have to improve.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “So far we’ve done a good job with both riders starting from the second row. Unfortunately we weren’t able to improve on the lap time in qualifying with the second tyre as for some reason the grip provided by it was not at the same level as the first, making it almost impossible for the riders to improve. It’s going to be a long race and both riders have a good pace so we are confident they can make a strong challenge from the second row. Tomorrow’s warm up will be important as we will try something different with the set up based on the data to try and make another step.”
Pol Espargaro today accomplished a successful qualifying campaign to clinch 8th position on the grid for tomorrow’s 30-lap race at the famous Sachsenring circuit. The young Spanish rider began the day by running competitively in the morning session and consistently improving his lap times until an unfortunate fall at the rapid turn 11 close to the end of the practice. However his lap of 1’22.101 was strong enough to seal eighth place in the combined standings which saw him progress through to Q2. The unpredictable weather this week in Saxony struck again as rain fell just before FP4, yet the sun shone through for the dry qualifying session. During the 15 minute shootout, the premier class rookie battled onwards to produce a best lap time of 1’21.771, which was merely four tenths of a second from the front row and leaves the reigning Moto2 World Champion confident of challenging some of the Factory MotoGP riders tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith produced a spirited display today to seize ninth position on the grid, which will see him contest the race from the third row. The British rider bounced back impeccably from a fall in FP3 to set a best lap time of 1’22,001, seizing 5th and promoting him straight through to Q2. He continued to stride forward to set a best time of 1’21.794 before an unlucky late fall, preventing him from ascending any higher up the grid. Nevertheless, the lap by the 23 year old British star was only 0.3 behind the fastest Yamaha Factory rider and Smith remains primed for what will be a closely fought grand prix tomorrow where he confidently intends to finish with a top tier result at round 9 of the 2014 MotoGP world championship.
Pol Espargaro – 8th / 1’21.771 / 9 laps – “Of course 8th is not where we wanted to finish but I think we were close to our maximum with this performance, I was just two tenths away from the fastest Factory Yamaha which shows how tricky things are. Plus I had a big fall this morning where I made a mistake in turn ten and then lost the front of the bike in the following corner, but luckily no injuries were caused. Aside from this, I am happy because we improved the braking stability from yesterday and this is where we gain a lot of time, however there is still some work to be done to make the acceleration better as this is where we are struggling at the moment. For sure tomorrow will be a challenging race due to the narrow, twisting nature of the circuit so a strong start is vital to success here and I would be really happy if we scored a top six finish.
Bradley Smith – 9th / 1’21.794 / 6 laps – “Today was another eventful day and in all honesty, I’m a little frustrated as we had the potential to easily qualify on the second row. I had a fall this morning which could have been much worse, but I managed to save it as best as I could. However during the incident, the foot peg went into the front of my leg and I needed stiches, so of course this was a far from perfect start. Still, I did my best and this afternoon the Yamaha felt really good. Unfortunately, I pushed a little bit too hard too early on turn 3 and 4 where we have been fast all weekend but the limit was reached that time. It’s a pity especially as the start is really important at this narrow track. Now I need to get a good rest to be in the best possible condition and I still remain confident that we will be able to fight for a strong result tomorrow afternoon.”
Tomorrow the NGM Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro will take the start of the German GP from the first spot of the second row. The Spaniard set a very good lap time of 1’21.376, missing the front row for just 0.036 and one tenth from Dani Pedrosa, second behind pole man Marc Marquez.
In a day, complicated by the changeable weather conditions, Espargaro rode with a very good pace, using both soft and hard tyre but he hasn’t decided yet which tyre he will use for the race. He will take this decision tomorrow according to the temperature and the weather conditions, as this will be a key element for the race.
Teammate Colin Edwards continued to work on the bike set up. At the end of the afternoon session he was able to improve a bit the feeling with front and he is confident that he can make soon another step forward. Colin finished 19th, setting a lap time of 1’22.888 and tomorrow he will take the start from the 7th row.
Aleix Espargaro – 4th / 1’21.376 / 9 laps – “It’s a pity that we miss the front row for just 0.036, but in the second run I lot some time in the first corner, compromising a “perfect lap”. Anyway I’m 1 tenth from Dani Pedrosa and I’m confident for the race as we have a good pace. The race will be long (30 laps) so the choice of the tyres will be crucial. I haven’t decided yet, today in fact we used both soft and hard tyre with a good feeling. Tomorrow we will try to maintain the contact with the front guys and fighting for the best possible result. After a 6th place in Barcelona and a 4th place in Assen, I aim at finishing in the top 5.”
Colin Edwards – 19th / 1’22.888 / 9 laps – “Today we continued to work on the bike set up, playing with the front spring and at the end of the session we could improve a bit the feeling with the front. We understand what we have been struggling for this season and I look forward to make another step forward.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 – Dry. Ambient 15-16°C; Track 27-29°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP – Dry. Ambient 16-17°C; Track 25-31°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez set the quickest ever lap time at Sachsenring in qualifying for the German Grand Prix, the reigning MotoGP™ World Champion setting a time of 1’20.937 to head an all-Honda front row for tomorrow’s race.
Riding high on confidence after topping the earlier Free Practice 4 session, Marquez’s record-breaking effort came on his penultimate lap in Qualifying Practice 2 and saw him beat teammate Dani Pedrosa to pole position by 0.296 seconds. Hometown hero Stefan Bradl brought smiles to the scores of German fans at Sachsenring by finishing third quickest on his LCR Honda RC213V with a best time of 1’21.340. All the riders on the front row used the combination of the medium compound slicks front and rear for their time attack in QP2.
Weather conditions today were slightly cooler than yesterday, and a light rain shower at the start of FP4 prevented some riders going out on track until the second half of the session, although both qualifying sessions were completely dry. The peak track temperature recorded today was 31°C; 13°C cooler than yesterday’s high. The cooler track temperatures resulted in the riders preferring the soft and medium compound options for both the front and rear tyre today. Any of the three front slick options could appear on the grid for the race depending on the temperature tomorrow, with cooler temperatures likely to see the race choice steer towards the soft and medium options. The consensus from riders on their preferred rear tyre choice is the soft compound for the Ducati and Open-class riders and the medium compound for the Factory-class Honda and Yamaha riders.
Tomorrow’s weather forecast is for slightly warmer temperatures with a slight chance of rain in the afternoon. The thirty-lap German Grand Prix commences at 1400 local time (GMT+1) but before then the MotoGP™ riders will be out on track for the morning Warm Up session at 0940.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department – “We had a little disruption today with the rain shower at the start of FP4, but overall it was a productive day as the riders were able to work on their setup and tyre choice for the race. Depending on the weather conditions tomorrow, any of our three front slick compounds could be used for the race, but if the weather forecast is correct and it is warmer tomorrow I expect the medium and hard compound front slicks to be the popular race choices. Rear tyre choice is more straightforward with almost every rider preferring their softer rear slick option, particularly as the cool track temperatures today meant that riders didn’t have a chance to evaluate the harder option rear slicks. I was pleased to see Marquez beat the six-year-old lap record which was set by Casey on qualifying tyres, as it shows the excellent performance of our 2014 specification tyres at this challenging circuit.”