Marquez secures pole for German GP
The Repsol Honda rider’s 1’20.336 lap was enough to net him first position on the grid for this weekend’s MotoGP battle.
This is Marc Marquez’s 6th consecutive pole at the Sachsenring, leading to victory for the Spaniard for the last 5 years in a row.
Marc Marquez – P1 – “After FP3, I was expecting to set a 1’20.7 or 1’20.6 this afternoon. However, when I saw that I had set a 1’20.3, I decided that it was best to stop and not do any more laps as that’s when crashes happen! I am happy with my fast lap, but above all I am pleased with my pace and how I feel on the bike. It seems as if we are gradually getting better with that, but I am aware that tomorrow’s race will be a tough 30 laps and that Dani is very strong here, as are Jorge and Valentino, but I feel ready to fight for the victory.”
Joining him on the front row are his team mate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha).
Dani Pedrosa – P2 – “I’m happy because we had a good qualifying session and productive practice sessions beforehand, with a strong pace. Now that we are on the front row tomorrow it will be important to make a good start at this circuit, because it is vital for the race. The track is so small that you benefit a lot from being at the front, so hopefully this time we can go with the first group. The front tyre choice will also be important. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow, because we’re eager to get a good result. Marc has a slightly stronger pace than mine, but we will try to do well and have a good race.”
Second place on the grid is Pedrosa’s best qualifying result of the season: “Yeah, I was happy with my first feeling in the first run but Crutchlow didn’t see me and ruined my lap. Unfortunately I had to stop and change tyres and I wasn’t sure if we could do it on the second tyre because sometimes you don’t get the same feeling. Actually I produced a good lap and to get the front row at this track is very important. Hopefully we can make a little step tomorrow as Marquez’s pace is very high and we’re still missing a little. Hopefully we can make a good start and make the right tyre choice, which will be critical.”
After starting from 8th in Assen, Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) is back on qualifying form but concerned by the pace show by the Repsol Honda duo: “Impressive, it seems the Honda has no problems. They’re able to brake later and accelerate very soon. It will be tough to stay with them, I am the first Yamaha to do a 1’20 in this track so I am very happy with this lap time. I did my best and I didn’t get even close to them. I think our goal is to try to get the podium, the victory will be difficult but you never know. This isn’t the easiest circuit for Yamaha and it’s also difficult with my riding style. I wasn’t very happy about the first try, I was in sixth position, so that wasn’t a really good lap time, but in the second one I improved so much. I was happy because I thought I was close to pole position, but when I saw that the fastest time was a 1’20.336, I understood that today was not our day and that our rivals had a better bike to do one fast lap. Tomorrow it will be difficult to stay with Marquez, who seems to have a better pace, but everything is possible in racing and we are going to try our best to be fast from the start.”
Jorge Lorenzo – P3 – “Third is a very good position, because we always struggle to be competitive at this track.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) will start from 4th place, with Yonny Hernández (Octo Pramac Racing) in a very respectable 5th after having to fight his way through Q1. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) completes the second row in 6th.
Andrea Iannone – P4 – “We did a good qualifying session, managing to get the best out of the bike and the package we have. It was difficult to obtain more and I am happy for this reason, but I am not very happy about our overall performance. Tomorrow I expect to improve something in race configuration, in order to try and better manage the bike’s sliding because when we are at maximum lean, my GP15 tends to slide around a bit too much. For the race it will be important to make the bike more stable in the corners, seeing as we will use the harder tyre. Here at the Sachsenring it is really important to start well and try and stay in the top positions, so a second row start is not so bad on this track.”
Valentino Rossi – P6 – “I wanted to try to start tomorrow’s race more in front, because our potential today wasn’t so bad. I thought and hoped that I could do a 1’20-high, but unfortunately I made some mistakes and I couldn’t do the perfect lap. Apart from that, I’m on the second row and that’s not so far behind and my pace is quite good. I can keep a good pace also with a used tyre so now we have to work and try to fix some small problems and make some small improvements for tomorrow and see what happens in the race. If you look at today’s pace, Marquez is very strong and Pedrosa is the second, but very close. After them come me and Jorge and we are very similar. All the essential is there, I will try to fight with Jorge, ride a good race and try to arrive in front of him and score more points.”
The Espargaro brothers will have a chance to wish each other luck before the lights go out, given that they start together on the third row with Aleix (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in 7th and Pol (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in 8th.
Aleix Espargaro – P7 – “I hoped for something better at this track because it is tight and we don’t need so much engine power as at other circuits, but we are struggling and I can’t be as competitive as I was at the other tracks. Here I lack in confidence with the front, preventing me making the machine turn as I want it to; especially in the slower part of the circuit. Our pace is not bad, we improved a lot since yesterday and also in FP4 I ran many laps with worn tyres and this satisfied me. In qualifying my one quick lap was not perfect, but I’m on the third row and I’ll try to make a good race.”
Pol Espargaro – P8 – “In all honesty, I’m quite satisfied with how our day went and I feel ready for what will be a challenging battle tomorrow. In FP4 we found out how to improve our performance in the first and second sectors plus, our race pace with used tyres was really promising. As a result, this gave me a lot of confidence and energy for the qualifying session and overall, the final outcome was not too bad. We are in the same bracket as Valentino which is a tenth of a second, which means that we are only 0.054 from the second row. Nevertheless, we will have to begin the race from 8th with three open bikes in front of us, who were on soft tyres today. Therefore, the aim for tomorrow will be to climb up the rankings and finish the first half of the season with a strong result.”
Rounding out the top 10 are British riders Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Cal Crutchlow (CWM-LCR Honda), who start from 9th & 10th respectively.
Bradley Smith – P9 – “Overall, I am optimistic for the race tomorrow, despite the fact that I’m a little bit disappointed with my final qualifying position today. The slide that I had on my bike during my first flying lap affected our qualifying quite a bit. I didn’t take full advantage of the first set of tyres and then I was too nervous on the second pair, especially on my final lap where I lost a lot of time in the last sector due to this. Therefore, I’m a bit dissatisfied as my objective today was to qualify on the front two rows and even though we are not too far back from there, we are 9th and not 6th. However, to be starting on the inside of the track might be an advantage here. In addition, I have a good race pace and am confident with the bike and even though it will be a tricky event as the tyres drop quite a lot here, I am ready for a good challenge.”
Cal Crutchlow – P10 – “First and foremost I’m disappointed to be tenth on the grid, but I’d also like to say sorry to Dani Pedrosa for holding him up on his lap. I honestly just didn’t see him, he was approaching so fast and it was my mistake. Thankfully it wasn’t his fastest lap in the end. I had a big crash in FP3, I went into the corner a bit too fast and didn’t want to risk losing the front so I used the rear brake a little too much and it threw me over the handlebars. So I have a small crack in my elbow and my fibula, but honestly I’m ok and not in too much pain. It’s been a difficult day all in all, my qualifying lap time today was basically where I was in 2013, so it just shows how much things have come on. I still think though that we have the pace to run in the top six tomorrow, and that would be a good result. The Hondas seem to be going better around here than at other tracks, but when the grip drops we struggle a bit so we’ll try and manage that tomorrow.”
Andrea Dovizioso qualified just outside the top ten.
Andrea Dovizioso – P11 – “I am disappointed with my grid position because starting close to the front was what interested me the most in view of the race. It is really important here at the Sachsenring, which is a short and narrow track, but I was unable to do a good qualifying session because the front of the bike closed in on me too easily through the curves, and so I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted. However my pace is not bad and so I’ll try and make up some places in the race.”
Maverick Viñales improvied his feeling with the GSX-RR compared to yesterday’ and after FP3 he was only 0.034s from 10th place, preventing him direct access to Q2. He had a good Q1 that promoted him into Q2. However, in Q2, he struggled to find the confidence needed to be within the top riders and ended the session with the 12th time, which means the fourth row on tomorrow’s grid.
Maverick Viñales – P12 – “I think we worked really well with used tyres and a full-tank to prepare for the race and my pace is good with this configuration. The problem in qualifying is that we struggle to find the best traction: I feel the rear is spinning a lot and I can’t deliver the power to the ground as I would like. In addition, I had a little slide when I was trying the fast lap and this prevented me from scoring a good time. Anyway we improved a lot both in the bike set-up and in my riding style, with some modification also to the lines I follow. I feel confident with the race configuration and I think that if tomorrow I can keep calm and focused, I can fight to stay in the middle-pack and aim for a good position at the end.”
22-year-old Scott Redding, who was third fastest in the final free practice session, lost out in qualifying to three open class riders who all made good use of the super soft tyre that is not available to Redding as a factory rider.
Scott Redding – P14 – “I’m not really disappointed, because we’ve had good pace all weekend, but I am annoyed not to make it through to QP2 once again. We’ve been a step higher here than we normally have but when we went into qualifying after free practice I knew that it would be difficult against the guys with the softer tyre based on their times from FP3. But we made a step and improved again and I tried to make up a bit more, but it was really difficult to find more time. The Suzuki and Ducati with the soft tyre made a little improvement and that’s why we’re not there today. Our race pace is not too bad and it’s quite consistent with low 22’s, so I’ll be looking for a good start and then trying to make up as many places as I can.”
Alvaro Bautista will start from the sixth row.
Alvaro Bautista – P16 – “We improved a bit compared to yesterday and the sixth row isn’t bad. Starting well will be important, just like in the last race. In FP4 we tried something different but in the end for the qualifiers I chose the setting that had worked the best in practice so far. I tried to push but I wasn’t able to take full advantage of the first tyre because the bike was sliding too much going into and coming out of turns. So with the second tyre I looked after it without taking too many risks. For the race we need to improve grip, especially in worn tyre conditions.”
Jack Miller qualified as the top Open Honda rider and will start the 30-lap Grand Prix of Germany from 18th place on the grid.
The Australian is a big fan of the tight and twisty venue, and made significant progress after a difficult first day of practice on Friday. After disappointment last time out in Holland, he is confident of being able to finish as top Open bike, with the focus being on getting through the crucial first laps.
Jack Miller – 18th (1’22.225) – “We started off quite slowly on Friday, but we came through today and really improved the bike in free practice, especially on the used tyres. Qualifying still wasn’t quite perfect for me though, we would still like to improve on how the bike is handling. There’s a lot of spin here in Sachsenring and I was just beginning to manage it a bit better, it wasn’t so aggressive and snappy under acceleration. The bike is working well, I feel comfortable here but it’s definitely a difficult circuit and 30 laps will feel very long around here. It’s one of my favourite race-tracks though, I made my debut here and won here last year so it’s kind of special to me and I’m going to enjoy it a lot. I think finishing as top Open bike is within reach, but we’ll need to get a decent start and stay out of trouble for the first five or six laps.”
Nicky Hayden – P19 – “In the final practice session we improved a bit, with the hard compound as well. I was able to set some positive times, even with the used front tyre, and thought that in the qualifying session could again improve. We made a small change that was not the right direction to take, and I wasn’t as fast as expected. I’m a little upset because ultimately I qualified with a similar time to last year, when this year our bike is better. Fortunately our pace is optimal and if we start well we can make a comeback. In thirty laps anything can happen, so we will have to be very focused at all times. This is one of the hardest circuits for overtaking, so we have to give everything we have.”
It is Loris Baz his first time on the difficult German track and he closed with a 1’22.394 as fourth fastest in Open class and he will start tomorrow’s race from 20th place. The Frenchman, who showed a good race pace and is boosted by the latest positive results, is confident he can do well and fight with the quickest riders tomorrow.
Loris Baz – P20 – “It was not the qualifying I hoped: the track is very technical and I made small error on my fast lap. The overall pace is rather good and I’m sure I could get close to Barbera to fight for the Open lead.”
Eugene Laverty placed twenty-third, hindered by a lack of rear grip.
Eugene Laverty – P23 – “Yesterday we started well but in the afternoon we went wrong with the setup. Today we have improved our feeling somewhat, but I am still not comfortable. We worked hard during the day to try to find solutions, but I had some problems with the rear tyre which gave me several scares and close-calls. We have some ideas about how to gain grip with the rear and will work hard during the morning warmup session to achieve this, then try to approach the race confidently.”
Michael Laverty, making his racing début on the RS-GP, continued improving his times, finishing the qualifiers with a time of 1’22,947, placing him on the eighth row with the 24th best time.
Michael Laverty – P24 – “I’m pleased with the way the weekend has gone so far because we have been able to improve in each session, although we had hoped to do a little better in qualifying. Each time I ride onto the track I feel more and more at home and I’m pleased with the general feeling I have with the bike. Tomorrow morning in warm up we’ll try a few more changes because I think we can improve the bike’s performance both at the front and the rear. Tomorrow I’d like to stay in the mix with the riders in front of me: my brother Eugene, De Angelis, Hayden and Aoyama.”
Claudio Corti is positive even though he will start from the back of the grid. The rider from Como returned to racing after eight months and has significantly improved today, pulling off a time of 1’23.374. The work on the data will continue for him today to adjust the setting of his Yamaha Forward for the race.
Claudio Corti – P25 – “I am pretty happy, step by step the feeling with the bike is getting better and better. Improving our lap time in each round was our goal and I am satisfied. During my fast lap I made a small mistake in the last corner and I lost something, otherwise I could have improved even more. I’m gradually getting all the old feelings back and I’m confident for the race. Thanks to all the team and the engineers for their support and commitment, we continue to analyze the data waiting for the race.”
In the Turn 13 braking area during the MotoGP FP3 session Hector Barbera and Mike Di Meglio were observed riding slowly close to the racing line, thereby disturbing other riders. This directly contravened the instructions given at the Riders Briefing on March 26, and the reminder notice to riders issued on April 30. It is considered to be irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.
Race Direction imposed the addition of 1 Penalty Point to the record of rider #63 Di Meglio, and 2 Penalty Points to the record of rider #8 Barbera (due to the number of times he committed the offence).
MotoGP Qualifying Results
Zarco on pole for Moto2 clash
A lap time of 1’24.044 earned Zarco his fourth pole position of the season. He will be hoping to break away early in the race, but expects a fight: “We’ve had to work hard because yesterday we were not so fast. I also try to understand my strength and weaknesses. The pace for the race was good in the morning and our first target is to win the race tomorrow. We have to stay focused tomorrow because I think the race will be quite hard. I’ll try and break away but maybe we will have to fight with the others – I’ve enjoyed fighting this year.”
Xavier Simeón (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) makes a return to the front row – his last front row start was at the Americas GP when he took pole: “I think I can be strong in the race, we had a good pace in the morning and we rode well in Qualifying.I have good feeling with the bike and I think we can fight for the podium, but so can a lot of other riders as the lap time is very close. It’s four or five races we’ve fought for the top five but we’ve been lacking that last step to fight for the podium, hopefully we can make it today.
For Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team), this is only his second ever podium, having started from 3rd in Valencia in 2014: “I push very hard, it has been a pretty good lap. I had to do it a bit before the end because at the end everyone is looking for a tow so it was easier to set a lap time earlier. The important thing is the pace and it’s pretty good. Looking forward to tomorrow.”
Thomas Luthi (Derendinger Racing Intewetten) will start from 4th place, with Simone Corsi (Athiná Forward Racing) and Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) joining him on the second row in 5th and 6th respectively.
German riders Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Jonas Folger (AGR Team) will start from 7th and 8th, with Brit Sam Lowes (Speed Up Racing) in 9th. Mika Kallio (Italtrans Racing Team) completed the top ten.
In Turn 1 (Corsi), and the Turn 13 braking area (Cortese, Luthi, Simeon), during the Moto2 Qualifying session, these riders were riding slowly close to the racing line. It is considered to be irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors and is therefore an infringement of Article 1.21.2 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations.
Race Direction imposed the addition of 1 Penalty Point to the record of riders #3 Corsi, #11 Cortese, #12 Luthi, #19 Simeon.
Moto2 Qualifying Results
Kent overshadows all to claim pole
The Brit rider crashed out of the session on Turn 6, taking wild card rider and local boy Maximilian Kappler (SaxoPrint RTG) out with him. Amazingly this was Danny Kent’s first crash of the season so far, but clearly Danny needn’t worry. Even after missing the last 15 minutes of the session, none of the other riders were able to get close to his pace, leaving us to wonder how many tenths he might of been able to shave off if given the chance. After the session Kent stated that his crash was caused by a new rear tyre being used with an old front, resulting in the front pushing too much.
Joining the Brit on the front row are Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Team Moto3) and Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo). Bastianini was denied his 3rd pole position in a row today, the Italian having claimed pole in Catalunya and Assen. This is also the second front row start in a row for Hanika, having started from 3rd in Assen to finish the race in 8th.
French rookie Fabio Quartararo (Estrella Galicia 0,0) will start from 4th on the grid, ahead of Efrén Vázquez (Leopard Racing) in 5th. Vazquez ended the session 0.585 sec off the pace set by his team mate Kent.
Andrea Locatelli (Gresini Racing Team Moto3) claimed 6th on the grid and will be followed by Spaniards Jorge Martín (Mapfre Team Mahindra) and Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) in 7th and 8th respectively.
That leaves Niccolò Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) and Niklas Ajo (RBA Racing Team) to round out the top ten. It was an interesting session for Finnish rider Ajo once again. He followed up his spectacular save in Assen with a rather spectacular crash here at the Sachsenring. He ran in to the back of team mate Ana Carrasco on the last corner – Ana wasn’t lapping at full pace at the time, possibly with the intention of entering the pits after the turn.
Miguel Oliveira was conspicuous by his absence, as he unfortunately suffered a high side at turn 1 during FP1, ending his German GP weekend.
During final minutes of the Moto3 Qualifying session riders, #6 Herrera, #9 Navarro, #16 Migno, #17 McPhee, #22 Carrasco, #31 Ajo, #32 Viñales, #33 Bastianini, #55 Locatelli, #76 Ono, #84 Kornfeil, were riding slowly close to the racing line, thereby disturbing other riders. It is considered to be irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors. Race Direction has imposed on each of the above named riders a grid penalty of 3 places and further to impose a suspension from the first 10 minutes of the Warm Up session for the 2015 GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.