MotoGP 2012 – Round Eight – Sachsenring
— Stoner snatches Sachsenring pole in frantic wet qualifying
All three MotoGP™ classes were met with heavy rainfall and torrid conditions for qualifying at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring, during which Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner made use of a briefly drying track in the final minutes to snatch pole position in the premier-class ahead of Ben Spies and Dani Pedrosa.
Stoner, who had suffered an engine fault at the start of the session, left it very late to set a time in the high 1.31s, which was just enough to displace Yamaha Factory Racing’s Spies onto second on the grid. Completing the front row is Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, who had been the early pace setter throughout yesterday’s free practice.
Row two is headed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who also pulled some terrific laps out of the bag in the final minutes of qualifying. Yamaha’s joint-championship leader Lorenzo starts in fifth, and will be hoping for a good start in tomorrow’s race to do battle with Stoner at the front. Lorenzo had been one of the riders completing the most laps in the session, yet admitted to making a mistake using up too much tyre before the final hot laps began. Lining up next to him is LCR Honda MotoGP’s local favourite Stefan Bradl, who had led the majority of the session, yet still managed to put in a great showing for his home crow in sixth.
Heading up the third row is Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who had been looking like a front row contender in the early part of the session, yet was pushed down the order in the final seconds. Next to him in eighth is Crutchlow’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso after a somewhat subdued qualifying session for the Italian’s standards.
Ducati’s Valentino Rossi is a surprise starter in ninth, as the wet conditions have usually favoured the Italian this season. He sighted set-up issues with his bike, which he hopes to rectify before the race. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró completes the top ten after a great outing on his ART machine, qualifying as the top CRT bike. Because of the penalty obtained after his crash in the last race in Assen, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista will start tomorrow’s race from the back of the grid.
The tricky conditions caught out many of the riders, which saw San Carlo’s Michele Pirro, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci, Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini and Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá crash out. Most of them managed to re-join later in the session and sustained no serious injuries.
1 Casey Stoner 1’31.796 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Ben Spies 1’31.989 USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
3 Dani Pedrosa 1’32.081 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Cal Crutchlow 1’32.288 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
5 Jorge Lorenzo 1’32.381 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
6 Stefan Bradl 1’32.510 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
7 Nicky Hayden 1’32.795 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Andrea Dovizioso 1’33.205 ITA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
9 Valentino Rossi 1’33.217 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Aleix Espargaro 1’33.900 ESP ART Aspar Team MotoGP
11 Alvaro Bautista 1’34.088 SPA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
12 Hector Barbera 1’34.542 SPA DUCATI Pramac Racing
13 Colin Edwards 1’34.649 USA SUTER NGM Mobile Forward Racing
14 Randy De Puniet 1’34.651 FRA ART Aspar Team MotoGP
15 Mattia Pasini 1’34.938 ITA ART Speed Master
16 Danilo Petrucci 1’35.590 ITA IODA Ioda Racing Project
17 Michelle Pirro 1’35.595 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
18 Yonny Hernandez 1’35.962 COL BQR-FTR BQR
19 Ivan Silva 1’36.183 SPA BQR-FTR BQR
20 James Ellison 1’36.355 GBR ART Paul Bird Racing
21 Franco Battaini 1’36.438 ITA DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez overcame difficult track conditions at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring to take pole position for tomorrow’s Moto2™ race ahead of Julián Simón and Mika Kallio.
The session had started in drying conditions after the MotoGP™ bikes had created a dryer racing line, however rain began to fall again soon after. Yet in a near identical situation to their premier-class counterparts, the rain stopped towards the end of qualifying, which is when the riders were frantically competing for their hot lap.
And it was Márquez who coped best with the conditions as he set the pole time of 1.34’503, just narrowly pushing Blusens Avintia’s Julián Simón into second on the grid. Completing the front row is Marc VDS Racing Team’s Mika Kallio, who had one of his best qualifying sessions to date.
Tech 3 Racing’s Xavier Siméon will start from fourth, despite crashing out on his final hot lap, with Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Gino Rea putting in a stunning performance to start alongside him. Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi also coped well on the wet track, and will start tomorrow’s race from sixth.
QMMF Racing Team’s wet-weather specialist Anthony West gave his team something to smile about as he managed seventh spot, ahead of NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis. In ninth, Tech 3’s Bradley Smith was unable to fight for higher positions as he crashed out with 16 minutes to go, yet managed to keep his place in front of Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone.
The Pons 40 HP Tuenti team did not have the best afternoon, with Pol Espargaró only managing 17th and Axel Pons crashing out. Arguiñano Racing Team’s Ricky Cardus was also caught out by the weather as he suffered a highside, yet was unhurt in the incident.
In torrential rain during Moto3™ qualifying at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring it was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese who produced a wet-riding master-class to grab pole position ahead of Danny Kent and Adrián Martín.
Before this afternoon’s qualifying, the Moto3™ grid had been spared from the rain, meaning this was the first opportunity to test their bikes in such conditions. Heavy rain was present from the start, as all riders took to the track with immense caution in the early stages.
Cortese, who had been way down the timesheets, left it right until the end to set a stunning pole lap of 1.42’989, which saw him finish over 1.4s off his second-placed teammate Kent. Kent narrowly ousted JHK Laglisse’s Adrián Martín, who put in one of his best performances of the season to complete the front row.
Caretta Technology’s Jack Miller, known for his prowess in the rain, will head up row two, ahead of Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Jakub Kornfeil, who has been one of the most consistent performers all weekend. RW Racing GP’s Brad Binder rounds out the second row, after narrowly ousting Le Mans wet-race winner, Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi, into seventh.
IodaRacing Team’s Jonas Folger, who has endured a difficult season so far, will be very pleased with his eighth place in front of his home crowd, as he finished ahead of Binder’s teammate Luis Salom and Caretta Technology’s Alexis Masbou.
Championship leader, Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales, failed to get to grips with the wet weather and the set-up of his bike, and will start from 24th on the grid, while Jerez wet-race winner Romano Fenati, on board his Team Italia FMI machine, looked to have a problem with his bike as he finished last in 35th place. Whilst many riders ran off track during the session, the only crasher was Freudenberg Racing Team’s wildcard Luca Gruenwald, who escaped without any serious injuries.
— HRC Report
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) splashed to his fourth pole of the season with a dramatic fast lap in the seconds after the one hour qualifying session for Sunday’s German Grand Prix had ended. Yamaha rider Ben Spies was second with Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa a close third.
The session was one of the most dramatic of the season, especially for Stoner. Before the hour was half over he had suffered an electrical failure that cut the engine spark on his number one motorcycle. That sent him to the pits for an extended stay while the rain intensified. At the time, Bavarian Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) was on top, giving the home fans a thrill.
The rain lightened in the final ten minutes and the riders headed back onto the 3.671Km track to reshuffle the order. Bradl lost the top spot with under nine minutes to run in what would be a flurry of changes. By the end of the qualifying hour the fast time had been lowered 11 times, by seven different riders, with Bradl setting fast time on three occasions and Stoner doing it once.
When the hour ended Stoner was on top, but would not be for long. About 15 seconds after the checkered flag was waved, the lead went to Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha), but he did not own it. In the next 17.5s the lead would change three more times; first Pedrosa, then Spies, and finally Stoner, who earned his second pole in a row and 39th MotoGP of his career with his lap of 1m, 31.796s.
Stoner will start Sunday’s eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship tied on points with Lorenzo.
Pedrosa will join Stoner on the front row, having qualified only .285s slower.
Bradl finished the session sixth fastest, at the end of row two for his first home MotoGP race.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) qualified with the 11th fastest time, though it meant little. Bautista was involved in a first corner incident with Lorenzo last week in Assen.
Race Direction’s penalty is that he has to start from the back of the 21 rider grid.
Team-mate Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR Honda) will start the German Grand Prix in the 17th position. Pirro crashed in the heaviest rain, forcing him to the pits for his second bike. In the more moderate end of session weather, Pirro continuously improved his pace until setting his best lap on his 18th and final lap.
Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol – Kalex) took advantage of the improving conditions to take his sixth pole in eight races, an advantage that could pay dividends on Sunday since his championship rivals were further downfield.
The 45-minute session had been dominated by a number of riders, but not Marquez. It was only in the final minute, when the rain had mostly stopped and the puddles had dispersed, that Marquez leapt to the top.
His lap of 1m, 34.503s was fastest of the day by only .045s over Julian Simon (Blusens Avintia – Suter). Simon had taken over the top spot in the 40th minute, then watched as Marquez dropped him to second.
Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex) took the third spot from Belgian Xavier Simeon (Tech 3 Racing – Tech 3) after time had expired. Both Simon and Kallio will be starting from the front row for the first time this year. Simon’s previous best was seventh in the Portuguese Grand Prix, while Kallio’s was fifth in Jerez.
Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up), second in the championship, qualified tenth, four spots behind Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock – Suter). Former championship leader Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex) qualified a season worst 17th-he had not been lower than fifth-and 1.473s from Marquez.
Adrian Martin (JHK Laglisse – FTR Honda) qualified on the front row for the first time by clocking the third fastest lap in the wet Moto3 race. The Spaniard had never qualified higher than seventh prior to today’s qualifying, but he took to the wet with ease. The time came on the 11th of 16th laps to move him just ahead of fellow Honda rider Jack Miller (Carretta Technology – Honda). Jakub Kornfeil (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta – FTR Honda) was a close third. The three fastest Honda Moto3 riders were separated by only .096s.
Moto3 World Championship leader Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) had his least successful qualifying effort of the season. The four-time Moto3 race winner had never qualified lower than ninth before this weekend. But Vinales was never comfortable in the rain and only managed the 24th fastest time with his 24th and final lap. Vinales ended up one spot in front of his brother Isaac, who was 25th on the Ongetta-Centro Seta – FTR Honda.
MotoGP Rider Quotes: Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: Pole position “It was actually a very difficult session. We started off well and then we switched to our number one bike with a completely different set-up and that felt a lot better. On the first lap, I matched my best time I did on my second bike, then unfortunately on the second lap the engine gave up. We’re not too sure what happened, if it was something electrical or if some water got in there, but we’ll find out later. This put us on the back foot a little, because as soon as we came back and got the tyres ready on the second bike, it started to rain hard again, so we knew we wouldn’t be able to get a better lap time in those conditions. We decided to wait for later in the session as we knew we wouldn’t have much hope unless the conditions improved a little, and luckily they did. It ended up being a really good day for us and we’ll see what we’re capable of tomorrow.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“I’m very happy with this qualifying session. It was difficult, especially at the beginning as it was raining very hard and we had so much water on the asphalt, it was difficult to stop the bike spinning and aquaplaning. It was crucial to be ready at the end when the rain stopped, because everybody was improving their lap times and in one lap you could be first or sixth. I’m very happy, because in the past in these kind of sessions we didn’t get a good result. But this time, I was more confident every lap and we made it; I thought I got the pole in my last flying lap, but anyway to be at the front is key in Sachsenring. Yesterday we also had a good feeling in the dry, and it looks like we will have a dry race tomorrow, so it will be important to make the right choice on tyres and try the hard compound in the warm up to compare with the soft we tried on Friday.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 6th “We did not expect to have a wet qualifying today, but at the end it rained a lot and our pace has been consistently fast since the beginning. We have been doing a good job for the whole session and this is a positive sign for me and the team. With the little adjustments that we made I could quickly adapt to the conditions lapping with a good pace. At the end of the session the surface started to dry up and everybody pushed hard, but I got stopped by some slower riders in my last lap. I am bit disappointed because we could take the front row but in any case it was a very positive session for us and we can be happy about the result.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 11th “There was no point trying to set a fast lap this afternoon so we just focused on our wet set-up. The track conditions were really tricky, especially in the middle two sectors, and I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike. Hopefully we get a dry warm-up in the morning so that we can prepare for the race. If it’s wet we’ll have to try something to improve my confidence with the bike. I’ll start from the back of the grid so I’ll just have to stay calm at the start and try to recover positions throughout the race to finish as high as we can. Right now it is impossible to make any predictions.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 17th “The rain ruined our plans today and I crashed after just three laps. I just hit a part of the track where there was a lot of standing water, the bike aquaplaned and I lost control so it was a heavy crash. I went back out but I struggled to get my pace together again so that is disappointing and I am sorry for the guys in the team because without the crash I am sure we could have done much better. We’ll try to make up for it tomorrow and if it doesn’t rain we’ll have a much better chance.”
— Ducati Report
Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi will start from the third row of the grid tomorrow, having taken the seventh and ninth spots, respectively, in a rainy qualifying session at the Sachsenring.
The American was on provisional pole approximately five minutes from the end of the session, but he was blocked by traffic in the exciting final laps and couldn’t manage to improve his time along with the others.
Valentino Rossi was very fast in the first and last splits, but he wasn’t able to be as effective in the middle sections. Nonetheless, in case of a wet race tomorrow, he’s confident he’ll also manage to perfect his setup in those sectors.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th (1:32.795)
“It was damp this morning, and in order to save some rain tyres, we didn’t do a lot of laps, although the bike felt really good. Then at the start of qualifying, the track was really wet, with standing water and streams running across. It was difficult, and at one point we decided to come in and wait. We’re struggling for edge grip in the long corners, although traction seems really good when the bike is picked up. Things felt much better toward the end, and I was on pole with about five minutes to go, only to get held up on the last two laps. I know traffic is a common excuse, but it was real today, and I certainly would have been up a couple more spots on the grid. I’m really frustrated to be starting on the third row, but we’ll give it our best in the race tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 9th (1:33.217)
“We were expecting more from a rainy session because normally we’re really quite fast in the wet, but unfortunately we made a small mistake on the setup with the back end of the bike. With so much water on the track, this made it somewhat difficult in T2 and T3. Unfortunately, losing some tenths in that area put me on the third row, despite being fast in the first and last sectors. On the plus side, the data make it clear where we made the mistake, and if there’s a wet race, fixing those details should make us more competitive. If the race should be dry, I hope that the warm-up will be as well, because over the entire weekend we’ve only had 45 minutes of dry time.”
— Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies made it count today in a rain soaked Sachsenring qualifying, taking second on the grid for tomorrow’s race. The Texan faced treacherous conditions and heavy rain throughout the qualifying session, eventually finishing less than two tenths off pole after a thrilling closing few minutes saw an incredible number of first position changes by up to six riders.
Team mate Jorge Lorenzo was also heavily in the mix for the front row and one of the riders to briefly take the top spot. Despite still experiencing some pain in his ankle from last weekend’s crash Lorenzo was characteristically smooth on the waterlogged track. As the session wound up the rain eased, dropping the times at the top. The Championship leader eventually settled for fifth position on the second row, 0.585 seconds from pole.
Ben Spies / Position 2nd – Time: 1’31.989 – Laps 15
“It’s been strange today, we’ve struggled in the rain a lot in the past, especially at this track in the last couple of years but I had a good feeling in the wet yesterday. I was honestly a bit lost in the last ten minutes of qualifying, my lap timer quit working so I didn’t know what times I was doing and what my splits were. I just rode off of what I thought was quick and saw P1 on my board a couple of times. In the end I just gave it some stick and hoped I would get on the front row! Great work by the guys to deliver a good bike for the conditions too.”
Jorge Lorenzo / Position 5th – Time: 1’32.381 – Laps 28
“I feel much better every day, I can manage on the bike quite well but I’m still not 100%. We can do well tomorrow whatever the conditions I think. Qualifying was difficult today, we made a mistake with the tyre and did too many laps on it at the end of the practice. Second row is not so bad so let’s see. I’d like it to be dry but of course you can’t choose the weather!”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“P5 is not of course where we want to be but overall it’s not so bad. We missed a little bit of feeling in the front end but we did a lot of laps on the rain tyre at the end so lap times were good. Tomorrow will be dry I think so today’s settings are not so useful, we are ready for both eventualities though and Jorge will be there.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“At the end the weather was quite helpful today. We wasted the morning session but fortunately this afternoon was full wet. We managed to put together a good set up which Ben is really comfortable with and his pace is very fast. He still has something in his pocket to give so tomorrow should be good. Jorge did a good long run and we think he’s ready for the race. Let’s see what the weather brings us for tomorrow. The warm up will be important if it is dry.”
Crutchlow close to front row at rain-soaked Sachsenring
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow showed outstanding wet weather riding skills this afternoon to mount a brilliant challenge for pole position at a rain-soaked Sachsenring track in Germany.
The tight and twisty Sachsenring was hit by monsoon conditions throughout today’s qualifying session but Crutchlow excelled on his YZR-M1 machine to battle for a fourth front row start in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.
Crutchlow skilfully calculated where he could push hard in treacherous conditions and the British rider delivered a faultless performance to finish in fourth position.
The former World Supersport Champion’s best lap of 1.33.288 momentarily put him on top of the timesheets in a pulsating finale and a front row start to add to those achieved in Qatar, Estoril and Catalunya seemed on the cards.
A late attack by Casey Stoner, Ben Spies and Dani Pedrosa though put Crutchlow on the second row but once again he was the leading non-factory rider and the 26-year-old carries high hopes of securing a maiden podium in tomorrow’s 30-lap race.
Italian Andrea Dovizioso is a past master of adverse weather conditions and he demonstrated his wet weather potential by lapping inside the top three in the opening half of the session. But he was unable to improve on his best pace of 1.33.205 and he will start from eighth position on the grid.
A third row start is not ideal on a layout as tight and twisty as Sachsenring but Dovizioso is confident he has the speed to put himself in contention for a third rostrum finish in four races.
Cal Crutchlow / Position 4th – Time: 1’32.288 – Laps 22
“That was a really tough session because the rain was coming down really hard at times and it was easy to get caught out and make a mistake. Considering how bad the conditions were I am really happy to be so close to the front row. I was very close to being on the front row again but to head the second row is a good result and I am looking forward to the race. I’ve shown good pace in the wet and dry all weekend but the problem is we haven’t had enough track time in each to get a good set-up with the bike. We improved in the rain today and my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew put another great bike underneath me. If the rain is the same tomorrow it will be a very tricky race and a real test of concentration. It won’t be any easier in the dry either considering the lack of dry track time. I’ll be giving it my best as always and hopefully I’ll be battling inside the top five again.”
Andrea Dovizioso / Position 8th – Time: 1’33.205 – Laps 21
“I am little bit upset to be starting from the third row because this track is very tight and it is very hard to overtake on. Obviously it is better to be starting much closer to the front and I didn’t manage it, so I will need to be quite aggressive from the start tomorrow to make sure I don’t lose too much ground to the leading group. I can’t be too disappointed though and we improved the rain set-up of the bike a lot today and I think my potential for the race is a lot higher than eighth. If the rain is as bad in the race as this afternoon then it will be a very tough race. The track was very slippery but I had a good feeling with the YZR-M1 and I’m sure we have prepared the best we can for a wet or a dry race.”
— Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Extra-Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Wet. Ambient 19-19°C; Track 20-22°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner will start on pole position for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix after the reigning champion was quickest in a thrilling qualifying session in which seven riders battled for the top spot all the way until the end of the session.
Stoner set his time of 1:31.796 right at the conclusion of the rain-soaked session to finish 0.193 seconds ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies who will start second on the grid, while Dani Pedrosa ensured both Repsol Honda’s will start on the front row by clocking the third quickest time. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the top CRT qualifier and will start tomorrow’s race on the fourth row in tenth position.
Both of today’s sessions were run in wet and cool conditions, with the light rain for FP3 intensifying into steady showers that soaked the circuit for qualifying, resulting in standing water appearing on sections of the track and creating a very challenging setting for the riders. As the track started to dry towards the end of qualifying conditions improved and the extra traction available from the tarmac saw lap times drop resulting in an exhilarating last minute battle for pole position
The riders will be back on track at 0930 tomorrow for the morning warm up session with the race set to commence at 1300 local time (GMT +2).
Shinji Aoki – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s FP3 and qualifying practice both took place in wet weather, but the riding conditions between both sessions were different due to the intensity of the rainfall that occurred. FP3 saw light rain so there was only a small amount of standing water, but in qualifying the heavier rainfall saw parts of the track quite waterlogged and so rider’s experienced marked differences in grip levels during the day.
“The tarmac at Sachsenring is quite abrasive, but the rate of wear on the soft wet tyres – which are the main wet tyre allocated for this race – during today’s sessions was normal. However, teams do have the option to select the hard compound wet tyre for the race if they feel it better suits their setup. The forecast for tomorrow indicates rain is a strong possibility and with the top seven qualifiers all showing similar pace in the wet, it will be interesting to see if we have a closely contested race, something which the Sachsenring is renowned for.”
— Red Bull Rookies Report
Scott Deroue won a cat and mouse race with Willi Albert to claim the 1st Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the German Grand Prix weekend at the Sachsenring. The 16 year old Dutchman crossed the line ahead of the 14 year old German after a fascinating battle on a rapidly drying circuit, both having to look after their rain tyres.
Some 16 seconds behind them, 16 year old Czech Karel Hanika completed the rostrum positions and improved his Cup chances by closing the gap on Florian Alt and Philipp Oettl at the head of the table. The 16 year old Germans started way down the grid after the single wet qualifying session and both Oettl, from 9th and Alt, from 15th were slow to make up ground from the start.
By the time they had fought their way forward, Deroue, Albert and Hanika were well away in the lead and Lukas Trautmann, the 16 year old Austrian had established himself in a clear 4th. So Alt and Oettl were contesting 5th and having to fight hard for it with 15 year old Malaysian Hafiq Azmi, Stefano Manzi the 13 year old Italian, Aaron Espana the 14 year old Spaniard and reigning Cup champion Lorenzo Baldassarri, the 15 year old Italian.
It was a great battle for 5th and in the last 2 laps the 6 man group was joined by Marcos Ramirez following the 14 year old Spaniard’s great charge through the field from 18th at the end of lap 1. In those last 2 laps he cut through the group to split Alt and Oettl on the line with Alt claiming the points for 5th and increasing his advantage over Oettl in the Cup table to 10.
Deroue improved his points reckoning tremendously and is now only 2 behind Oettl and 12 behind Alt but for the moment he was only thinking of his 3rd win of the season. “That was a fun race, I got a good start and managed to have the lead into the 1st corner but I wanted to take it easy and feel out the track. Willi and some of the others were going fast though so I had to go with them. It wasn’t too bad, I had a good feeling for the tyres and I tried to look after them as much as I could, using the wet parts of the track to keep them a bit cool. I left it to the end and had one go to lead but he got back in front then on the last lap he was a bit wide and I gave it full gas.”
Albert had done most of the leading, crossing the line ahead for 12 of the 17 laps and was gracious in defeat. “It was a great race, I had a lot of fun. I felt confident with the tyres and the track but I knew Scott was there and there was nothing I could do about it. I just kept telling myself to concentrate and not make any mistakes. Towards there was nothing much left of the rear tyre on the left. Scotty came past and I got him back but the he did it again and just got too far ahead. Still a great race and another one tomorrow.”
Hanika claimed his 4th 3rd place of the season so far and though 6th in the title chase behind Marcos Ramirez and Ivo Lopes has closed both on them and the leaders. “That was a fun race, I had a good feeling but just not good enough to go with Willi and Scott. I just rode on my own and made sure not to make any mistakes.”
Oettl was frustrated to lose a place to Ramirez at the end. “It was the last corner, he just squeezed past, now it’s a 10 point gap to Florian so I’ll have to do something about that tomorrow.”
Alt said that the result could have been better also. “I didn’t make a good start, I think I was down in 20th in the 1st sector so to come back from there wasn’t too bad. In another lap I would have caught him for 4th,” claimed Alt, smiling broadly and talking directly to Trautmann. “That’s it, always just one more lap,” joked Trautmann back. “I had a good race, I enjoyed it and went as hard as I could, I was watching the board towards the end and making sure that I kept 4th.”
Pole man Niccolo Castellini was battling for the lead from the start but after a couple of slides the 13 year old Italian crashed out on lap 6. Of course he has a 2nd chance on Sunday when again he sits on pole position.
Race 2 begins at 15.50 CET and can be seen on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world, the show starting 10 minutes earlier.