These PR just in:
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. 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.
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). Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) completes the second row, putting in a solid performance as he gets to grips with the Desmosedici in the rain.
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. Older brother Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) complete the third row.
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. 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.
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.
Race time is 14:00 (GMT +2) on Sunday – and it’s sure to be a stunner.
BEST GRID POSITION FOR RED BULL KTM MOTOGP FACTORY RACING TEAM AT GERMAN GRAND PRIX
QUALIFYING 9th Rd. MotoGP 2017 – Sachsenring (GER)
In the 90th year of the Sachsenring, a little bit more history was made today as Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing took their best grid position so far with Pol Espargaro brilliantly taking his KTM RC16 from Q1 into Q2, ultimately scoring a superb 7th position. In treacherously wet conditions he steered a perfect lap as the half way point of the project’s first season approaches tomorrow. Team mate Bradley Smith took 15th while Finn Mika Kallio, a wild card this weekend, completed the trio in 17th. In Moto2, Miguel Oliveira topped wet qualifying by over a second, but slipped to a still excellent sixth when the track started to dry out in the few last minutes. In Moto3 KTM is again on the front row of the grid with Nicolo Bulega in third making it two KTMs in the first four places.
As the half way point of the season approaches, there were cheers in the KTM MotoGP garage this afternoon as Pol Espargaro dug deep in the first qualifying session to finish inside the all important top two that advance forward into Q2 where the top 12 positions for the grid are decided. At the shortest circuit on the eighteen race calendar, but with brand new grippy tarmac, Espargaro used his KTM to good effect getting 7th and a third row slot for tomorrow’s race; the best for the KTM MotoGP project so far.
Bradley Smith also fought well on his No.38 KTM to bag 15th as he learnt things in the wet and dry conditions. He is confident of points tomorrow whatever the weather.
KTM MotoGP Test Rider Mika Kallio made his debut at this track in 2001, also as a wildcard, with the Ajo Motorsport team, starting his career that then saw him win here in 2005 on a 125cc KTM. Over the two days of practice he had a little more horsepower available than twelve years ago to show very strong race pace in the dry practice sessions, only to be baulked in qualifying by another rider. He will start 17th Kallio has already completed tests in Sepang, Doha, Mugello, Le Mans, Jerez, Brno and Barcelona this year. This is the first time the KTM RC16 has been to the Sachsenring.
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.”
Smith: “I am happy as it’s my best qualifying with KTM aside from Le Mans, let’s say, which is a huge thumbs up for my side of the garage and the KTM team as a whole. We’ve always struggled a little bit in the rain, but with wet Assen qualifying last week where I was a little bit back, we learnt more this week leading to some changes, and as a result we’re moving forward because of that. I am a little disappointed with the last lap in Q1 as I had a small mistake in the fourth sector that cost me the chance to go through, but today was good in general for the team; Mika was flying out there as Pol managed to nail it behind me, but you gotta use what you gotta use and with him in 7th it’s great for the whole KTM MotoGP project. Tomorrow we are not yet sure of tyre choices and the way to go, but nevertheless we are figuring a few things out for the warm up in the morning. Overall I’m really pleased as there’s been such great progress in the right direction.”
Kallio: “It was a good day but still I saw that there was something more that we could do as the feeling was quite good on the wet tyres, improving the lap time, but at the end it wasn’t quite enough to beat the other two guys. It was my best lap but there was a little bit of traffic and I lost some time overtaking. That was a shame as there was a chance to be quicker, but as a plus my pace with the wet tyres was good so that’s obviously important for the race. Moreover after such a long break from racing I am there able to fight with the guys – for example this morning with the slick tyres it felt good when I was 11th fastest as well as discovering some settings that will be good as well as some good tyres for the race. That now leaves which weather will be best tomorrow? Maybe I have a bit more of a chance in the wet to fight, while on slicks we are not quite as strong turning in the long corners. Overall the team has had a good day, something that I’ve been part of as test rider.”
Sebastian Risse (Technical Director MotoGP): “In total a very good day. For sure some ups and downs but we are quite competitive in the wet while in the dry we are also there as well. For the tyre choice tomorrow if it is dry will be a quite interesting one but we’re not sure of this at the moment. We have different impressions from different riders about this after trying all of the choices but depending on conditions the plan tomorrow morning will be quite a big part of the result, so who makes the correct choice will gain a lot. We will see. We will try our best and use all of the information we have – of course more information than normal – because we have three riders with Mika here. I’m quite positive about it so I’m looking forward to what we can do. Overall it’s so nice to have, let’s say, a pay back, and have a result like this especially at a race like this in Germany, close to our home and with a big number of KTM fans who are here and appreciate that result with us.”
Petrux celebrates in front-row at the #GermanGP the renewal with Octo Pramac Racing. Hard day for Scott.
Danilo Petrucci gives the Octo Pramac Racing another joy, this time in the Sachsenring’s parc fermeè. For Scott Redding a very difficult day and a bad qualify.
Petrux is in great shape and goes strong in the FP3 under dry conditions after the good sensations of Friday. However, in the time attack that would allow him to gain direct access to Q2, a crash in the last sector forces him to go back to the box. The attempt with the second bike did not bring the hoping results. Petrucci remained focused and after winning the Q1 he play a wonderful Q2 under wet conditions. Only Marc Marquez, at the last available lap takes away the satisfaction of his first career pole. However, Petrux celebrates once again at the parc fermeè with his team, on the day of the renewal with Octo Pramac Racing.
For Scott Redding a very difficult Saturday at the Sachsenring. The English rider is not able to find the right feeling with his bike and after closing the FP3 in 15th place, his not able in Q1 to make a step forward that would allow him to take some positions on the starting grid of the #German GP.
2nd – Danilo Petrucci – 1’27.462
“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”.
23th – Scott Redding – 1’29.578
“It was a very difficult day for me. I have never been competitive in dry and wet conditions. I honestly don’ know what to say. It is my worst qualify since I am in Pramac. Danilo and his team went from Q1 to almost pole position while we were unable to find solutions in order to improve. The problem was mainly on the grip. I felt as I could not follow anyone rhythm. I am very sorry. Tomorrow I will try to give the maximum”.
CRUTCHLOW TO START FROM THE SECOND ROW AT SACHSENRING
PRESS RELEASE: 01 July 2017 | Sachsenring GP Qualifying
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow will start the German Grand Prix from fourth place on the grid after a fine performance in qualifying at a soaking wet Sachsenring. The Briton narrowly missed out on a spot on the front row, but will now be targeting a place on the podium in Sunday’s race after making a big leap forwards from his overnight position of 13th.
Crutchlow made rapid improvements during FP3 and FP4 to ensure he went straight through to Q2 which took place on a drying track. In the end he finished just over a tenth behind Dani Pedrosa in third, while the Spaniard’s HRC factory team-mate Marc Marquez took pole for the eighth straight year in Germany.
Cal Crutchlow – 4th
(1’28.089 – lap 7 of 10)
“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.”
Sachsenring pole number eight for Marquez, Pedrosa third for a Repsol Honda Team double front-row start
Marc Marquez took his sixty-eight pole position in career and his eighth in a row at the Sachsenring today (his fifth there in MotoGP), with Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa joining him on the front row in third place.
Qualifying day at the German GP dawned without rain, but FP3 was the only MotoGP session today to be completed in totally dry conditions. Marc was fastest in that session with Dani ninth, both securing spots in Q2.
FP4 saw the Repsol Honda pair displaying an impressive pace before rain started falling 10 minutes from the end, when Marc was leading the way in first and Dani just behind in second.
“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.”
“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.”
Row 2 start for Jorge Lorenzo, sixth in qualifying for German GP. Tenth quickest time for Andrea Dovizioso on row 4
Jorge Lorenzo will start tomorrow’s German GP at the Sachsenring from the second row of the grid. The Ducati Team’s rider from Mallorca was sixth quickest in the Q2 session, which was held in the pouring rain, with a time of 1’28.383. In this morning’s FP3 in cloudy but dry conditions, Lorenzo was seventh quickest and as a result went through directly into the afternoon’s second qualifying session.
It will be a fourth row start on the other hand for Andrea Dovizioso, who after going eighth fastest in FP3, had to settle for tenth in the qualifying timesheets with a best lap of 1’28.703.
The 30-lap German GP, round 9 of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship, gets underway tomorrow afternoon at 14.00 CET.
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’28.383 (6th)
“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.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’28.703 (10th)
“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.”
Sachsenring (Germany), 1st July 2017
Grey skies and wet asphalt at the Sachsenring set the scene at the start of today‘s Q2 shoot-out that saw Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales secure ninth and eleventh place on the grid for tomorrow‘s GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.
After a brilliant FP3 from Rossi, during which he advanced straight into Q2, the Italian was eager to continue making strides in the afternoon qualifying session. He was one of the first riders out of the pit box and left a competitive impression as his first try initially lifted him to fifth place. He was quick to better his time on his next flying lap, but it didn‘t improve his ranking.
Unable to significantly climb the ranks also on his next three attempts, the Doctor decided it was time to change tactics. He returned to the pit box with less than four minutes to go for a tyre swap, opting for the soft front / medium rear combination. A quick minute later he headed back out for his second run and his tyre choice proved to be the right decision for the drying track conditions. He had time for one lap and stepped up his pace on his final try. He set a 1’28.669s to claim ninth position on the grid, 1.367s from first.
Teammate Viñales displayed his confidence in today‘s dry morning free practice session but struggled to reproduce the results in the afternoon in the wet Q2 session. He went straight into action as soon as the green light signalled the start of the 15-minute time attack and slotted into fourth place. He improved his time but not his position on his next lap and was looking to keep the momentum going, but lost valuable seconds as he got involved in a small collision with Marc Marquez.
Despite the incident, the Yamaha rider tried to quickly get back into a good rhythm and, though he continued to struggle to get a feel for the wet conditions, he dug deep and climbed back up from twelfth to ninth, dipping under the 1’29 mark with a 1’28.823s. He had three more attempts at beating his personal best time, but was unable to improve and ended the day in 11th place, 1.521s from the front.
The day started off very positive with the FP3 session, when Vale and Maverick both had a good feeling. We already noticed in FP4 that the feeling in the wet was not as good as it was in the dry. Valentino started the qualifying session well, but was unable to really get the feeling he was looking for in the wet conditions. When the track started to dry towards the end, he made the right call to change tyres and climbed to ninth place. It was unfortunate there wasn‘t enough time for him to have another go, because his potential is higher than his grid position. The same goes for Maverick. The pace he showed in FP3 this morning clearly indicates he is one of the fastest men on track in dry conditions. We will work overnight to try to find a solution to give both of the riders a better feeling in the wet. We have to try to capitalise on the information we collected in today‘s practice sessions as much as possible.
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.
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.
WITH EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE IN FREE PRACTICE ALEIX ESPARGARÓ GOES THROUGH TO Q2 AND RIDES HIS APRILIA TO THE THIRD ROW
SEVENTH ROW FOR SAM LOWES
Aleix Espargaró and his Aprilia were key players in the Saturday qualifiers for the German GP that will be held tomorrow on the Sachsenring circuit.
Fully confirming his positive trend from Friday, when he stayed consistently with the leaders in all weather conditions, Espargaró finished the morning free practice, held in dry conditions, with an excellent fourth place time of 1’21.209 that opened the doors for him to go straight through to Q2, the qualifying sessions with the twelve best riders.
The rain, always looming over the Saxon circuit, arrived before the qualifiers which were therefore held in wet conditions. Even in this situation, Aleix confirmed his potential by staying with the leaders, finishing with the eighth best time (1’28.526) which places him on the third row of the starting grid tomorrow. This is a good position that confirms the level reached by the RS-GP and leaves the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider’s ambitions intact of bringing home an important result in the race after the good placements achieved in practice here and in the previous rounds.
Sam Lowes did not benefit as hoped in the wet conditions which had enhanced his riding style in Le Mans and Assen. He finished Q1 in eleventh place which earns him 21st place overall and therefore a spot on the seventh row after a crash at the end of the session.
“Eighth place is not bad but I was aiming to do better, given how competitive I was in all the sessions. Tomorrow I am hoping for a dry race. We have the best pace of the season, but I stopped watching the weather forecast because it is basically useless here. Analysing the situation well and choosing the right tyre will be essential. The asphalt dries out very quickly here, so we will need to be smart in deciding the best strategy.”
“I am a bit disappointed with the qualifiers. I have always been fast in the wet and I expected to be able to go through to Q2. The crash was rather violent and I have a bit of pain in my back, but fortunately nothing serious. In FP4 we did a really good job. Before it started raining I did a long run at a competitive pace. In terms of settings, we are fairly well dialled in for any conditions. Maybe on the front we can still make some changes, but in general I am feeling positive about the race tomorrow.”
Bautista at the sharp end for the fourth straight race
Fourth row start for the Pull&Bear Aspar rider in Germany with his team-mate Karel Abraham on row seven
Marc Márquez today extended a remarkable run of pole positions at the Sachsenring circuit to eight from the last eight seasons, the Spaniard clocking the fastest time in qualifying this afternoon to secure top spot on the grid for tomorrow’s race. Márquez was the only rider able to dislodge Danilo Petrucci from a provisional pole position that the Italian held for most of the session, with a time of 1’27.302 proving enough to complete the job. Dani Pedrosa was six tenths off his team-mate on pole but completes the front row in third position.
Álvaro Bautista contested Q2 four the fourth successive Grand Prix, having also done so at Mugello, Barcelona and Assen. The Pull&Bear Aspar rider will line up twelfth on tomorrow’s grid after a Q2 session that started damp and then gradually dried, affording precious little rear grip. Bautista and his crew are clear on their front tyre choice for the race but still need to run through the options on offer from Michelin for the rear. Karel Abraham will start from the seventh row despite lapping faster in Q1 than a number of riders managed in Q2. The Czech rider is happy with the work done today and is hoping to maximise his points potential in a wet race tomorrow.
12th Álvaro Bautista 1:28.698:“This morning we were able to do some work with the race in mind but the plan didn’t go totally as we’d hoped because we had some problems with the clutch and steering damper. We had to change our strategy during the session but we were able to go through directly to Q2. We tried to spend the whole of FP4 on the same tyres to see how they responded for the race tomorrow but we only managed twelve laps. It was fine and I felt comfortable but what happens after lap sixteen tomorrow will be a mystery that we will only find out at the time. We will go for the medium front and on the rear we have a choice between the medium and the new hard that Michelin have brought, but we are still unsure so we have to look at the data. The conditions were the worst for qualifying because the track was drying and I was losing the rear and almost stopping on the exit from corners. If it was dry we might have qualified better but we’ll have to wait now and see what the conditions are tomorrow.”
20th Karel Abraham 1:28.625: “It looks like history is repeating itself from Assen because looking at the times from Q2, if it was just one qualifying session I would be much higher up the grid but the reality is I was not in Q2, I was in Q1, and that’s the way it is. We also had some problems with the throttle on the exit from the fast corners, where the bike felt a little lazy, so that’s a shame because I feel we could have been a couple of positions higher. Anyway, I think we did a good job and our pace in the wet is a real positive. I never usually say this but I think tomorrow I would be happy with a wet race.”
Miller in confident mood ahead of German Grand Prix
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Jack Miller has splashed his way to 13th position on the gird for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix.
The rollercoaster Sachsenring was awash with constant and at times heavy rain during the Q1 session with Miller posting the third fastest time of 1’27.967.
The Aussie rain master missed progressing through to the Q2 session by 0.272s in cold, wet and slippery conditions on the 3.67km circuit.
Despite missing a Q2 spot Miller is unfazed and is confident he has a strong pace for what will be his 40th MotoGP race start.
Miller was impressively fast in the difficult conditions and looked in control of Q1 when he went to the top of the timesheets midway through the 15-minute session.
But Miller was a spectator in the garage in the crucial final minutes when Pol Espargaro posted a fast time to bump him out of the top two for a spot in Q2.
Spanish rider Tito Rabat will start from 24th position on the grid for the 30-lap ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship.
Rabat again lacked confidence in wet conditions aboard his Honda RC213V with the weather not allowing him to capitalize on his strong pace in a dry FP3 session when he was 11th fastest.
The new asphalt on the recently resurfaced Sachsenring is producing high levels of grip in wet conditions even with track temperatures struggling to climb above 20 degrees.
Jack Miller: 13th – 1’27.967
“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.”
Tito Rabat: 24th – 1’30.028
“I did a very good FP3 session in the morning but then the rain came for qualifying and in the rain I simply cannot go faster when the bike is sliding. It is difficult to find a set-up that gives me confidence and it is very easy to crash in these conditions so if it is wet for the race we need to find some solutions. But I’m happy because in the dry I showed I can be fast.”