Dani Pedrosa looked to have pole position in the bag during qualifying at the Sachsenring for Sunday’s German Grand Prix, but the Spaniard crashed out of contention with minutes left on the clock and left the way clear for team-mate and reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez to steal the laurels instead.
Rain hit FP4 just half an hour before qualifying began, but the circuit had dried out by the time the riders in Q1 hit the track hoping to secure one of the top two positions and advance to Q2. Cal Crutchlow ensured he wouldn’t make the grade when he crashed his Ducati at the infamous turn 11, meaning he starts tomorrow’s race from 15th behind fellow Brit Scott Redding. Nicky Hayden proved the shock of the session, the Aspar-mounted 2006 world champion beating Andrea Dovizioso to the top spot.
Q2 was supposed to see Aleix Espargaro continue his impressive Friday practice form, but the NGM Mobile Forward racer never quite got into the groove, qualifying an otherwise-admirable 4th ahead of Yamaha factory riders Lorenzo and Rossi. Bradley Smith suffered his fourth crash of the weekend and eliminated himself from what looked to be a possible top 6 starting position, while Pedrosa clocked a 1:21:233 to take provisional pole.
Pedrosa came undone seconds later however when he lost his bike braking for turn one and fell hard into the gravel trap. To add insult to injury, as he trudged off under the supervision of the marshals Marquez flashed across the timing screens with a 1:20:937; the fastest lap ever recorded at the Sachsenring and breaking the 2008 record of Casey Stoner.
Nevertheless, Pedrosa’s time was enough to guarantee him 2nd ahead of Stefan Bradl, for whom home support obviously proved an aid in reaching the front row of the grid.
CLASSIFICATION – Qualifying – MotoGP – German Grand Prix – MotoGP – 12th July 2014
Copyright – DORNA