Round 09 Germany

  • Magic Marquez Takes Ninth Straight Pole at The ’Ring

    Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez was once again king of the Sachsenring, riding to his ninth consecutive pole position at the tight and technically challenging German venue.


Magic Marquez Takes Ninth Straight Pole at The ’Ring

SACHSENRING, Germany, July 14, 2018

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) was once again king of the Sachsenring today, riding to his ninth consecutive pole position at the tight and technically challenging German venue. The 25-year-old has started from pole here every year since 2010, across the 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP categories. Tomorrow he will go for his ninth successive race victory at the track, to increase his lead in the 2018 championship.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez

Marquez was in storming form in qualifying, using a three-run strategy which gave him just two flying laps on his final run. He started that run with less than four minutes remaining and it was his final lap that was the scorcher – the fastest-ever lap around the Sachsenring and good enough to take pole from Italian rival Danilo Petrucci by 0.025 seconds.

Although Marquez is used to dominating here, he had to work extra hard today. He ended the first three free practice sessions in sixth place, then slid off at turn one in FP4. During his final qualifying run he had several big slides but kept going at full speed to compensate for any time lost. Success tomorrow will give him his 70th victory in the premier class, on the occasion of his 99th start in the class. And victory here is especially important for rider psychology, because this race is the last before MotoGP’s two-weekend summer break. Marquez is currently chasing his fifth MotoGP crown from his six years in the category.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) was in the thick of the fight for a place on the first or second rows of the grid. The British rider, who started May’s Spanish Grand Prix from pole, ended FP3 a very close third fastest, but qualifying didn’t quite go his way. At the end of the quickfire 15-minute outing the 32-year-old was seventh quickest, less than two tenths of a second off row two. Crutchlow has great racing form here – he has twice finished in the top three and will be aiming to climb the podium once again tomorrow. His first concern will be a great start, because this is not an easy track for overtaking.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) ended the day tenth quickest, just 0.561 seconds behind his team-mate. The 32-year-old Spaniard knows the fast way around the Sachsenring – he won a MotoGP hat-trick in 2010, 2011 and 2012 – before Marquez began his run of MotoGP successes here. This is an emotional weekend for the former 125cc and 250cc World Champion who on Thursday announced that he will retire from MotoGP at the end of this season. Pedrosa has won 31 MotoGP races for the Repsol Honda Team since 2006.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) had a superb Saturday, going through from Q1 into Q2 for the second time in MotoGP. The 26-year-old from Chiba briefly topped Q1, ending the session a close second quickest to move him into Q2. He will start the race from 12th on the grid, equalling his previous best qualifying performance at last month’s Catalan Grand Prix.

Nakagami’s speed is particularly impressive considering he only just returned from Japan, where the former Moto2 winner undertook testing for the Suzuka 8 Hours. He will return to Japan after this race for the event, in which he will ride a CBR1000RR.

Reigning Moto2 World Champion and star MotoGP rookie Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) started practice yesterday after being cleared by doctors to ride, following the hand injury he sustained at Assen two weeks ago. However, the FP1 session told the 23-year-old Italian that he wasn’t fit enough to be competitive, so he preferred to withdraw from the race and allow his injury to heal further over MotoGP’s midseason break. His place was immediately taken by HRC test rider Stefan Bradl.

Former Moto2 World Champion Bradl, who ended his fulltime MotoGP career at the close of the 2016 season, did a great job at such short notice. He was here on TV commentary duties until he got the call to replace Morbidelli! The German will start from 21st on the grid, alongside his former Moto2 rival Thomas Luthi (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V).

The Honda-powered Moto2 class was the closest of the day, with 1.014 seconds covering the fastest 25 riders. The performance of Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) was therefore all the more impressive, because the 32-year-old Italian won pole position by almost two tenths of a second. The winner of this year’s Argentine Moto2 race bettered Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) by 0.181 seconds, the 20-year old Italian bettering team-mate and World Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) by 0.002 seconds.

Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors KTM), who is still chasing his first win since returning to Moto2, will lead the second row from fourth on the grid, alongside Jerez winner Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40 Kalex) and Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter).

Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) recovered from a nasty high-speed fall this morning to qualify seventh at the head of row three, just in front of rookie team-mate Joan Mir (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex). Last man on the third row is local hero Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter). South African Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) completes the top ten.

Moto3 World Championship leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) scorched to his sixth pole position from nine races with a superb performance in the first qualifying session of the afternoon. The 20-year-old Spaniard, who retook the points lead at Assen, with his fourth victory of the year, bettered closest challenger Marcos Ramirez by just six hundredths of a second.

Twenty-year-old Italian Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) completed the front row, five thousandths of a second down. That makes it two Hondas up front and the first row covered by 0.065 seconds! Bastianini is on great form at the moment, with a win and a third-place finish at the last two races moving him to fourth in the championship,

There are also two Hondas on the second row, making it four NSF250RW machines in the top six. Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) completed the session in fifth place, despite a minor tumble, just ahead of Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW). Arbolino’s best lap was a mere three tenths of a second slower than pole

Japanese star Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) had a good day, squeezing onto the third row of the grid with the ninth fastest lap. Tomorrow the 17-year-old from Yokosuka will aim to equal or better his previous best race finish of seventh place. Compatriot Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) had a more challenging day in 15th, 0.625 seconds behind Martin.

Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) will lead the fourth row after qualifying tenth, albeit just 0.457 seconds slower than pole.

Tomorrow’s MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 races are the ninth of the year, with a further ten to come following the midseason break, starting with the Czech Grand Prix at Brno on August 5.

Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow



Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st, 1m 20.270s

“Honestly, I didn’t really feel we would be able to take pole today, but we did and it’s fantastic. The team planned the perfect strategy, which was to try and use three tires, and I think that’s what gave me pole position. I knew the two Ducatis were very fast on new tires, but already during my second run I understood that I would be able to push more on my next and final exit, on the hard tire option, which was the one I was feeling best with. I did it, but I also made a few mistakes, one in turn three where I nearly crashed! Anyway, I kept pushing and pushing on my final lap, and finally 25 thousandths of a second gave me the pole. I’m sorry for Danilo [Petrucci], but we’re both on the front row and that’s what ultimately counts. Regarding tomorrow, I think we’ll have two races; I mean the first 15 laps and the second 15 laps. In the first half, everyone will be fast but in the second half the tires will drop, and that moment will be the key. We’ve worked a lot to try and keep our pace on used tires in the high 21s, but it’s tough and will also be tough tomorrow.”

Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 7th, 1m 20.675s

“I would’ve been right up there if I hadn’t made a mistake on my best lap. I braked too early for turn eight, released the brake to make up for that, but ran onto the kerb and lost a couple of tenths. The positive is that we are going much better than yesterday and that the bike is working really well because we improved the set-up a lot. I really think it will be a ten-rider battle for the win, which in some ways will make it harder because when you’re in a group the tires get hotter. My strong point is sector two. We need to improve the last sector.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: 10th, 1m 20.831s

“Today we made a good improvement from yesterday, but we’re still struggling to find the correct setting in some areas, particularly to fully exploit the new tires in qualifying. So unfortunately, our grid position isn’t very good, also because lap times were very tight. Overall, we did improve our race pace, so tomorrow it will be important to try and start well and then manage the tires well over race distance.”

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 12th, 1m 20.938s

“Today was quite tough after yesterday and the lap times were really tight. The good thing was that I started in Q1 and made it into Q2, that is really positive for me. In Q2 I did my best to get a good result, but the lap times were so tight and I made a few mistakes. But I tried my hardest and tomorrow we’ll start from 12th position which is not so bad. It’s going to be a really strong race because this track is really short, but there are 30 laps. I think everybody is struggling with rear grip. We will have to decide which tire to use – we’ll see after the warm-up.”

Stefan Bradl, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 21st, 1m 21.802s

“I’m happy with my faster lap time today but the faster you go the more difficult it becomes. We have made some small changes to the bike but we have not had enough time to fully adapt the bike to my riding style in just three practice sessions. This is my home GP and I’m trying to just enjoy riding the bike so a big thanks to Honda and the team who did a great job today.”

Thomas Luthi, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 22nd, 1m 22.012s

“We found some speed and more grip in qualifying which was positive but my position is too far from the front so it is frustrating and I’m disappointed with my lap time. It has been difficult so far and the race is going to be tricky and tough for rear tire life so the race choice will be important.”


Mattia Pasini, Italtrans Racing Team: 1st, 1m 23.787s

“I set my time quite early in the session because this can be the best time, because there’s some good rubber down from MotoGP and the bike isn’t too hot. So if you get a good feeling at the start you can push really hard. I’m so happy with this pole because it comes after three bad races, when we had some problems with the bike, so I lost the feeling. We’ve fixed the problem and now we can fight again. The race will be difficult because tire consumption at this track in hot weather is quite high.”

Luca Marini, Sky Racing Team VR46: 2nd, 1m 23.968s

“Another front row! I started from the garage to score my best lap time right in the first run and I thought that 1.23.900 would have been enough, but Paso (Pasini) made a great lap time. I’m satisfied because in qualifying, even with the hard tires, I managed to be really competitive and this is great news for the race. For tomorrow I have a good pace and good feelings, the only unknown factor at the moment is my physical condition. The track is characterized by a lot of left turns and this can be a problem for my shoulder over race distance.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Sky Racing Team VR46: 3rd, 1m 23.970s

“I'm very happy with this first row: yesterday in FP1 I used the session to try some new parts and this forced us to reschedule our work. We did not lose concentration and this morning we have found the feeling we were looking for. In qualifying we made another step forward and we grew up till we got third place. I have a good pace for the race and we can make another small step forward in the warm up. Me, Paso (Pasini), Luca and Miguel (Oliveira) can really do a great race.”


Jorge Martin, Del Conca Gresini Moto3: 1st, 1m 26.434s

“We worked up until now only on our race pace. We did an excellent lap in qualifying, even though I must admit that we lost a couple of tenths during our best attempt due to Kornfeil and Öttl who were slower than me and held me back. Obviously I’m super happy with my 15th Moto3 pole position and I hope tomorrow we will be able to make some selection early on and make sure it’ll be only a few of us battling for the win.”

Enea Bastianini, Leopard Racing: 3rd, 1m 26.499s

“It was a very difficult qualifying session because today the track was very slippery. I carefully analyzed the telemetry to try to understand where we could be faster. I set a good time, even if I made a few small mistakes in my last flying lap. All in all, the important thing will be to start from the front row and stay close to Martin in the first laps of the race.”

Aron Canet, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 5th, 1m 26.740s

"We have a good pace with the tire we are going to use in the race, which was basically our goal. It is always difficult to lower your times after a crash because you lose confidence, but we also achieved that. I think that without the crash we could have improved more, but we are ready to be in the front group. In the race there may be quite a small pack at the front, or there might even be a couple of riders who break away. It will depend on how the first few laps go.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2018
Round 09: Germany Qualifying

MotoGP Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Danilo PETRUCCI (Alma Pramac Racing)
3 Jorge LORENZO (Ducati Team)
4 Maverick VIÑALES (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
6 Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)
9 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Angel Nieto Team)
10 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
13 Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
14 Johann ZARCO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
15 Jack MILLER (Alma Pramac Racing)
16 Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
17 Bradley SMITH (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
18 Hafizh SYAHRIN (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
19 Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)
20 Scott REDDING (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
21 Stefan BRADL(Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
22 Thomas LUTHI (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
23 Karel ABRAHAM (Angel Nieto Team)
24 Xavier SIMEON (Reale Avintia Racing)

Moto2 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Mattia PASINI (Italtrans Racing Team)
2 Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
3 Francesco BAGNAIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
4 Sam LOWES (Swiss Innovative Investors)
5 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Pons HP40)
6 Xavi VIERGE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
7 Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
8 Joan MIR (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
9 Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)
10 Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
11 Romano FENATI (Marinelli Snipers Team)
12 Danny KENT (MB Conveyors - Speed Up Racing)
13 Augusto Fernandez(Pons HP40)
14 Isaac VIÑALES (SAG Team)
15 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
16 Jorge NAVARRO (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
17 Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)
18 Fabio QUARTARARO (MB Conveyors - Speed Up Racing)
19 Simone CORSI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
20 Remy GARDNER (Tech 3 Racing)
21 Bo BENDSNEYDER (Tech 3 Racing)
22 Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP)
23 Dominique AEGERTER (Kiefer Racing)
24 Khairul Idham PAWI (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
25 Iker LECUONA (Swiss Innovative Investors)
26 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
27 Stefano MANZI (Forward Racing Team)
28 Eric GRANADO (Forward Racing Team)
29 Jules DANILO (Nashi Argan SAG Team)
30 Joe ROBERTS (NTS RW Racing GP)
31 Federico FULIGNI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
32 Xavi CARDELUS(Team Stylobike)
RT Niki TUULI(SIC Racing Team)

Moto3 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Jorge MARTIN (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)
2 Marcos RAMIREZ (Bester Capital Dubai)
3 Enea BASTIANINI (Leopard Racing)
4 Jaume MASIA (Bester Capital Dubai)
5 Aron CANET (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
6 Tony ARBOLINO (Marinelli Snipers Team)
7 Marco BEZZECCHI (Redox PruestelGP)
8 John MCPHEE (CIP - Green Power)
9 Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
10 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)
11 Albert ARENAS (Angel Nieto Team Moto3)
12 Gabriel RODRIGO (RBA BOE Skull Rider)
13 Philipp OETTL (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing)
14 Raul Fernandez(Red Bull KTM Ajo)
15 Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
16 Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
17 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)
18 Adam NORRODIN (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
19 Ai Ogura(Asia Talent Team)
20 Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
21 Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)
22 Kazuki MASAKI (RBA BOE Skull Rider)
23 Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
24 Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)
25 Andrea MIGNO (Angel Nieto Team Moto3)
26 Luca GRÜNWALD(Freudenberg Racing Team)
27 Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
28 Vicente Perez(Reale Avintia Academy 77)
29 Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT (Honda Team Asia)
30 Stefano Nepa(CIP - Green Power)