Magical Marquez Takes Tenth Consecutive Pole At The ’Ring
Marc Marquez continued his historic run of pole positions at the Sachsenring, securing his tenth consecutive pole at the rollercoaster German racetrack.
Magical Marquez Takes Tenth Consecutive Pole At The ’Ring
SACHSENRING, Germany, July 6, 2019
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) continued his historic run of pole positions at the Sachsenring today, securing his tenth consecutive pole at the rollercoaster German racetrack. The 26-year-old Spaniard has taken pole every time he has visited the Sachsenring since 2010: he was quickest in 125cc in 2010, quickest in the Honda-powered Moto2 series in 2011 and 2012 and quickest every time in MotoGP since he graduated to the premier class in 2013.
Even more remarkable, the five-times premier-class World Champion converted each of his previous nine poles into nine consecutive race victories here. Tomorrow he hopes to convert his tenth pole into a tenth victory, which would further increase his series advantage, which currently stands at 44 points, with eight of 19 rounds done.
Marquez has been imperious so far this weekend: three tenths up at the end of yesterday, close to two tenths up at the end of FP3. His love for this layout has much to do with his love of dirt-track training, which usually has riders turning left; Sachsenring is one of only a few anti-clockwise MotoGP tracks in Europe.
During the two days of practice here Marquez has used his two RC213V machines with different chassis: one equipped with a conventional aluminum-alloy frame, the other with an HRC development alloy frame featuring a carbon-fibre coating. As always Honda and HRC are working to improve the performance of its machines, using tomorrow’s technology today.
Fellow HRC rider Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) produced a heroic performance this afternoon, qualifying on the second row of the grid despite a nasty knee injury sustained in a freak cycling incident earlier in the week. The 33-year-old snapped the ACL ligament in his right knee but has kept riding, without slackening his pace at all.
Crutchlow was an incredible fourth fastest at the end of FP3 and sixth fastest in qualifying, less than seven tenths of a second behind Marquez.
His team-mate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) was also in courageous mood today. The 27-year-old from Chiba finished the Q1 qualifying session second quickest to win promotion into Q2, despite the injuries he sustained at Assen last Sunday when he was taken out by a rival at high speed.
When Nakagami is off the motorcycle he needs crutches to walk, but once he climbs on his bike he grits his teeth and pushes to the limit. He ended Q2 tenth fastest, less than second behind Marquez, to lead the fourth row of the grid.
HRC test rider Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) is contesting his home Grand Prix as a replacement for the team’s three-times MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) who is recuperating from a heavy tumble during practice for last weekend’s Dutch round at Assen.
Bradl has done a sterling job here – both preparing for the race and testing some new parts for the RC213V. The 29-year-old German, who last raced in May’s Spanish GP round, qualified 14th and will be aiming to equal or better the excellent tenth-place finish he took at Jerez in May. Later this month Bradl will race a Honda CBR1000RR in the globally important Suzuka 8 Hours race in Japan.
Moto2 World Champion challenger Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) took Moto2 pole position, to make it a clean sweep of the top two categories for the Marquez family. This is the 23-year-old’s first pole position of the season, but tomorrow he won’t be going for his first win of the year.
Marquez took a hat-trick of victories at Le Mans, Mugello and Barcelona and was going for a fourth consecutive victory at Assen when he was taken out by another rider.
The men joining him on the Moto2 front row will be Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex) and local hero Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex). This is Marini’s first front-row start of the year.
World Championship leader Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex) didn’t have a great day. The Swiss veteran, who leads Marquez by six points, could only manage 12th today, to start at the back of the fourth row.
Rookie Grand Prix team-mates Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex) and Dimas Ekky Pratama (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) will not be racing in tomorrow’s German GP.
Chantra broke a wrist at Assen last weekend, while Ekky Pratama was also badly knocked about when another rider took him out during Assen practice. The 26-year-old Indonesian rider rode yesterday but was still suffering the after-effects of his tumble, so for safety reasons it was decided he should not ride again this weekend. Both will return to action at next month’s Czech GP, following the summer break.
Once again Honda dominated Moto3 qualifying, with NSF250RW riders taking the top five grid positions, led by the impressive Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW), who made it a Japanese one-two. This was Sasaki’s first-ever pole position and the first time a Japanese rider has taken pole in MotoGP’s smallest category since Youichi Ui qualified fastest at the 2003 African GP.
Last man on the front row is Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW), with World Championship hopeful Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) leading the second row in fourth, just ahead of Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW).
Dalla Porta’s performance was the most important of the session, because it should allow the 22-year-old Italian to race with the front group tomorrow in his quest for the World Championship lead. He currently stands second overall, just seven points behind Aron Canet, who could do no better than 22nd fastest today.
The 15-minute session was typically frenetic, with pole position changing hands on multiple occasions. Many of the fastest riders were in the same group during their final run, so the timing monitor were a blur as positions changed in just a few seconds.
Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW), who is still hunting for a first podium of the year, will start from the third row, in front of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW).
Tatsuki Suzuki (Sic58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) ended up in the middle of the fifth row, one row ahead of Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW), who did an excellent job after winning promotion from Q1.
Last Sunday’s Assen winner Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers Team Honda NSF250RW) had had a challenging two days at the Sachsenring. The 18-year-old Italian came very close to graduating from Q1 to Q2 but didn’t quite make it and will start from the seventh row.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st 1m 20.195s
“I am riding very well and since FP1 I feel good here. We’ve just been trying different tires and some different things on the bike to see how it compares. Even in qualifying we tried some different things to keep understanding more. We have everything in place for tomorrow but the Yamaha riders are very fast. Viñales and Quartararo are very fast so we will have to keep an eye on them. The pole was possible today but we will have to see if the win is possible tomorrow!”
Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 6th, 1m 20.857s
“Yeah, I’m happy enough. I qualified sixth in Assen and sixth here. I think that’s about our pace this weekend. It’s going to be a really long difficult race and obviously the heat today didn’t help anybody’s tires, but overall we’re happy enough. I’ve no idea [about tires for the race]. I used a really used rear tire in FP4 and it was horrendous, but that’s what it’s going to be like in the race. Marc has the pace compared to everybody else, we can see that, but we just don’t know how our rear tire performed in that session because we used it from the morning. We’ll see, I believe that we have the pace to do a good job tomorrow, potentially fight for the podium or potentially fight for tenth. It’s always a good race here and a real battle.”
Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 10th, 1m 21.104s
“It was a very tough day for me. This morning I felt good and for the first time since Assen, I was able to put shoes on and, although it was difficult, I started to walk. But at the end of the FP3 session I felt that something was wrong, I was in a lot of pain and after that the condition of my left ankle was a disaster. I could not put any weight on it or walk, so it was really tough for me. At one moment in FP4 I thought I might have to retire as I couldn’t change gear – I wasn’t able to make the movement to downshift. After that I took off all the tape to try and make it a bit more flexible and that helped, although it was very painful. For tomorrow I don’t know, it’s a tight track and 30 laps won’t help me or my body. I think I will need an injection and painkillers, but we’ll wait and see what our strategy is.”
Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda Team: 14th: 1m 21.227s
“We have had another busy and productive day today. We have accomplished a lot today and our pace is good. For tomorrow we will start from the fifth row so we must make sure we are sensible during the race and do not get caught up in anything. I’m looking forward to it as I think we can gain some positions and riding at home is always very special.”
Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 1st
“This is an important pole for us because we struggled this morning. Out settings weren’t quite right, so we struggled and that’s why I had to come through Q1. I got a zero score at the last race, so this will be an important race for us – we are starting from the front, so the aim is to recover a lot of points tomorrow.”
Luca Marini, SKY Racing Team VR46: 2nd
“We had to come through from the Q1 session today, but in fact this was good for us because it allowed us to make a few detailed settings improvements for Q2. We have had two podium finishes from our last three races, so tomorrow I want to continue in this way, to thank my team for all their hard work and commitment.”
Marcel Schrotter, Dynavolt Intact GP: 3rd
“I have been struggling for the last few races, in fact since the European season started, so we have changed a few things and worked on some changes to my riding style. This weekend for the first time in a long while I feel much better on the bike – things are slowly coming together for us!”
Ayumu Sasaki, Petronas Sprinta Racing: 1st, 1m 26.135s
“It’s been an amazing weekend and I’ve felt strong since Friday. We changed a lot of settings on the bike and more importantly I changed my mindset. I feel a lot more focused now, and I’m getting great support and great confidence from the team. We’ve changed some things on the bike, but 80 percent of this improvement has come from my head. Now that I’ve got some confidence back and my pace is good, I can’t wait for tomorrow’s race!”
Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: 2nd, 1m 26.192s
“I lost pole position again, but I’m happy with this second position. I felt good with this bike and tomorrow I will be focused in the checkered flag. That means I must finish the race, after crashing in the last three rounds. Even though I crashed while I was at the front of those races, it’s no use because finally, the most important thing is the result.”
Marcos Ramirez, Leopard Racing: 3rd, 1m 26.306s
“I’m happy with today’s result because starting from the first row in this track is important and honestly, we have a very decent race pace. I feel strong and even stronger with race tires, so tomorrow we will try to fight for the maximum. Many thanks to the team, they’ve done a good job.”
Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia: 16th, 1m 27.188s
“This weekend from FP1 I had a not so good feeling, but tomorrow is race day so the only thing I can do is just push as much as possible and try to finish the race. I finished first in Q1 with a good lap time. But it was only one lap! This is not my real potential and I don’t know why I cannot repeat it so we have to work to find the feeling with the bike.”
|1||Marc MÁRQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|3||Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|4||Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|5||Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)|
|6||Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)|
|7||Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|8||Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|9||Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|10||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)|
|11||Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|12||Danilo PETRUCCI (Ducati Team)|
|13||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|14||Stefan BRADL (Repsol Honda Team)|
|15||Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|16||Andrea IANNONE (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|17||Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)|
|18||Hafizh SYAHRIN (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|19||Johann ZARCO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|20||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|21||Karel ABRAHAM (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|22||Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|1||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|2||Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|3||Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|4||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (MB Conveyors Speed Up)|
|5||Augusto FERNANDEZ (Flexbox HP 40)|
|6||Iker LECUONA (American Racing KTM)|
|7||Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|8||Xavi VIERGE (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|9||Remy GARDNER (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|10||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)|
|11||Jorge NAVARRO (MB Conveyors Speed Up)|
|12||Thomas LUTHI (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|13||Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|14||Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|15||Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|16||Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|17||Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|18||Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|19||Marco BEZZECCHI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|20||Jonas FOLGER (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|21||Dominique AEGERTER (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward)|
|22||Simone CORSI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)|
|23||Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward)|
|24||Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|25||Joe ROBERTS (American Racing KTM)|
|26||Jake DIXON (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|27||Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|28||Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing)|
|29||Xavi CARDELUS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|1||Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|2||Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)|
|3||Marcos RAMIREZ (Leopard Racing)|
|4||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)|
|5||Romano FENATI (VNE Snipers)|
|6||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)|
|7||Albert ARENAS (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|8||Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|9||Gabriel RODRIGO (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|10||John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|11||Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|12||Can ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|13||Filip SALAC (Redox PruestelGP)|
|14||Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|15||Raul FERNANDEZ (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team)|
|16||Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)|
|17||Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|18||Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|19||Tony ARBOLINO (VNE Snipers)|
|20||Stefano NEPA (Reale Avintia Arizona 77)
|21||Jaume MASIA (Bester Capital Dubai)|
|22||Aron CANET (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)|
|23||Kazuki MASAKI (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|24||Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|25||Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)|
|26||Makar YURCHENKO (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|27||Riccardo ROSSI (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|28||Andrea MIGNO (Bester Capital Dubai)|
|29||Tom BOOTH-AMOS (CIP Green Power)|
|30||Dirk GEIGER (Kiefer Racing)|