MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2014
Honda riders Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) dominated qualifying at the Sachsenring this afternoon, filling all three places on the front row.
At the end of the 15 minute session it was reigning World Champion and current points leader Marquez who went fastest to score his seventh pole position from the first nine races of the year. His performance was all the more impressive considering the nasty crash he had during Friday practice, when he was highsided from his RC213V at Turn Two after accidentally nudging the gear lever and changing into third gear. He landed heavily and hurt his neck, to which the Clinica Mobile staff have attended with their usual expertise.
Marquez has worked hard throughout practice, both on track and with his crew to tune his bike and tires to the particular challenges of this heavily anti-clockwise circuit with its many long left-hand corners. After qualifying he announced himself happy with his race pace also. Marquez is so far unbeaten this season and at the halfway point in the championship he heads the title chase with a 72 point lead over Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Pedrosa.
Pedrosa led qualifying until he slid off at Turn One at the start of his second run of the session, his second tumble of the weekend after he fell in FP2. This track is notorious for catching out riders in right-hand turns, because the anti-clockwise layout puts little heat into the right side of the tires. Unhurt in the incident, Pedrosa ended the afternoon second quickest, 0.296 seconds behind his team-mate. Like many riders, the Spaniard believes that front-tire choice will be fundamental to tomorrow’s race result. As usual, the choice must be made between ultimate grip and ultimate longevity.
Bradl was delighted with the third-fastest time of the day, just 0.107 seconds shy of Pedrosa. His first front row since April’s Grand Prix of the Americas sets up a huge day of sport for German fans, who have the German MotoGP race to look forward to, followed by the World Cup football final with Argentina in Rio de Janeiro.
Bradl has had a good weekend, building speed steadily to end the third free practice session a close third overall and then repeat that performance in qualifying. Like Pedrosa, he knows that front-tire choice will be crucial and will depend very much on tomorrow afternoon’s track temperature.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) completed the top ten on his RC213V, at a track where he scored a great fifth-place finish last season. His problem has been converting the extra grip of the soft tire used in qualifying into extra speed on the track.
Top RCV1000R rider Nicky Hayden (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) who was delighted to top the QP1 session which put him through to the QP2 session for the first time since May’s Jerez Grand Prix. The former MotoGP World Champion ended QP2 in 12th, which puts him on the fourth row for tomorrow’s race.
Scott Redding (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) ended the afternoon 14th after making a mistake at the start of qualifying, choosing the softer front which caused too much movement and forced him to come into the pits for a harder front tire.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) might have done better than 16th but he admitted he lost time with a small mistake. However, he has improved his race pace and is confident of a good result.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) had high hopes of a better result in this afternoon’s qualifying session until he found himself baulked by another rider. The Czech rider ended the day in 17th place.
Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert, Suter) scored his first-ever Grand Prix pole position this afternoon, broad-sliding his Suter to better Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) and Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) on his penultimate lap. Rabat currently leads the Moto2 points chase, just ahead of his Finnish team-mat e.
The fastest men were even more tightly packed than usual in the hotly contested Honda-powered Moto2 series, with a mere 1.1 seconds separating the fastest 25 riders around MotoGP’s shortest racetrack
Last year’s Sachsenring Moto2 winner Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter) heads the second row after going fourth fastest, just one hundredth of a second ahead of Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team, Kalex). Last man on row two is Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing, Forward Kalex).
Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham, Caterham Suter) may be less than four tenths off pole but he leads the third row of the grid in seventh, just ahead of Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock, Suter) and Alex De Angelis (Tasca Racing, Suter). Assen runner-up Maverick Vinales (Pons HP 40, Kalex) could only manage 13th fastest, seven tenths off pole.
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250RW) this afternoon continued his excellent weekend with his first front-row start of the season, with light rainfall effectively curtailing the session. A close fourth quickest at Le Mans and Assen, the Frenchman was second today, just 0.109 seconds off pole, set by points leader Jack Miller (KTM).
Currently seventh overall in the series, Masbou has high hopes of achieving his first podium result of the year tomorrow. At Assen two weeks ago he finished a very close fourth.
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW), winner of the last two GPs, was a close third quickest, a mere 0.037 seconds behind his fellow Honda rider. Marquez’s team-mate Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) will lead the third row of the grid after qualifying seventh quickest, less than six tenths off pole.
Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia Honda NSF250RW) was 13th, Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250R) was 17th and John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250RW) was 28th.
Tomorrow’s German Grand Prix precedes MotoGP’s summer break. The next race takes place at Indianapolis in the USA on August 10.
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)||F|
|2||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)||F|
|3||Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)||F|
|4||Aleix ESPARGARO (NGM Forward Racing)||O|
|5||Jorge LORENZO (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)||F|
|6||Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)||F|
|7||Andrea IANNONE (Pramac Racing)||F|
|8||Pol ESPARGARO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)||F|
|9||Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)||F|
|10||Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)||F|
|11||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)||F|
|12||Nicky HAYDEN (Drive M7 Aspar)||O|
|13||Yonny HERNANDEZ (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)||F|
|14||Scott REDDING (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)||O|
|15||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Ducati Team)||F|
* F=Factory option, O=Open category
|1||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)|
|2||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|3||Esteve RABAT (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|4||Jordi TORRES (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|5||Franco MORBIDELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|6||Simone CORSI (NGM Forward Racing)|
|7||Johann ZARCO (AirAsia Caterham)|
|8||Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)|
|9||Alex DE ANGELIS (Tasca Racing Moto2)|
|10||Randy KRUMMENACHER (Octo IodaRacing Team)|
|11||Xavier SIMEON (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|12||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Gresini Moto2)|
|13||Maverick VIÑALES (Paginas Amarillas HP 40)|
|14||Marcel SCHROTTER (Tech 3)|
|15||Julian SIMON (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|1||Jack MILLER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|2||Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)|
|3||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|4||Karel HANIKA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|5||Danny KENT (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo)|
|6||Brad BINDER (Ambrogio Racing)|
|7||Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|8||Eric GRANADO (Calvo Team)|
|9||Juanfran GUEVARA (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|10||Enea BASTIANINI (Junior Team Go & FUN Moto3)|
|11||Philipp OETTL (Interwetten Paddock Moto3)|
|12||Niccolò ANTONELLI (Junior Team GO & FUN Moto3)|
|13||Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (Ongetta-AirAsia)|
|14||Matteo FERRARI (San Carlo Team Italia)|
|15||Alessandro TONUCCI (CIP)|