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Jul 12, 2014 - 05:59 PM
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Qualifying German Grand Prix, Sachsenring
Posted by: newsla on Jul 12, 2014 - 05:57 PM
MotoGP
Qualifying German Grand Prix, Sachsenring


HONDAS MONOPOLISE FRONT ROW AT GERMAN GRAND PRIX

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.

 

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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 tyres 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 tyres. 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-tyre 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-tyre 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 tyre 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 tyre.

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 Tito 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.

Honda MotoGP rider quotes

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: pole position – 1m 20.937s
“The weekend has been affected by the crash I suffered yesterday, but I kept my nerve and little by little we’ve been getting better. I felt good yesterday afternoon and I was much better this morning. In the few laps I did in FP4 I could see that we had a good pace and a chance to fight for pole position. With the first tyre I didn’t feel entirely comfortable, but with the second one I had a good feeling and could see that there was good grip, so I decided to push a little more and put in a strong lap. Starting from the front is important for the race tomorrow, because this is a circuit where it is difficult to overtake. We will try and keep up the pace from practice, which I think has been good.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd – 1m 21.233s
“It was a good qualifying session and we had a good pace, despite the crash which was my fault when I think I hit a bump under braking but luckily I’m fine. I’m very grateful to my mechanics for the work they did yesterday to get the bike back running again after my crash in FP2. Tomorrow we will try to do our best, position ourselves well from the start, make a good tyre choice and hope the weather is kind to us! Our set-up is definitely good, so I hope to have a good race.”

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 3rd – 1m 21.340s
“It’s simply fantastic for me to get a front-row start in front of my home crowd. I could see the fans waving and clapping their hands when I was on track and this is an incredible feeling. I think we have done a good job so far especially this morning when we found further improvements, so it’s easier for me to turn the bike. Tomorrow, depending on the weather, it will be very important to choose the right front tyre because this track is very demanding for the front. Actually the pressure is high now because everybody is expecting me to climb the podium but I will keep my feet on the ground because it’s most important to score points.”

Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 10th – 1m 21.906s
“Today we worked a lot to find some more rear grip, because yesterday we struggled a lot with that. This morning we found something which helped me to be more comfortable and during FP4 we wanted to try another setting in order to improve further, but unfortunately we couldn’t do it due to the bad weather. In qualifying we continue to struggle when we fitted the new tyre. I don’t know why, but I have exactly the same feeling when I use either a new or used tyre. This is not a good sign, obviously. However, in FP4 with used tyres I managed to keep a good pace, so I remain confident for tomorrow’s race, but when you start from the back it’s always difficult to stay with the front group. Anyway, we have to work to improve our performance with the new tyres, because if we have a good rhythm but we can’t start from the front of the grid, it’s quite difficult to make a good result.”

Nicky Hayden, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 12th – 1m 22.647s
“Our main goal today was to qualify for QP2, though that’s another league and you have to push even harder. I’m happy because our times were quite good – we were faster than the rest of the weekend, but everyone has dropped their times. It would have been interesting to have an extra tyre to try to improve our best time a little more. Nevertheless, I am satisfied. Today we did our best qualifying in a long time. I want to thank the team for their work this weekend because we have made a step forward. Nothing too important, but MotoGP is so fierce that any significant evolution is very small. Now we can continue to concentrate and try to keep in shape for the race. We know it will be hard but we will try to have fun as much as possible.”

Scott Redding, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 14th – 1m 22.436s
“Today we had a good opportunity to go to Qualifying 2, but at the beginning of Qualifying 1 I made a wrong decision with the front tyre: I went out with the soft front tyre and I felt a lot of movement, so I came back to the pits to go out with the harder one, which was better, and doing so I lost some precious time. Moreover, if we check my ideal time, my best lap time would have been three tenths faster: in my best lap I lost most of the time in the first sector. Tomorrow it’s going to be a long and demanding race, we have to see what happens. We will use the rear soft tyre; regarding the front tyre, it will depend on the weather conditions.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 16th – 1m 22.659s
“Before the qualifying session the situation was rather critical because it has rained at the end of Moto3. Looking at the track we decided to mount the soft front tyre. I think we made the right decision because I felt more comfortable than during the practice sessions, also this allowed me to shoot three tenths faster. At end of that outing I tried to push a little to jump up a few places but I made a small mistake in the last corner. Finally we qualified in 16th, which isn’t a bad result considering that today we found some improvements. I hope they allow us to be more consistent during the race. In this circuit the differences between the other riders is smaller, so it gives us more options to achieve a good result.”

Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing: 17th – 1m 22.778s
“I’m quite upset right now. Qualifying started quite well. From the first lap it was okay, I made a good time. Then we have changed tyres and we had time for two or three fast laps. Unfortunately during the first fast lap, Crutchlow crashed and it put me off my balance and concentration. In my last lap Hayden didn’t keep his line and he blocked me, which ruined my lap. I didn’t make another, because qualifying had already finished by just a few seconds. I understand that something like that can happen in free practice, however, but in qualifying when there’s not so much time it is unforgivable. I could’ve improved by at least one tenth. I’m angry a lot today.”

Moto2 rider quotes

Dominique Aegerter, Technomag carXpert: pole position – 1m 24.761s
“I’m very happy to get my first pole! I was close at Assen, but we finally made it. We started this weekend well, though qualifying was difficult because everyone is so close on lap times. In the end I managed to find some room and ride a great lap, so my thanks to my team for all their work. For sure now there’s more pressure for the race but I can handle it. The start is so important here and it will be a long, tough race. I’ve already had two podiums so I hope I can get more and my first win before long.”

Mika Kallio, Marc VDS Racing Team: 2nd – 1m 24.885s
“There are no points for qualifying, so second is good enough because it puts me on the front row and that is incredibly important here at the Sachsenring. The first corner and the first part of the track are really tricky, so you need to make a good start if you’re going to stay out of trouble. So far this season my starts have been good, so I’m confident I can get away with the leading group tomorrow. Okay, I am a little disappointed to miss out on pole position, especially as the margin was so small, but it’s like this and now we need to focus on the race tomorrow.”

Tito Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team: 3rd – 1m 25.032s
“I’m happy to qualify on the front row of the grid as we’ve had quite a few problems this weekend, especially in sector two and sector four. We made some changes to the bike ahead of qualifying that allowed me to push harder and I’m happy to say I was able to improve my lap time. It’s important to start from the front row here, as everything is very close and it’s better to arrive at turn one at the front of the field, rather than in the middle of it. Tomorrow I need to make a good start if I am to fight for the win.”

Honda Moto3 rider quotes

Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: 2nd – 1m 27.106s
“Finally! I felt good on my first run but I knew I shouldn’t wait too long to get a new tyre in case the rain came. I tried to push during my first full lap with a new tyre, but by T4 I could see some rain on the screen. Luckily, I’d been fast through T1, 2 and 3, so the lap time was pretty good. We received an upgraded engine at Assen which gives us more acceleration, so the bike is very fast now. Also we have found some set-up solutions that make me feel more confident on the bike. I feel good, so I think we can be at the front tomorrow.”

Alex Marquez, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 3rd – 1m 27.143
“Morning practice was a like yesterday afternoon, now we have improved a lot, not only for our fastest lap, but also because we have managed to find a good pace, which is important for the race tomorrow. Regarding the bike, today was much easier and I’m very happy. Miller may have a little more pace than us but we start from the first row and if we start well I think we can fight with him.”

Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 7th – 1m 27.585s
“Today has been very much like Assen, where he lost time adapting the bike to the circuit, but we have gradually improved. Since yesterday we have tried different settings and we have improved. Today we didn’t have very good luck because I have fell this morning at Turn 11 and in qualifying after I fitted a new tyre I found a lot of traffic on the track and I couldn’t improve any more. Yet I am not entirely unhappy with seventh. Tomorrow I’ll try to make a good start and make sure the first group does not escape.”


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