Stoner snatches Sachsenring pole in frantic wet qualifying

2012-07-07 10:01
All three MotoGP™ classes were met with heavy rainfall and torrid conditions for qualifying at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring, during which Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner made use of a briefly drying track in the final minutes to snatch pole position in the premier-class ahead of Ben Spies and Dani Pedrosa.

Stoner, who had suffered an engine fault at the start of the session, left it very late to set a time in the high 1.31s, which was just enough to displace Yamaha Factory Racing’s Spies onto second on the grid. Completing the front row is Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, who had been the early pace setter throughout yesterday’s free practice.

Row two is headed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, who also pulled some terrific laps out of the bag in the final minutes of qualifying. Yamaha’s joint-championship leader Lorenzo starts in fifth, and will be hoping for a good start in tomorrow’s race to do battle with Stoner at the front. Lorenzo had been one of the riders completing the most laps in the session, yet admitted to making a mistake using up too much tyre before the final hot laps began. Lining up next to him is LCR Honda MotoGP’s local favourite Stefan Bradl, who had led the majority of the session, yet still managed to put in a great showing for his home crow in sixth.

Heading up the third row is Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who had been looking like a front row contender in the early part of the session, yet was pushed down the order in the final seconds. Next to him in eighth is Crutchlow’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso after a somewhat subdued qualifying session for the Italian’s standards.

Ducati’s Valentino Rossi is a surprise starter in ninth, as the wet conditions have usually favoured the Italian this season. He sighted set-up issues with his bike, which he hopes to rectify before the race. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró completes the top ten after a great outing on his ART machine, qualifying as the top CRT bike. Because of the penalty obtained after his crash in the last race in Assen, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista will start tomorrow’s race from the back of the grid.

The tricky conditions caught out many of the riders, which saw San Carlo’s Michele Pirro, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci, Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini and Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá crash out. Most of them managed to re-join later in the session and sustained no serious injuries.


Moto3

Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez overcame difficult track conditions at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring to take pole position for tomorrow’s Moto2™ race ahead of Julián Simón and Mika Kallio.

The session had started in drying conditions after the MotoGP™ bikes had created a dryer racing line, however rain began to fall again soon after. Yet in a near identical situation to their premier-class counterparts, the rain stopped towards the end of qualifying, which is when the riders were frantically competing for their hot lap.

And it was Márquez who coped best with the conditions as he set the pole time of 1.34’503, just narrowly pushing Blusens Avintia’s Julián Simón into second on the grid. Completing the front row is Marc VDS Racing Team’s Mika Kallio, who had one of his best qualifying sessions to date.

Tech 3 Racing’s Xavier Siméon will start from fourth, despite crashing out on his final hot lap, with Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Gino Rea putting in a stunning performance to start alongside him. Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi also coped well on the wet track, and will start tomorrow’s race from sixth.

QMMF Racing Team’s wet-weather specialist Anthony West gave his team something to smile about as he managed seventh spot, ahead of NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis. In ninth, Tech 3’s Bradley Smith was unable to fight for higher positions as he crashed out with 16 minutes to go, yet managed to keep his place in front of Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone.

The Pons 40 HP Tuenti team did not have the best afternoon, with Pol Espargaró only managing 17th and Axel Pons crashing out. Arguiñano Racing Team’s Ricky Cardus was also caught out by the weather as he suffered a highside, yet was unhurt in the incident.


Moto3

In torrential rain during Moto3™ qualifying at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring it was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese who produced a wet-riding master-class to grab pole position ahead of Danny Kent and Adrián Martín.

Before this afternoon’s qualifying, the Moto3™ grid had been spared from the rain, meaning this was the first opportunity to test their bikes in such conditions. Heavy rain was present from the start, as all riders took to the track with immense caution in the early stages.

Cortese, who had been way down the timesheets, left it right until the end to set a stunning pole lap of 1.42’989, which saw him finish over 1.4s off his second-placed teammate Kent. Kent narrowly ousted JHK Laglisse’s Adrián Martín, who put in one of his best performances of the season to complete the front row.

Caretta Technology’s Jack Miller, known for his prowess in the rain, will head up row two, ahead of Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Jakub Kornfeil, who has been one of the most consistent performers all weekend. RW Racing GP’s Brad Binder rounds out the second row, after narrowly ousting Le Mans wet-race winner, Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi, into seventh.

IodaRacing Team’s Jonas Folger, who has endured a difficult season so far, will be very pleased with his eighth place in front of his home crowd, as he finished ahead of Binder’s teammate Luis Salom and Caretta Technology’s Alexis Masbou.

Championship leader, Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales, failed to get to grips with the wet weather and the set-up of his bike, and will start from 24th on the grid, while Jerez wet-race winner Romano Fenati, on board his Team Italia FMI machine, looked to have a problem with his bike as he finished last in 35th place. Whilst many riders ran off track during the session, the only crasher was Freudenberg Racing Team’s wildcard Luca Gruenwald, who escaped without any serious injuries.

Source: MotoGP

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