Bautista at the sharp end for the fourth straight race2017-07-02 19:58
Marc Márquez today extended a remarkable run of pole positions at the Sachsenring circuit to eight from the last eight seasons, the Spaniard clocking the fastest time in qualifying this afternoon to secure top spot on the grid for tomorrow's race. Márquez was the only rider able to dislodge Danilo Petrucci from a provisional pole position that the Italian held for most of the session, with a time of 1'27.302 proving enough to complete the job. Dani Pedrosa was six tenths off his team-mate on pole but completes the front row in third position.
Álvaro Bautista contested Q2 four the fourth successive Grand Prix, having also done so at Mugello, Barcelona and Assen. The Pull&Bear Aspar rider will line up twelfth on tomorrow's grid after a Q2 session that started damp and then gradually dried, affording precious little rear grip. Bautista and his crew are clear on their front tyre choice for the race but still need to run through the options on offer from Michelin for the rear. Karel Abraham will start from the seventh row despite lapping faster in Q1 than a number of riders managed in Q2. The Czech rider is happy with the work done today and is hoping to maximise his points potential in a wet race tomorrow.
12th Álvaro Bautista 1:28.698:“This morning we were able to do some work with the race in mind but the plan didn't go totally as we'd hoped because we had some problems with the clutch and steering damper. We had to change our strategy during the session but we were able to go through directly to Q2. We tried to spend the whole of FP4 on the same tyres to see how they responded for the race tomorrow but we only managed twelve laps. It was fine and I felt comfortable but what happens after lap sixteen tomorrow will be a mystery that we will only find out at the time. We will go for the medium front and on the rear we have a choice between the medium and the new hard that Michelin have brought, but we are still unsure so we have to look at the data. The conditions were the worst for qualifying because the track was drying and I was losing the rear and almost stopping on the exit from corners. If it was dry we might have qualified better but we'll have to wait now and see what the conditions are tomorrow.”
20th Karel Abraham 1:28.625: “It looks like history is repeating itself from Assen because looking at the times from Q2, if it was just one qualifying session I would be much higher up the grid but the reality is I was not in Q2, I was in Q1, and that's the way it is. We also had some problems with the throttle on the exit from the fast corners, where the bike felt a little lazy, so that's a shame because I feel we could have been a couple of positions higher. Anyway, I think we did a good job and our pace in the wet is a real positive. I never usually say this but I think tomorrow I would be happy with a wet race."
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