MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez will start Sunday’s German Grand Prix from pole position after roaring to the fastest time in qualifying on a track where he is unbeaten since 2010.
Further good news for Honda’s Marquez is that defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo, second in the current championship, fell twice Saturday and is way down in 11th on the fourth row of the grid, his worst qualifying position in over three years.
Instead Marquez’s Spanish compatriot Hector Barbera of Ducati and Italian legend Valentino Rossi of Yamaha will pose the bigger threat from the front row after they came second and third respectively behind the Honda rider in Saturday’s final session.
“I’m happy to have set the fastest time today, because we’re better here than at other circuits,” said Marquez.
“We’ll see what happens tomorrow, because the weather forecast is for conditions to be quite unstable,” he added, with rain expected at the Sachsenring on Sunday.
“In any case, we’ll try to finish on the podium, which is our goal.”
Chasing a record tenth title Rossi has little room for error with a 42-point deficit to Marquez and 18 on Lorenzo after failing to finish three of the first eight races on this season’s circuit.
‘The Doctor’, as crowd favourite Rossi calls himself, fell at Austin, suffered engine failure at Mugello and then slid off in heavy rain three weeks ago in the Netherlands.
“It’s going to be complicated and I no longer have control over my own destiny,” said the nine-time world champion.
“But I’ll fight through to the end.”
After the Italian’s stunning win in Spain nobody could rule out another masterstroke in Germany, which is what he’ll need if he wants to beat Marquez on the rolling track which seems to suit the Spaniard’s brinkmanship.
Marquez seems more calculating this season and has shown less of his all-or-nothing-at-all attitude, but has won the last three MotoGP races here.
Lorenzo had a disastrous day qualifying well down the grid in 11th after also struggling with tyres in Friday’s practice, where he came 16th.
“Three mistakes on my part are not normal for me, but this weekend it happened,” lamented Lorenzo, who tried to remain positive after disappointing results in the last two races.
“I‘m disappointed about the crashes and the position, but ultimately I could see a big improvement.” – Agence France-Presse