HOHENSTEIN-ERNSTTHAL, Germany – Marc Marquez collected his third MotoGP pole position of the year on Saturday for Sunday’s eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring.
As injured title rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa both sat out after crashes, the Repsol Honda Team rider beat Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi to claim the pole position.
Since practice action commenced on Friday, a number of incidents have been witnessed at the Sachsenring, not least for title holder Lorenzo and current championship leader Pedrosa who both have injured left collarbones after highside crashes. Lorenzo will miss at least this race, whereas in Pedrosa’s case it remains to be seen as to whether he will be able to rejoin the action on Sunday.
Marquez’s lap of 1:21.311 was within three tenths of a second of Casey Stoner’s best ever lap of the Sachsenring – which had been achieved in the era of qualifying tires in 2008 – as he stormed to his third pole of 2013. Crutchlow will start inside the top two for the third race in succession, despite two heavy falls on Friday which have left the Englishman in pain, while the front row start for Rossi is his first in 988 days; his last had been at the Portuguese Grand Prix of 2010.
Row two is headed up by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl at his home event, whereas a top five result came thanks to a stunning effort from Aleix Espargaro on the Power Electronics Aspar CRT machine. Ducati Team will line up sixth and ninth, better than Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso had expected, whereas Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista will fill slots seven and eight. Pedrosa was classified 12th, but was unable to take part in qualifying.