Marc Marquez has broken the track record to deny Danilo Petrucci a first ever MotoGP pole in qualifying for the German Grand Prix.
Three riders held the outright lap record around the Sachsenring during qualifying, with Jorge Lorenzo the first to do so and therefore earning the slot on the outside of the front row.
Lorenzo went from second to first at the start of his second run, clocking a 1:20:327s on his Ducati Team entry.
Half a second later, Petrucci had demoted the factory rider to put his Pramac Ducati onto provisional pole with a 1:20.295s.
Marquez went against the grain by going for three runs aboard his Repsol Honda, first with a hard compound front tyre, then a medium, before switching back to the hard in part due to his tyre stocks.
Needing to find nearly a quarter of a second, he was faster to the first sector than Petrucci on his penultimate lap but had to save a near-crash at Turn 3 and came up 0.014s short of pole.
The Spaniard then ran deep into Turn 1 but made up time through the middle of the lap and recorded a 1:20.270s.
The pole is Marquez’s ninth straight at the Sachsenring across all classes.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect this pole because on the last tyre I felt better but I made a few mistakes,” he revealed.
“One in Turn 3 and I nearly crashed, but even after that I kept pushing and did a good lap time.
“Then on the last lap I made another mistake that was so difficult to recover what I lost, but these 20 milliseconds were enough to get the pole.”
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha) was fastest through the first runs but didn’t find any more time on his second run and will start fourth on his Movistar Yamaha, alongside Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha).
Dovizioso had in fact come through Qualifying 1 with the fastest time in that 15-minute stanza, but his long run pace in Free Practice 4 suggests that the #04 factory Ducati will be a threat in Sunday’s race.
Row 3 will be Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar), and Alvaro Bautista (Nieto Ducati).
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) just earned direct passage to Q2 and went on to qualify 10th, with Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) alongside for race start.
Johann Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha) and Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) will line up 13th and 14th respectively.
Aleix Espargaro was faster than both but copped a six-position grid penalty for riding slowly on the race line during FP3, meaning he will occupy 19th on the grid on his Gresini Aprilia.
Lights go out for the 30-lap grand prix on Sunday at 2200 AEST.
Qualifying: German MotoGP
|1||93||Marc MARQUEZ||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:20.270|
|2||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:20.295||0.025 / 0.025|
|3||99||Jorge LORENZO||ESP||Ducati Team||Ducati||1:20.327||0.057 / 0.032|
|4||25||Maverick VIÑALES||ESP||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:20.441||0.171 / 0.114|
|5||04||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1:20.444||0.174 / 0.003|
|6||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:20.532||0.262 / 0.088|
|7||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||1:20.675||0.405 / 0.143|
|8||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:20.682||0.412 / 0.007|
|9||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||ESP||Angel Nieto Team||Ducati||1:20.700||0.430 / 0.018|
|10||26||Dani PEDROSA||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:20.831||0.561 / 0.131|
|11||42||Alex RINS||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:20.847||0.577 / 0.016|
|12||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||1:20.938||0.668 / 0.091|
|13||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1:21.059||Q1 / Q1|
|14||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:21.183||Q1 / 0.124|
|15||44||Pol ESPARGARO||ESP||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:21.242||Q1 / 0.059|
|16||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:21.287||Q1 / 0.045|
|17||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||MAL||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1:21.460||Q1 / 0.173|
|18||53||Tito RABAT||ESP||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1:21.546||Q1 / 0.086|
|19||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ESP||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:20.972||Penalty|
|20||45||Scott REDDING||GBR||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:21.749||Q1 / 0.203|
|21||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1:21.802||Q1 / 0.053|
|22||12||Thomas LUTHI||SUI||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1:22.012||Q1 / 0.210|
|23||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Angel Nieto Team||Ducati||1:22.159||Q1 / 0.147|
|24||10||Xavier SIMEON||BEL||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1:22.709||Q1 / 0.550|