Zarco takes German MotoGP pole despite crash
Saturday 19th June, 2021 - 11:11pm
Johann Zarco has taken pole position for the German MotoGP with a lap set just before he crashed his Pramac Ducati.
Zarco beat championship-leading Monster Energy Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo by barely a hundredth of a second at the Sachsenring, with Gresini Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro third.
Late yellow flags made it difficult to improve at the end of Qualifying 2 and while Jack Miller very nearly managed to do so, he ended up fourth on his Ducati Lenovo entry.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) was fastest after the first flyers with a 1:20.567s, ahead of Aleix Espargaro’s 1:20.754s and Miller’s 1:20.860s.
Quartararo strayed beyond track limits exiting Turn 12 on his initial flyer but clocked a 1:20.437s next time around to be top at the end of the first runs, from Marc Marquez and Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati), the latter on a 1:20.617s.
Miller committed to a two-stop strategy and was fastest to the second sector at the start of his second run but seemingly made an error through his self-described ‘Achilles heel’, Sector 3.
However, the Queenslander was able to clock a 1:20.508s on his following lap to jump from eighth to second, just as the rest were exiting the pits again.
Quartararo then improved to a 1:20.247s and Aleix Espargaro to a 1:20.447s to go second, before Zarco usurped them both with a 1:20.236s.
Almost as soon as he had done so, he went down at Turn 4 in the 14th minute, triggering yellow flags early in the lap and therefore denying his rivals a chance to improve at a crucial period.
Seconds before the chequered flag, Takaaki Nakagami crashed his Idemitsu LCR Honda at Turn 1, making life even more difficult for the 10 riders still upright.
Somehow, Miller, by then onto his third run, had managed to navigate a course such that he was still in contention for pole.
The man on #43 went faster than Zarco to Sector 2 and while he lost time again in the downhill section, a front row berth was still on the cards.
That was until he had a moment at the final corner and therefore remained fourth on the grid, ahead of Marc Marquez and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM).
Row 3 will be Martin, Q1 graduate Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda), and Nakagami.
Miller’s team-mate Francesco Bagnaia wound up 10th, ahead of Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) and Alex Marquez (Castrol LCR Honda).
Back in Q1, Rins was fastest early on with a 1:20.844s and then a 1:20.784s, while Pol Espargaro was second at the end of the first runs on a 1:20.851s.
Joan Mir made it a Suzuki Ecstar one-two with a 1:20.843s at the start of his second run, before Pol Espargaro hit back with a 1:20.700s.
Rins then clocked a 1:20.644s in the second-last minute of the session to secure his advancement along with the Honda rider.
Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) was first outside the cut and is therefore set to start 13th, ahead of Esponsorama Racing team-mates Luca Marini (Sky VR46 Ducati) and Enea Bastianini (Avintia Ducati).
Row 6 will be Valentino Rossi (Petronas SRT Yamaha), Mir, and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas SRT Yamaha), the latter of whom crashed late in the piece at Turn 13.
Morbidelli’s spill also effectively locked Maverick Viñales into 11th for the session and thus second-last on the grid given it triggered a yellow flag that meant the Monster Energy Yamaha rider’s final push lap would not count.
Viñales’ woes can be traced back to the closing stages of Free Practice 3, when a crash of his own while 10th-fastest gave him no chance to secure direct passage to Q2.
The 30-lap race is due to start on Sunday at 22:00 AEST.
Qualifying: German MotoGP
|1||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:20.236|
|2||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:20.247||0.011 / 0.011|
|3||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ESP||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:20.447||0.211 / 0.200|
|4||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1:20.508||0.272 / 0.061|
|5||93||Marc MARQUEZ||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:20.567||0.331 / 0.059|
|6||88||Miguel OLIVEIRA||POR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:20.589||0.353 / 0.022|
|7||89||Jorge MARTIN||ESP||Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:20.617||0.381 / 0.028|
|8||44||Pol ESPARGARO||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:20.659||0.423 / 0.042|
|9||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||1:20.810||0.574 / 0.151|
|10||63||Francesco BAGNAIA||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1:20.811||0.575 / 0.001|
|11||42||Alex RINS||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:20.949||0.713 / 0.138|
|12||73||Alex MARQUEZ||ESP||LCR Honda CASTROL||Honda||1:21.135||0.899 / 0.186|
|13||33||Brad BINDER||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:20.736||Q1 / Q1|
|14||10||Luca MARINI||ITA||SKY VR46 Avintia||Ducati||1:20.864||Q1 / 0.128|
|15||23||Enea BASTIANINI||ITA||Avintia Esponsorama||Ducati||1:20.953||Q1 / 0.089|
|16||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1:20.972||Q1 / 0.019|
|17||36||Joan MIR||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:21.014||Q1 / 0.042|
|18||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1:21.091||Q1 / 0.077|
|19||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:21.137||Q1 / 0.046|
|20||27||Iker LECUONA||ESP||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:21.154||Q1 / 0.017|
|21||12||Maverick VIÑALES||ESP||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:21.165||Q1 / 0.011|
|22||32||Lorenzo SAVADORI||ITA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:21.411||Q1 / 0.246|