The battle for pole went right to the wire but Honda’s Marc Marquez prevailed to take it in the end and extend his fine run in the MotoGP’s German race at Sachsenring beating the Ducatis of Danilo Petrucci and Jorge Lorenzo.


Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso was one of the biggest scalp to compete in the first part of qualifying to make it into Q2. The Italian didn’t set the Sachsenring circuit ablaze from his first laptime to be second behind Aprilia’s Alexis Espargaro.

However, Dovizioso did enough on his second flying lap to top Q1 with a time 1m20.751s and get into Q2 alongwith LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami who had displaced Espargaro with his 1m20.963s laptime.

The Aprilia (1m20.972s) rider had to settle with third but he won’t start from 13th in Sunday’s race as he was handed a six-place penalty for moving slowly on the racing line. It drops him to 19th in the order as a result.

The troubles for Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco (1m21.059s) continued after the Frenchman was only 14th in Q1 and was closely followed by Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller (1m21.183s) from the two KTM riders.

It was Pol Espargaro (1m21.242s) ahead of Bradley Smith (1m21.287s) – the Austrian team down to two riders after Mika Kallio’s FP2 crash forced him out of Germany. Tech 3’s Hafizh Syahrin (1m21.460s) finished 17th leading Avintia Ducati’s Tito Rabat (1m21.546s).

Following the penalty to Alexis, everyone from Zarco will move one place up meaning Zarco will be 13th followed by Miller, Pol, Smith, Syahrin and Rabat. The two Aprilias will be together with Scott Redding (1m21.749s) qualifying in 20th.

The returning Stefan Bradl (1m21.802s) in Marc VDS Honda was 21st, beating teammate Thomas Luthi (1m22.012s) with Angel Nieto Ducati’s Karel Abraham (1m22.159s) and Avintia Ducati’s Xavier Simeon (1m22.709s) completing the Top 24 riders.


The final part in the German GP qualifying was a close battle among the riders as Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales took provisional pole with a time of 1m20.441s after he managed to displace Lorenzo and Marquez in the pole fight.

The battle then had a twist when Petrucci did a 1m20.295s laptime to snatch provisional pole from Vinales as Lorenzo then pushing the Yamaha rider to third in the order. It looked like Petrucci will take a shock pole in Germany.

But a tyre change from Marquez and a steady improvement on his final flying lap meant the Honda rider continued his dominance at Sachsenring by taking another pole – his ninth straight at the circuit with a 1m20.270s laptime.

It left Petrucci in second with Lorenzo (1m20.327s) completing the front-row as Vinales (1m20.441s) was fourth with Dovizioso (1m20.444s) improving to fifth displacing Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi (1m20.532s) to sixth.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (1m20.675s) ended up seventh. Only 0.007s behind was Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone (1m20.685s) as Angel Nieto Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista (1m20.700s) did well to finish ninth from Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, Suzuki’s Alex Rins and Nakagami.