Bike News

13 July 2013

Marc Marquez claims pole position at Sachsenring

The rookie primes himself to make hay while the sun shines in Germany in the absence of the reigning world champion and the possible absence of his team-mate

Amaan Ahmed
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The Sachsenring is an unforgiving venue. Try taking liberties with it, and it will teach you a lesson. Ask Jorge Lorenzo. And Dani Pedrosa. And Andrea Dovizioso. And Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Iannone, Stefan Bradl and Michael Laverty as well. All of the riders mentioned above have taken a tumble this weekend at Sachsenring, most being let off with a stern warning from the track, while some were not quite as fortunate.

Dovizioso was lucky to have escaped unharmed, only having his new Ducati wrecked as he lost his front-end going downhill through Turn 11 during practice. Iannone dislocated his right shoulder. Jorge Lorenzo, the fastest on the grid early on Friday, soon learned that he was probably stretching his luck a bit too far when, approaching Turn 10 in the afternoon practice session his Factory Yamaha tossed him up in the air, and he landed on his left shoulder.

The impact was so severe, that the newly-inserted titanium plate used to fasten his out-of-shape left collarbone was knocked out of shape itself. Good sense prevailed as the reigning world champion realised he shouldn't risk further damage by making yet another fairytale comeback. He's headed back to his pad in Spain for good, and there is a very fat chance of him watching next week's Laguna Seca race from his living room as well.

Anyway, on to qualifying day. The early morning practice session saw Dani Pedrosa have a highside of his own, riding towards Turn 1, and he too managed to come crashing down on his left collarbone. Early tests revealed that he broke his collarbone (only a little), and he took no part in Qualifying, yet secured 12th spot on the grid because of the time he set during Free Practice. Will he be a part of the race? If his slightly broken collarbone permits, yes.

With the two bigwigs out, the track was clear for championship chasers Marc Marquez, Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi. While it looked like Crutchlow would register his second consecutive pole during most of Q2, Marquez, with only a couple of minutes left for the session to end, posted a lap time that was more than one-tenths of a second faster than anything the Brit or the Doctor had, or would be able to eventually notch up. Crutchlow slotted in behind the greenhorn, while Rossi secured 3rd place on the grid, a sight witnessed for the first time after Estoril 2010.

Homeboy Bradl, who fell midway through Q2, managed to finish 4th, while CRT rider Aleix Espargaro took up 5th place, with Ducati's Nicky Hayden in 6th.

Will the new boy be able to make the most of his third start from pole position this year? Or will the perilous Sachsenring spring another surprise or two? Will be far from uneventful, this race...

Qualifying:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Cal Crutchlow
3. Valentino Rossi   
4. Stefan Bradl
5. Aleix Espargaro
6. Nicky Hayden
7. Bradley Smith
8. Alvaro Bautista
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Claudio Corti
11. Danilo Petrucci
12. Dani Pedrosa
13. Randy De Puniet
14. Hector Barbera
15. Michele Pirro   
16. Michael Laverty   
17. Yonny Hernandez
18. Colin Edwards
19. Karel Abraham
20. Hiroshi Aoyama
21. Lukas Pesek
22. Bryan Staring
23. Andrea Iannone

Tags: cal crutchlow, yamaha, jorge lorenzo, valentino rossi, dani pedrosa, repsol honda, marc marquez, sachsenring, moto gp, motogp

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