Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez earned his third pole position of 2013 at Sachsenring, nearly beating the all-time best lap time at the circuit with a 1’21.311. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow joins Marquez on the front row in second, followed by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi in third.
Conspicuously absent from qualifying was Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, who suffered a nasty high-side during the morning’s practice session. He was airlifted to Chemnitz hospital following the incident and reports indicate a slight fracture in his collarbone. He also took a significant blow to the head, but is said to have avoided sustaining a concussion. If he’s able to line up for the race on Sunday he’ll start from 12th on the grid thanks to his performance in Friday's practice.
"It was definitely a scary moment and I'm still not totally sure what happened," said Pedrosa. "I hit my head hard and immediately felt a lot of pain in my shoulder and I checked to see if I could feel anything. Thankfully in the medical centre they saw it wasn't broken but maybe a small fracture, and I was also feeling very dizzy but never lost consciousness. Just to be safe, we flew to Chemnitz Hospital for a CAT scan and then returned to Clinica Mobile at the circuit. They confirmed I had a small fracture in my left collar bone but I am thankful it wasn't a complete break. Now I will rest tonight and see how I feel in the morning. If I feel strong enough I will have the medical check to clear me for the race."
With Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, out of the round completely due to his big crash in Friday’s practice and Pedrosa on the sidelines, pole position became a battle between Marquez, Rossi, Crutchlow and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. First to the top was Bradl, hoping to replicate his Friday performance where he finished fastest on the grid, but he didn’t hold out at the front for long as Marquez turned on the jets. The rookie rider became the first to dip below the 1’22 mark with over 10 minutes remaining in the session. Rossi followed soon after and bumped Marquez down to second, but Crutchlow got them both and posted the top-time as riders began to head back to the pits for a tire change. With two minutes remaining Marquez put up a blistering time that proved too quick for the rest.
Bradl heads up the second row, followed by the top CRT rider of the day, Aleix Espargaro of Power Electronics Aspar, in fifth. Espargaro continues to improve his pace on the ART machine and is flanked by a field of prototype bikes, though he wasn’t the only CRT rider to make Q2. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti and Came IodaRacing’s Danilo Petrucci put up the top two fastest times in Q1 and will start from 10th and 11th, respectively, on the grid in Sunday’s race.
Ducati’s Nicky Hayden trailed Espargaro by eight-tenths of a second and will start from sixth-place, followed by Crutchlow’s teammate, Bradley Smith, at the top of the third row in seventh. Go&Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista joins Smith on Row 3 in eighth, as does Hayden’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, who qualified in ninth.
MotoGP Sachsenring Qualifying Results 2013:
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1’21.311
2. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’21.434
3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’21.493
4. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1’21.862
5. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 1’21.887
6. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’22.157
7. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1’22.297
8. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1’22.484
9. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1’22.561
10. Claudio Corti (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’23.059
11. Danilo Petrucci (Ioda-Suter) 1’23.361
12. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’22.221 (FP1)
13. Randy de Puniet (ART) 1’23.152
14. Hector Barbera (FTR) 1’23.333
15. Michele Pirro (Ducati) 1’23.349
16. Michael Laverty (PBM) 1’23.549
17. Yonny Hernandez (ART) 1’23.565
18. Colin Edwards (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’23.631
19. Karel Abraham (ART) 1’23.752
20. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR) 1’23.820
21. Lukas Pesek (Ioda-Suter) 1’24.395
22. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda) 1’27.273
23. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1’23.008 (FP2)