Stefan Bradl very nearly gave his fans just reward for braving the wet conditions during qualifying for the German Grand Prix as he came remarkably close to securing a maiden MotoGP front row start.
Returning to his home circuit as a MotoGP rider for the first time, reigning Moto2 champion Bradl came into a very rainy qualifying session having hinted at his wet weather form with a run to the second fastest time in second free practice.
However, that was simply a prelude to his qualifying efforts as Bradl held down the provisional top spot up until the final ten minutes when track conditions began to improve.
Despite the onslaught of faster times from a variety of rivals, Bradl kept himself in the mix by returning his name to the top of the leaderboard with almost every lap he completed.
Indeed, though the continuously changing timesheets meant he had been bumped off 'pole position' by Casey Stoner as he chequered flag was dropped, Bradl had timed his last run perfectly to be the last of the MotoGP riders to set a flying time
Unfortunately for him, that track position also coincided with CRT traffic ahead, so while Bradl completed the opening sector with the best time of the session, his pole position dreams were scuppered when he came up on a slower Danilo Petrucci mid-way around the lap.
Cruelly dropped down to a fairly unrepresentative sixth place in the end, Bradl was nonetheless delighted with his competitive form aboard the LCR Honda.
“We did not expect to have a wet qualifying today but at the end it rained a lot and our pace has been consistently fast since the beginning. We have been doing a good job for the whole session and this is a positive sign for me and the Team. With the little adjustments that we made I could quickly adapt to the conditions lapping with a good pace.
“At the end of the session the surface started to dry up and everybody pushed hard but I got stopped by some slower riders in my last lap. I am bit disappointed because we could take the front row but in any case it was a very positive session for us and we can be happy about the result.”