12 July 2014
German Moto3: Miller on pole as rain hits Sachsenring
Jack Miller continues to dominate as rain arrives at the German Moto3 Grand Prix
Jack Miller scored back-to-back Moto3 poles after rain arrived during qualifying at the Sachsenring. The Ausralian's top time of 1m 26.997 handed him a fifth pole of the year, but the weather misplaced several other leading riders.
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Miller had set a new circuit lap record in FP3 after topping every session and looked set to better it in qualifying, but was unable to do so as the heavens opened, albeit leaving him unchallenged for the top spot on the grid.
Also benefiting from the downpour was Alexis Masbou, the most experienced rider in the field, who's excellent timing elevated him to second on the grid, just 0.109s behind the championship leader for the Ongetta-Rivacold team.
The Frenchman will have high hopes for a strong race as the circuit is the scene of his only previous podium finish in Moto3 after securing his best start since having also placed second on the grid in Malaysia last year.
The front row is completed by Assen race winner Alex Marquez in third, the Estrella Galicia rider also banking a fast lap at the right moment.
The second row his lead by rookie Karel Hanika in fourth, his best qualifying performance to date for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team.
Danny Kent sits in fifth on the grid. After he saw the heavy clouds approaching, the Briton and the Husqvarna team had the presence of mind to rush out and push for a quick lap as the rain arrived.
Brad Binder is the top Mahindra on the grid in sixth for Ambrogio Racing one place ahead of title hopeful Alex Rins in seventh for the Estrella Galicia team.
Eric Granado pushed his Calvo bike to the limit at the right time to be the top Calvo Team rider in eighth, equalling his best ever grid position in Moto3, set in Italy.
Juanfran Guevara starts ninth for the Aspar team, while Enea Bastianini completes the top ten for Junior Team Go&Fun.
The top home rider was Philipp Oettl, In eleventh the Interwetten man was well ahead of his fellow countryman Luca Grunwald in 21st for the German Kiefer Racing team.
The only rider to really improve riding in the wet was Niccolo Antonelli who moved up into twelfth in the wet, greasy conditions for the Go&Fun outfit.
Isaac Vinales, who missed FP3 as he is suffering from a fever, attempted to qualify but illness got the better of him with the Calvo man down in 16th.
It was another tense session for Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Romano Fenati who spent much of his time sitting, waiting for his forks to be adjusted, lowering the front of his bike.
Fenati, who had an engine change between practice and qualifying after a failure in FP3, returned to the track though the electrics on the bike still were not quite ready and was unable to make an impact in the wet, starting down in 25th – one place ahead of his team-mate Francesco Bagnaia.
Also falling foul of the weather with a lot left to do in the race are Efren Vazquez in 17th, Miguel Oliveira in 19th and Vazquez's SaxoPrint-RTG team-mate John McPhee, who desperately tried to make up for his early bike problems by being first out in the wet but remained down in 28th.
German wild-cards Max Kappler and Kevin Hanus finished the session 30th and 34th respectively. Kappler is also riding for Racing Team Germany this weekend, alongside Vazquez and McPhee, marking an awful qualification for the local team.
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