Bagnaia continues Sachsenring domination as he beats Quartararo to pole

Despite the best efforts of Fabio Quartararo, Francesco Bagnaia continued his German MotoGP dominance after claiming pole position.
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Sachsenring
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP Sachsenring

After setting new Sachsenring MotoGP lap records in both FP2 and FP3, Ducati’s Bagnaia wasted no time in producing a time that would take some serious beating. 

With Aleix Espargaro initially going quickest on a time of 1:20.413s, Bagnaia went top by over three tenths before running through the gravel at turn one.

Despite his breathtaking lap, Bagnaia’s time was soon under threat as team-mate Jack Miller made it a factory Ducati 1-2 - half a tenth off the Italian. Making it an all-Ducati provisional front row, Jorge Martin recovered from a poor FP4 to go P3. 

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With the second Q2 runs underway, Bagnaia was one of the first to set a flying lap, and what an effort it was as he set another 1m 20s flat. 

Not done there, Bagnaia’s next lap around was even better as he became the first rider to go underneath the 1m 20s barrier. 

Espargaro then moved up to second, however, the Aprilia rider was close to two tenths off Bagnaia, as was Fabio Di Giannantonio who went third. 

With Bagnaia proving too fast to catch, a brilliant battle for second took place as Quartararo replaced Espargaro. 

Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco had other ideas though, as he went within a tenth of Bagnaia. But after setting personal bests in sectors two and three, Quartararo managed to knock his fellow countryman back down to third, a position he kept through to the checkered flag.

KTM’s MotoGP qualifying nightmare continues at Sachsenring

After showing strong pace in FP4, Miguel Oliveira was a clear-cut favourite to challenge for a top two spot in Q1, as were Ducati riders Enea Bastianini, Fabio Di Giannantonio, Enea Bastianini and Marco Bezzecchi. 

Miguel Oliveira, German MotoGP, 18 June
Miguel Oliveira, German MotoGP, 18 June

But while Oliveira’s opening run left him in the bottom four, Di Giannantonio proved his recent improvements were no fluke as he jumped to the top of the leaderboard. 

Despite his top time coming under pressure on lap #2, Di Giannantonio reasserted his dominance at the front by setting a time of 1:20.307s - four tenths quicker than Pol Espargaro. 

After failing to find pace on his opening stint, Bezzecchi soon changed that as he went second quickest. 

Oliveira, who was in dire-need of finding performance, did so as he jumped up to third late on. However, it wasn’t enough to dislodge the two rookies who ultimately held on for places in Q2.

Pol Espargaro was the last rider to set a time good enough to challenge Bezzecchi for P2, but the Repsol Honda rider who confirmed he was in severe ‘rib pain’ after day-one, missed out by just +0.004s. 

Brad Binder, who has made a habit of getting brilliant starts recently, will need to do so again after qualifying 15th.

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