Francesco Bagnaia will start round seven of the championship as polesitter as he was wise enough to set a strong banker lap as late drama unfolded in qualifying for the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.
The late flurry of fastest laps were all cancelled by race direction as Johann Zarco and Marc Marquez crashed out in quick succession.
That was the third fall for Marquez this morning.
The championship leader had already had a fast lap cancelled earlier in the session so had set about regaining his place at the top of the timesheets back, a move which paid off as the late chaos unfolded.
The Ducati rider’s best of 1m 21.409s came on a drying track - conditions were already difficult after an earlier unscheduled downpour just before Moto3 hit the circuit. The Italian was on for a better lap but was one of a handful of riders having times cancelled as the yellow flags waved along with the chequered one to close the session.
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Mooney VR46 rider Luca Marini climbed into second as Marco Bezzecchi fell earlier in an incident filled qualifying, with Jack Miller ensuring Ducati didn’t take complete control of the front row with a carefully planned session to ensure he had a lap in the bag in case of falls, which helped him to third for Red Bull KTM, with an anxious wait as the first rider to see the clock hit zero.
Zarco and Marquez back in the gravel - but this time not together
Prima Pramac rider Johann Zarco and Honda’s Marc Marquez are not quite seeing eye to eye following their much publicised crash yesterday, but both were back on the limit again in the hunt for pole.
In that incident there was no love lost between the duo after their contact in practice, which saw Marquez wipe out the front of Johann Zarco’s Pramac Ducati on the way out of the pits.
The French rider was the first to bring out the late yellow flag with a fall early at the waterfall.The number five had already done enough for fourth. Those who missed out getting caught up in those yellow flags were yet to meet Marquez and his Honda, strewn on the track for the third time.
After a huge fall in Q1, while pushing hard on the wet tyres after he opted not to change for his second bike set up for sslicks, the ‘King of the Ring’ with a huge record around the Sachsenring was out to get pole.
He began with a fall at turn 13, just before Bezzecchi fell at the same corner and ended the session with a big turn one spill, putting paid to the final flying laps and leaving the #93 in seventh.
Both Bezzecchi , who arrived with the best time in practice, and Pramac’s Jorge Martin will be ahead of him on the grid in fifth and sixth respectively.
Alex Marquez (Gresini), Brad Binder ((Red Bull Factory KTM) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) complete the top ten.
Espargaro was only declared fit to ride after a test on arrival at the track on Thursday after an x-ray found undetected fractures to his left heel and ligament damage.
Unlucky Quartararo starts 12th
2022 race winner Fabio Quartararo was all set for late impact as he raced around for his final flying lap.
It appeared the Yamaha man ay have just missed the yellow flags, it was unfortunate for the French rider that he was judged to have just arrived as they were pulled in, which saw his red sector lap, a lap which was predicted to take provisional pole was the last cancelled - a disaster with no bannker as he finished Q2 twelfth and last.
Vinales just misses out on Q2 shot
Maverick Vinales had his last run beaten by Marc Marquez at the chequered flag, so just missed out at another shot at improving his grid position for Aprilia. Marquez went on to Q2 after that crash from his wet bike after toying with the idea of changing to his second bike, which was set up for slicks. The fall left the choice out of his hands as he wrestled it while trying to avoid wet pacthes. Brad Binder also moved on after topping that session.
Fabio Di Giannantonio was the only Ducati not in the second qualifying session, he will line up his Gresini in 14th.
Fellow Aprilia rider Miguel Oliveria also missed out, with rookie Augusto Fernandez just ahead of him in 15th on the grid after briefly being in the progression slots towards the end of the session.
With both Joan Mir and Alex Rins out of action the only other Honda aside from Marquez, with Takaaki Nakagami on board was also in Q1 after he too suffered a big fall on Friday. He finished that session eighth for LCR Honda Idemitsu
Jonas Folger, in at Tech 3 Gas Gas Aspar for Pol Espargaro for a home grand prix start, brought up the rear with little impact in 10th in Q1.