Marc Marquez says his sole focus will be on maximising his MotoGP world championship lead over maintaining his flawless Sachsenring record after securing his ninth consecutive pole position at the German track.

The Repsol Honda rider has continued his unbeaten run of pole positions in MotoGP at the track but his record looked under huge threat from Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci who held provisional pole as the chequered flag was readied.

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But the Spanish rider rescued pole position with his final flying lap to take top spot by 0.025s and set a new Sachsenring track record in the process.

Pole position marks half of his unbeaten record, having also claimed victory for the past eight straight years at Sachsenring, and while he’ll be aiming for a ninth straight win tomorrow he says he won’t risk jeopardising his MotoGP world championship lead which stands at 41 points ahead of the German round.

“In the end of the season nobody will remember who wins at Sachsenring as everybody will remember who wins the title,” Marquez said. “Maybe tomorrow or next year but some day someone will arrive and beat me here.

“The most important thing is the championship and we have to understand that in the championship at the moment Rossi is second and Vinales is third so it is more important.”

Marquez’s usual dominance at Sachsenring has been challenged throughout the weekend, with the reigning MotoGP champion failing to top any of the practice sessions, which he puts down to the consistent dry conditions allowing his rivals to match his speed quicker than in previous seasons.

After an incredibly tight qualifying, with all 12 riders in the Q2 session were split by less than two-thirds of a second, Marquez feels a repeat of the thrilling Assen race could occur but expects tyre life and management to play a key role over the second half of the race in the hot conditions which are forecast.

“During the Sachsenring weekends we always have some wet sessions and this weekend is the first time it is completely dry so everybody has time to find the best set-up, everybody has time to find the lines,” he said. “If you check, my first run in FP1 I was already in 1m 21s.

“For me, I adapted very quickly but everybody has arrived and now many riders will have the same pace more or less but I feel strong and I feel well but it will be a difficult race, especially the last 15 laps because it is a lot for everybody. You need to manage as in that part of the race it will be key.

“The slipstream in Assen is more important and you feel it a lot but here the slipstream is not very important as you can keep your pace and you can find your rhythm.

“We will see because with the new tyre like we saw in qualifying everyone is fast and in the first ten laps everyone is fast and everyone has a good pace.

“Then after lap 10 or 15 is when it starts to be more complicated to ride the bike, it is more difficult, we will see at the start.

“If Jorge [Lorenzo, who qualified in third place] starts like he did at Assen I am sure he will lead the race and he will push like always but we need to be start and try to understand that it is 30 laps.”

 

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