MotoGP Germany: Stoner tops qualifying thriller; Rossi ninth

Stoner stole pole with his final lap
Stoner stole pole with his final lap Picture: Repsol Media

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner bagged a last-ditch MotoGP position pole at an underwater Sachsenring this afternoon, using his second bike to nip in front of Ben Spies by two-tenths of a second with his final lap of the session.

In a session that was excitement-free for the first 50 minutes, the lead changed 12 times in the final fifth, starting with home-town hero Stefan Bradl, who admitted he hated riding in the rain 18 months ago, leding the way on 1’33.909 but he was soon demoted by Nicky Hayden’s Ducati, which lapped at 1’33.596.

Fellow American Ben Spies’ next lap was enough to take him clear of the field with a 1’33.564 but Bradl was right back at him with a 1’33.458 before Britain’s Cal Crutchlow topped the table with five minutes left on a 1’33.325.

Yamaha stablemate Ben Spies re-took the number one spot a minute later on a 1’33.001 before Bradl found himself on another flier, pushing Spies back to second while Hayden’s run saw him push past the Texan for second. Spies, however, was not to be outdone as was back in front with a 1’32.585 as Stoner came out for his last set of laps.

Crutchlow nabbed second with two minutes to go with Dani Pedrosa storming into third but the Aussie rocketed to first place on a 1’32.414 as Bradl once again staked his claim with a lap good enough for second.

It wasn’t over for Crutchlow, however, as the Monster Yamaha man again went in front as the chequered flag came out but he was immediately pushed down by Pedrosa, then Spies until finally Stoner ran out the winner on a 1’31.796.

Lorenzo ended up in fifth with the luckless Bradl six while Hayden could do nothing but slip down to seventh place. Andrea Dovizioso was eighth and Valentino Rossi will wonder where his wet-weather form has gone as he struggled to ninth place. Aleix Espargaro was the first CRT man home in tenth with Alvaro Bautista, who starts from the back of the grid, behind him.

Bautista’s penalty for his Assen Lorenzo-nerfing escapade means Colin Edwards starts 12th and Randy De Puniet 13th. James Ellison finished the session in 19th.

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