MotoGP Germany: Bagnaia bags pole after stunning Saturday

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Picture: Ducati

Ducati Lenovo’s Pecco Bagnaia continued his stunning run of form at the Sachsenring by celebrating pole position for the German GP.

The only rider to break into 1’19 pace in the challenging afternoon conditions, Bagnaia’s 1’19.931 lap headed the French pairing of Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and Pramac’s Johann Zarco for Sunday’s front row.

An intensely hot Sachsenring greeted MotoGP as qualifying began. Track temperatures reaching 50℃ as ambient conditions neared the mid-30’s for the delayed session after the paddock lost power ahead of FP4. Suzuki’s Alex Rins missing from action after calling time early on the German weekend due to his fractured left wrist.

Gresini’s Fabio di Giannantonio led the way as Q1 fired up with Monster Energy Yamaha’s Franky Morbidelli in second and Tech3’s Remy Gardner just adrift of the promotion places. The Italian rookie maintain his advantage with his second hot lap - a 1’20.307 - as Pol Espargaro claimed the runner’s up spot four-tenths behind. Mooney VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi a tenth adrift in third with LCR’s Alex Marquez and the second Gresini of Enea Bastianini rounding out the top five.

Bezzecchi denied the Repsol Honda with three minutes to go as a pair of rookies locked out the top two. withU Yamaha’s Darryn Binder bettering his elder brother in the lower echelons of the standings, in ninth and twelfth respectively. The second KTM of Miguel Oliveira striving for promotion before missing out by just 0.05s as he took third with Brad Binder finding fifth next time around.

Bezzecchi loosing the rear but saving his lap as he pushed hard to consolidate his position, Espargaro threatening in the closing seconds before falling short by a painfully tight 0.004s.

Q2’s opening reference was set by Aleix Espargaro as the Aprilia fired in a 1’20.413 before Bagnaia bettered on the bubble of 1’20 with his first attempt. Mooney VR46’s Luca Marini and Di Giannantonio taking third and fourth from Suzuki’s Joan Mir as the second Aprilia of Maverick Viñales claimed seventh.

Third laps registered and Jack Miller was up to second, 0.05s shy of his Lenovo teammate with Pramac’s Jorge Martin in third. Reigning champion Quartararo slotting into sixth at the halfway stage before struggling to stop the bike in the low grip conditions.

Bagnaia circulated alone with six minutes on the clock as he pushed hard from the off on his second run. The Italian refining his time by a matter of thousandths with a 1’20.064 before striking again for a 1’19 - and succeeding with a 1’19.931.

Espargaro secured second with a 1’20.120, Diggia eight-thousandths behind for a stunning third before Quartararo arrived to the runners up spot with two minutes to go.

It was a French two-three moments later as Zarco split the leading duo with Diggia and Miller dropped to fifth and sixth. Martin, Marini and Viñales rounded out row three as the session wound down with Quartararo bettering his countryman out front.

Takaaki Nakagami crashed at turn one as the chequered flag prepared, the yellow flags denying Miller one more shot as his teammate celebrated pole position for the third time this season.

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