Marc Marquez stormed to his fourth pole position of the 2016 MotoGP season during qualifying for the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring on Saturday as rival Jorge Lorenzo suffered two falls.
Championship leader Marquez produced a fastest lap of 1:21.160 in the final stage of qualifying to finish four-tenths clear of the field, his rivals struggling to get close.
“Happy with this pole because FP4 was not the best [session] of the weekend,” Honda rider Marquez told BT Sport after the session.
“The feeling with the bike was not so god. But we made a small modification for qualy. We did quite a step, and we will see tomorrow, because the weather looks quite unstable. Valentino [Rossi] will be really strong.
Hector Barbera picked up a surprising second-place finish in Q2 on his satellite Ducati bike, beating Valentino Rossi in third place.
Rossi led Yamaha’s charge after three-time world champion teammate Lorenzo suffered two falls in qualifying, leaving himself 12th on the grid for Sunday’s race.
Lorenzo was fortunate to make it through to the final stage of qualifying after crashing at the end of Q1. A poor showing in final practice left Lorenzo to fight for a place in Q2, only to make an error on his final hot lap. Nearest-rival Cal Crutchlow finished 0.05 seconds shy of Lorenzo’s time, meaning that the Spaniard got away with his error.
Lorenzo was not so fortunate the second time around. During his final Q2 run, Lorenzo slid off the track at the first corner on the spare bike, bringing his session to an early end.
Like Lorenzo, Danilo Petrucci had to fight his way through Q1, but excelled in Q2 by finishing fourth and setting an identical time to Rossi. Pol Espargaro finished fifth ahead of future Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales.
Andrea Dovizioso qualified seventh for Ducati ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone, while Dani Pedrosa rounded out the top 10 on the second factory Honda.