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Marquez takes MotoGP pole in Germany as Lorenzo crashes twice

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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.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”