Mar­quez claims eighth straight Sach­sen­ring pole

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

World MotoGP cham­pion Marc Mar­quez stormed to an in­cred­i­ble eighth suc­ces­sive Ger­man Grand Prix pole yes­ter­day, as he looks to give his ti­tle de­fence a boost. The Spa­niard, who has also won his last seven races across all three classes at the Sach­sen­ring cir­cuit, snatched the fastest time from Danilo Petrucci with just two min­utes re­main­ing of qual­i­fy­ing in wet con­di­tions. Ital­ian Petrucci will line up se­cond on the grid for Sun­day’s race, with Mar­quez’s Honda team-mate Dani Pe­drosa com­plet­ing the front row. Mar­quez is fourth in the rid­ers’ stand­ings, trail­ing leader Andrea Dovizioso, who qual­i­fied 10th, by 11 points.

“It was quite dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand when to push,” Mar­quez said. “I tried to be calm at the start. I was try­ing to take care and im­prove the lap time step-bystep. Then at the end I re­ally pushed. I’m happy be­cause it’s al­ways very tricky in wet con­di­tions.” Petrucci, who fin­ished se­cond last week in Assen be­hind leg­endary com­pa­triot Valentino Rossi, laid down the gaunt­let early on in the se­cond and fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion.

But five-time world cham­pion Mar­quez edged in front on his penul­ti­mate lap, be­fore fur­ther ex­tend­ing his ad­van­tage to end up 0.16 sec­onds faster with his third pole of the sea­son. “I did my best lap when Marc was be­hind. He was able to im­prove again. Any­way, he was faster,” Petrucci said. “In the dry, we’re a bit more in trou­ble com­pared to the wet. To­mor­row we don’t know which weather it will be.”

Yamaha’s Mav­er­ick Vi­nales, who lost the world cham­pi­onship lead when he crashed out last Sun­day, had a dif­fi­cult day and had to set­tle for 11th along­side Dovizioso.

The 22-year-old also had a slight bump with Mar­quez, and al­though both rid­ers stayed up­right, Vi­nales was fu­ri­ous with his fel­low Spa­niard. Bri­ton Cal Crutchlow, home hope Jonas Fol­ger and Dovizioso’s Du­cati team-mate Jorge Lorenzo make up the se­cond row on the grid. The 38-year-old Rossi has had a dif­fi­cult week, and he could only qual­ify in ninth po­si­tion be­hind Es­par­garo broth­ers Pol and Aleix.

The nine-time world cham­pion is third in the world cham­pi­onship, seven points be­hind Dovizioso and three be­hind se­cond-placed Vi­nales. —AFP

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