German MotoGP: Marc Marquez breaks Sachsenring lap record to take pole position
Last Updated: 12/07/14 9:55pm
Marc Marquez has broken a six-year-old lap record to take pole position for Sunday's German MotoGP.
Marquez lapped the Sachsenring circuit in one minute, 20.937 seconds around to take pole by just under 0.3seconds faster than Repsol Honda colleague Dani Pedrosa who went down at Turn One with three minutes remaining.
The reigning world champion's fastest time broke Casey Stoner’s lap record of one minute, 21.067seconds set in 2008.
Factory Honda teammate and fellow Spaniard, Dani Pedrosa, took second, nearly 0.3sec behind Marquez, with Germany's Stefan Bradl third on another Honda.
Bradl clocked one minute, 21.340seconds having initially been on provisional pole five minutes into the session.
"We started with a big crash on Friday but step-by-step we regained the confidence," said Marquez, who had come off the track in Friday practice.
"Already yesterday afternoon the rhythm was quite good. I pushed and I was able to get a good lap, beating the circuit record. Sunday is the most important, a big race before the holidays."
Pedrosa, who this week signed a new deal to stay at Honda until 2016, suffered a front-end crash at Turn 1, ending his hopes of pole position.
"I had a good pace during qualifying, unfortunately I crashed. Maybe I made a mistake or I hit a bump. It's still good. The front row and start are very important here as it is very tight," said Pedrosa.
On the second row, Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) placed his Forward-Yamaha machine ahead of the factory Movistar Yamaha MotoGP machines of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi on the grid.
Lorenzo said: "Fifth is definitely not what we expected from today's qualifying session, especially because we have a good pace and because we've always been in the top three during the weekend.
"In qualifying we couldn't profit from the new tyres and the second tyre didn't have the same traction, I don't know why, it was spinning a lot and felt like a different tyre."
Rossi, who signed a two-year extension to his Yamaha contract last week, also struggled with tyres.
"There was something wrong with the second tyre. It didn't have any grip and it was also very difficult to get the bike back to the box. There was something wrong, so unfortunately I couldn't push," said the Italian veteran.
"It will be hard tomorrow, our competitors are very fast so we have to improve."
Spaniard Marquez, who has won all eight races this season, leads the overall standings by 72 points, ahead of Rossi and Pedrosa who share second place on the grid.
Marquez, 21, already has a successful track record at Sachsenring having won on his last four visits - in the 125 class in 2010, in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012 and in his first MotoGP last year.
For Sunday's race, Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) is in seventh, ahead of Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) on row three. British rider Smith suffered a fourth crash of the weekend in Q2 but was not hurt.
Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) was 10thh, whilst Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) complete the fourth row having come through from Q1.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) missed out on a Q2 ride having crashed at high speed at turn 11, taking a big tumble through the gravel at the end of Q1.
Crutchlow was unhurt and quickly went back to his pit box for a debrief despite initially looking quite shaken by the accident.