until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Marquez in farcical Q1 exit as Martin takes German GP pole

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

MotoGP championship leader Jorge Martin took pole position in a deeply messy German Grand Prix qualifying that included a controversial Q1 exit for Sachsenring master Marc Marquez.

Marquez, managing the pain from a rib bruise and finger fracture after his fast get-off on Friday afternoon, logged the second-fastest time in the early going of Q1 - but abandoned his second run amid excessive jockeying for track position.

The Spaniard was clearly a target to follow for much of the grid and, when Marquez rolled out on the main straight and those ahead of him did so into Turn 1, Jack Miller was seemingly caught out by the modulating pace and overshot Turn 1, nearly wiping out Marquez in the process.

Marquez did then return to the track after pitting for one final attempt - somehow picking up a tail of several riders once again - but came up on his former Honda stablemate Stefan Bradl at Turn 2, with Bradl making a desperate attempt to cut across the track in an effort to avoid impeding Marquez and only making the situation more dangerous.

It consigned Marquez to a Q1 exit, and Bradl's attempt at an apology during the practice starts went unaccepted. The stewards took a dim view and handed Bradl a three-place grid penalty that demotes him one spot to last.

The pole fight

The Q2 crop of MotoGP riders was marginally better-behaved than their Q1 predecessors, although reigning champion Pecco Bagnaia was at one point resigned to pulling over in the middle of pitlane in an effort to shake off those who had followed him out of their pit boxes.

A 1m19.243s for Martin, set on the opening run, replaced Friday's Maverick Vinales benchmark as the lap record, and then went unmatched in the closing minutes in Q2.

In part, that was due to yellow flags. Vinales had a nasty highside coming through Turn 1, going over the handlebars of his Aprilia - which then seemingly blew an engine while lying on its side on track and needed a minute or two to be removed.

That crash thwarted several laps through yellow flags, including one for Bagnaia, and when the Ducati rider set off for a last-gasp attempt, Gresini Ducati's Alex Marquez crashed ahead of him and wrote that off, too.

It meant Bagnaia will start a row behind main championship rival Martin in fourth.

Slotting in between them were the two Trackhouse Aprilia riders, Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez, with Oliveira just 0.048s off pole on his best day of the season and Fernandez right behind him after having dominated Q1.

Despite his crash, in which he reached the air fence, Alex Marquez will line up fifth, followed by Pramac Ducati rider Franco Morbidelli and Vinales.

VR46 Ducati's Fabio Di Giannantonio, another rider nursing an injury from Friday, was eighth, followed by Ducati works rider Enea Bastianini and rookie Pedro Acosta - again the top KTM RC16 rider, this time by a tenth over Brad Binder.

Di Giannantonio's team-mate Marco Bezzecchi enjoyed a rare moment of happiness in what had been an awful weekend so far by booking a spot in Q2, but could do no better than 12th once in there.

Also out in Q1

Set to line up in 13th, Marc Marquez will be joined by Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo and Tech3 Gas Gas's Augusto Fernandez on row five, Fernandez qualifying a tenth ahead of works KTM rider Jack Miller in arguably his best showing of the season (but also being aided by grabbing a tow from Marquez on his only completed fast lap).

Takaaki Nakagami was the top Honda qualifier for the first time this season, denying Luca Marini the honour by 0.013s.

Yamaha's Alex Rins stand-in Remy Gardner was last, a second back from Quartararo. He was just seven tenths off after the initial runs but couldn't find an improvement amid the late-session melee.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks