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Old 07-11-2015, 11:21 PM   #1
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MotoGP Sachsenring: Marquez back to form, pole

With the switch to the older 2014 chassis on his Honda RC213V showing great promise at Assen two weeks ago, it's appearing as if practice and qualifying at Germany's Sachsenring circuit is confirming that Marquez's new hybrid has allowed him to ride like his old self. The Spaniard obliterated his old lap record of 1:20.937 set during qualifying last year by throwing down an astounding 1:20.336 lap during MotoGP qualifying Saturday to take pole position and once again leaving the competition shaking their heads in amazement. Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa also continues to make progress in his recovery from arm pump surgery earlier this year, as he qualified second and had a strong race pace as well. Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo resigned himself to third position on the grid but remains happy that he is at least on the front row, and is hoping to get another of his lightning starts to get ahead of Marquez and keep in him in sight.

Marquez may have dominated qualifying and was once again his usual smiling self, but he kept a low-key attitude about the performance improvement with the Honda, noting that there are still problems to be solved and that the Sachsenring's unique layout masked many of them. "Iím happy about the lap time and the pole position, but I feel better about the feeling I have with the bike and my pace," said Marquez. "I can be consistent which is important at this circuit because the race is 30 laps and itís difficult to keep concentration, difficult to manage the tires. But weíll see tomorrow because you can be really fast on Saturday, but in the end Sunday is the most important day. I know that Jorge, Valentino, Dani, they all have a good rhythm and they will be really strong, especially Dani.

"I feel really comfortable with the bike. It looks like the feeling is coming back, but still we must work hard because we still have some problems. But here with the kind of the corners we can avoid these problems. Since Assen I feel better with the bike, and we confirmed it here. But we must be honest that this circuit works with my riding style and with the Honda, and we must use this potential."

Pedrosa was just as low-key about his performance and the continuing progress from his arm pump surgery. "We finally qualified on the front row, itís so important at this track to be on the front row. Iím happy with the setup of the bike, so just hoping to do a good start this time. Itís important to be with the front group at the beginning of the race so thatís going to be really crucial. And also the front tire choice is going to be important for tomorrow."

Lorenzo thought he might be in with a shot at pole position when he saw his quickest lap time, but could only laugh when he saw Marquez's lap time come up on the monitor. "Iím proud of my lap time because here itís difficult for us. For my riding itís probably not the best, and also for the Yamaha compared to the Honda here, we struggled so much. Iím happy about my qualifying. With the second tire I saw the 20.9 lap time and I thought, ĎOK, I might be close to pole position.í But then I saw the 20.3 of Marc and I thought, ĎOK, this is not the day (laughs), this is the day of the Hondas.í First row is very important, with the new tire I think we have a great pace for the first part of the race. Tomorrow in warmup we are going to try a new setting to see if we can improve the turning in the fast corners which is our weak point right now. In the slow corners we are quite good, but in the fast ones we stay too much on the angle, so letís see if tomorrow we can find it."

Current MotoGP championship points leader Valentino Rossi once again struggled a bit in qualifying, although he mitigated the damage by staying in the second row. "I expect something better because I had better potential. But unfortunately in my good lap I made some mistakes and I wasnít able to make a high 20 lap time. So I have to start a little bit more behind. But in the end Iím not so far because Iím in the second row. I have a good pace, Iím quite competitive with the older tires, I feel good with the bike. But it will be hard because the two Hondasóespecially Marquezóare a little bit faster. Pedrosa is a little bit closer to me and Jorge, we are all very close in race pace.Tomorrow it will be important to get a good start."

MotoGP Sachsenring qualifying results:
1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda 1:20.336
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1:20.628
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:20.921
4. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team 1:21.029
5. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Octo Pramac Ducati 1:21.115
6. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:21.220
7. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:21.239
8. Pol Espargaro (SPA) Monster Tech 3 Yamaha 1:21.274
9. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Tech 3 Yamaha 1:21.329
10. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) CWM LCR Honda 1:21.409
11. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1:21.503
12. Maverick ViŮales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:21.796
13. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing Ducati 1:21.628
14. Scott Redding (GBR) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1:21.632
15. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Ducati 1:21.760
16. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:22.049
17. Alex De Angelis (RSM) E-Motion Ioda Racing Aprilia 1:22.195
18. Jack Miller (AUS) CWM LCR Honda 1:22.225
19. Nicky Hayden (USA) Aspar Honda Team 1:22.362
20. Loris Baz (FRA) Athinŗ Forward Racing Yamaha 1:22.394
21. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing Ducati 1:22.441
22. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) AB Motoracing Honda 1:22.543
23. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Honda Team 1:22.693
24. Michael Laverty (IRL) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:22.947
25. Claudio Corti (ITA) Athinŗ Forward Racing Yamaha 1:23.374

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