x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Motorsport: Marc Marquez has front-row seat for German MotoGP

Marc Marquez grabs the pole for the German MotoGP as championship leader Dani Pedrosa crashes heavily on his Honda and is a doubt for the race.

This is the view riders will have of Marc Marquez at the start as he has his Honda on pole for today’s race.
This is the view riders will have of Marc Marquez at the start as he has his Honda on pole for today’s race.

Marc Marquez will start in pole position for today's German Grand Prix as his Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa suffered a fractured shoulder and a head injury in a crash that has left him doubtful for the race.

Marquez, 20 secured the third pole of his career with a fastest qualifying time of 1 min 21.311 sec, with Britain's Cal Crutchlow second at 0.123 sec and Italy's Valentino Rossi third at 0.182 secs.

"The goal is always to get on the podium," said Marquez, before admitting he was concerned about the form of veteran Rossi.

"Valentino looks very strong. He'll be difficult to beat."

Having claimed his first win since 2010 at the Dutch GP two weeks ago, six-time world MotoGP champion Rossi was happy with his first front row start in three years.

"I'm fighting back with the best. Qualifying times like that confirm my result at Assen," beamed the Italian, 34.

Pedrosa crashed heavily in final practice before qualifying and if he is cleared to race he will start down in 12th place on the grid.

Accidents in practice were suffered not only by Pedrosa but also reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who is already out of today's race after crashing on Friday, two weeks after fracturing his collarbone at the Dutch GP.

Lorenzo underwent surgery in Barcelona yesterday to have a fresh plate inserted to support his collarbone.

"For Jorge it is a great pity because he made a small mistake and unfortunately landed on the wrong shoulder," Rossi said of Lorenzo, who finished fifth at the Dutch GP in Assen, despite racing just 36 hours after surgery.

"After what he did in Assen, he was very close to a superhero.

"It's a pity also for his championship but now I think he's made the right choice to take some quiet time to recover."

Marquez's lap of 1 min 21.311 sec was three tenths of a second off Casey Stoner's best ever lap of the Sachsenring, achieved in 2008, as he stormed to his third pole after Texas and Le Mans.

Crutchlow will start inside the top two for the third race in succession despite two heavy falls on Friday, which have left the Englishman in pain.


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