Nicky Hayden best in Q1, eventually qualifying twelfth
DRIVE M7 Aspar rider rounds out fourth row, 1.7 seconds off pole time. Teammate Hiroshi Aoyama will start from sixteenth
Qualifying for the German GP took place today at the Sachsenring, with the Q1 session in particular providing plenty of excitement. Rain at the end of the Moto3 session meant that the track would be slightly dirty, but the MotoGP riders pushed very hard this afternoon. The man of the day was undoubtedly Marc Márquez, who took a seventh pole position from a possible nine this season. He will do so ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa and home rider Stefan Bradl, after setting a new pole record of 1:21.067 –beating Casey Stoner’s time from 2008.
Argentina and Jerez were previously where DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden had managed to go through to the second qualifying session. Today he did it again in Germany, brilliantly leading Q1. It was one of the tightest qualifying sessions of the year, in which the four fastest men were separated by less than a tenth of a second. Hayden had already anticipated before the trip to the Sachsenring that the circuit would be well suited to the characteristics of his Honda, and also predicted that the situation for most riders would be even. That proved to be the case, as the American placed just 1.7 seconds off the pole position time in Q2 and rounded out the fourth row of the grid.
Two rows behind will be Hiroshi Aoyama, who finished sixteenth and heads row six. The Japanese DRIVE M7 Aspar rider was very combative at the start of the first qualifying session, placing very close to the top. But at the end he made a slight mistake which deprived him of accompanying Hayden in Q2. He was pleased with his progress today, and is confident of a positive result at the German GP.
12th Nicky Hayden 1.22.647: "Our main goal today was to qualify for Q2. It is clear that once you get through to that, you are in another league and you have to keep pushing even harder. I'm happy because our times were quite positive, we rode faster than we had during the rest of the weekend, but everyone else also lowered their times. It would have been interesting to have an extra tyre to try to improve our best time a little more still. Nevertheless, I am satisfied; today we have had our best qualifying session for a long time. I want to thank the team for their work this weekend; we have taken a step forward. It’s nothing massive, but the competition is so fierce in this class that any significant development is very small. Now we have to continue to concentrate and try to keep it up for the race. We know it will be hard, but we will try to have as much fun as possible."
16th Hiroshi Aoyama 1.22.659: "Before qualifying the conditions were critical, because it rained at the end of Moto3. Looking at the state of the asphalt we decided to use the soft front tyre, and I think we made the right decision because I felt more comfortable than during the practice sessions. This allowed me to ride three tenths faster than before. At the end of the session I tried to push a little to get into the top places, but I made a small mistake on the last corner. Finally we qualified in sixteenth position, which is not a bad result considering that today we found some improvements. I hope the improvements allow us to be more consistent during the race tomorrow. At this circuit the differences to other riders are minimal, so it gives us more chance of achieving a good result."