The Sachsenring was dry on qualifying day and all the riders made the most of the conditions to set some fast lap times with records tumbling in all classes, Danny Kent was so far ahead that most of his pole run was spent in the pits after a crash, yet he still claimed the top spot. Johann Zarco gave a great lesson in the perfect pole performance, with his mid-session hot lap holding off all late challengers.
It took just nine laps for Britain’s Danny Kent to seal pole for the third time this season, which was just as well as just seconds after his new record lap of 1m 26.420 he collected wild-card Max Kappler on the way into the gravel.
The Leopard Racing rider then had to sit in the pits and watch the action unfold, but his time was to stay at the top with nearest rival in the championship Enea Bastianini the best of the rest for Gresini, making up a place on his final lap as the session drew to a close to snatch second. That displaced Karel Hanika, who had been in second since his early tumble from the Red Bull KTM Ajo bike that joins the two Hondas to complete the front row.
Fabio Quartararo again impressed at a new track for the rookie rider improving to fourth for Estrella Galicia 0,0. Efren Vazquez was consistent in fifth on the second Leopard entry in the top ten, with Gresini’s Andrea Locatelli providing the Italian outfit with a strong showing on their second bike in sixth.
Row three features top Mahindra rider Jorge Martin in seventh, Quartararo’s fellow rookie rival and team-mate Jorge Navarro in eighth. Niccolo Antonelli was unlucky to improve with a late save, although ruining his final assault, leaving him ninth for Ongetta-Rivacold.
Niklas Ajo also found himself in the pit as he was confirmed in tenth, after collecting his RBA Racing team-mate Ana Carrasco as he too crashed out of the session, the female rider furiously hunting him down to speak with him after they returned to pit lane.
Britain’s second Moto3 entrant John McPhee struggled with his SaxoPrint-RTG Racing machine and will be hoping for a good start to make up places from 20th on the grid.
Miguel Oliveira did not participate after breaking a bone in his hand in practice.
UPDATE: eleven riders will face a three place grid penalty and restricted warm-up (final 20 minutes only) after again being guilty of riding slowly on the racing line – Maria Herrera, Andrea Migno, John McPhee, Ana Carrasco, Niklas Ajo, Isaac Vinales, Enea Bastianini, Andrea Locatelli, Hiroki Ono and Jakub Kornfeil.
New grid lines up as follows: 1 Kent 2 Hanika 3 Quartararo 4 Vazquez 5 Bastianini 6 Martin 7 Antonelli 8 B.Binder 9 Locatelli 10 Masbou (Navarro drops to 11).
Moto2 was an exercise in qualifying perfection with Johann Zarco having the top spot all wrapped up even quicker than the absent Danny Kent in Moto3, the Ajo Motorsport rider clocked his best of 1m 24.044 with just under 20 minutes remaining for this third pole start in a row.
Only Gresini’s Xavier Simeon’s very last minute charge could challenge the Frenchman, who was still out searching for the perfect lap, just falling short and leaving the Belgian in a strong second.
They are joined on the front row by Franco Morbidelli for the first time this year for the Italtrans team.
Tom Luthi found his pace in the crucial session after not fairing as well in practice and claimed fourth for the Derendinger Racing Interwetten team.
The Swiss man is joined on row two by Forward’s Simone Corsi, ahead of his 200th start, and the recovering Tito Rabat, riding through the pain of his collarbone surgery to sixth for EG 0,0 Marc VDS.
Seventh on the grid is filled by the best placed home rider Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) with AGR Team rider and fellow countryman Jonas Folger just one place behind in eighth.
Sam Lowes struggled to ninth with a lack of grip on his Speed Up, but was th only non-Kalex rider in the top 14. Mika Kallio completes the top ten best qualifiers for Italtrans.
Florian Alt visited hospital instead of his home track after an earlier practice crash left him with unshakable dizziness.
UPDATE: Race direction also took Moto2 to task for riding slowly close to the racing line, with Simone Corsi, Sandro Cortese,Tom Luthi and Xavier Simeon all picking up a penatly point for their part in the action.
For the full Moto3 qualifying result, click here
For the full Moto2 qualifying result, click here.