Although oil spewed from his Fiat Yamaha M1 during the qualifying session at Sachsenring for Round 8 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship, Jorge Lorenzo went on to post a fastest lap of 1:21.817, which secured the Spaniard his fourth consecutive pole this season.
The 23-year-old, who will start Sunday’s race in the best position for a possible eighth win this season, had his engine blow up at the start/finish line during the qualifying session. The oil that came from his bike spilled onto the track, causing Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies to fall, and then LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet to crash into Spies’ stationary bike.
Jorge Lorenzo says: “Since the new engine rule everyone has been starting to feel like these engines never have problems and it was honestly a surprise for me today when I came onto the straight and felt it stop! It was so hot and there was oil on my feet so I had to go into the wall.”
“I’m really sorry that Ben and Randy crashed and especially that Randy was slightly injured, it is good news that he will be able to race tomorrow. This pole position was very hard because Casey and Dani were so fast; I had to push at the maximum and ride really well. Well done to my team because we have improved so much since yesterday and now I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
The oil out on the track caused a red flag with 25 minutes of qualifying remaining. MotoGP said De Puniet went for X-rays on his right leg at the Clinica Mobile which confirmed no breaks, and he will be hopeful of taking his seventh spot on the grid having started 189 consecutive races since 1999.
Joining Lorenzo on the three-rider front row for the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland will be Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner and Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. Stoner was only 0.024 of a second behind Lorenzo, and this will be his best qualifying position of the season as the Australian seeks his first 2010 victory.
Pedrosa was the last rider to qualify under the 1:22 mark, and has been quick at Sachsenring, holding the circuit record at 1:22.126 (2009).
Pedrosa’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso starts the second row of riders, followed by the man who returned to MotoGP action after six weeks off, Valentino Rossi. The Italian, who returned after breaking his leg at practice during Mugello at Round 4, was 0.578 of second his teammate and series leader Lorenzo.
Valentino Rossi says: “I am really happy after this second day because I feel confident on the bike. I have suffered more today because we’ve had two sessions instead of one and I have some pain and I’m more tired than yesterday, but I feel good and my movement is okay. ”
“Also the shoulder feels fine so it’s definitely a positive return for me. Unfortunately today at the end we tried a small modification to improve the setting but it made it worse, so I think we lost one position for this. I don’t think the front row was possible because Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa went under 1:22 and I don’t think I could have done that today. For tomorrow of course there is a question mark but I hope to be able to finish; I think the podium will be difficult for me but top five would be a very good result.”
2010 MotoGP Qualifying, Sachsenring:
1. (99) Jorge LORENZO, SPA, Fiat Yamaha Team, 1:21.817
2. (27) Casey STONER, AUS, Ducati Team + 0.024
3. (26) Dani PEDROSA, SPA, Repsol Honda Team + 0.131
4. (4) Andrea DOVIZIOSO, ITA, Repsol Honda Team + 0.446
5. (46) Valentino ROSSI, ITA, Fiat Yamaha Team + 0.578
6. (40) Hector BARBERA, SPA, Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati +0.637
7. (14) Randy DE PUNIET, FRA, LCR Honda MotoGP +0.793
8. (58) Marco SIMONCELLI, ITA, San Carlo Honda Gresini +0.807
9. (41) Aleix ESPARGARO, SPA, Pramac Racing Team +1.093
10. (33) Marco MELANDRI, ITA, San Carlo Honda Gresini,
11. (36) Mika KALLIO, FIN, Pramac Racing Team Ducati +1.144
12. (5) Colin EDWARDS, USA, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +1.209
13. (11) Ben SPIES, USA, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 1.211
14. (65) Loris CAPIROSSI, ITA, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, +1.223
15. (69) Nicky HAYDEN, USA, Ducati Team +1.273
16. (19) Alvaro BAUTISTA, SPA, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP +1.376
17. (15) Alex DE ANGELIS, RSM Interwetten Honda +1.698