Márquez seals sensational Sachsenring pole position
Alex Márquez produces a masterful performance to take a second pole position of 2019 for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, with Xavi Vierge on course for a top six challenge after qualifying on row three in Germany.
- Márquez and Vierge faced hot and windy conditions on qualifying day at Germany’s 3.67km Sachsenring.
- Track and air temperatures were at their highest point of the weekend for an exciting Q2 battle, which Marquez contested with Vierge after advancing through the opening 15-minute qualifying session.
- Márquez was undoubtedly a leading candidate for rider of the day after progressing from Q1 to take pole position on a front row split by just 0.082s.
- The final podium battle before the three-week summer break gets underway at 1220pm local time tomorrow.
Alex Márquez: 1st, 1”23.585, 29 laps, 106 km.
- Two technical issues restricted Márquez to just nine laps on track in FP3 this morning, which prevented the Spaniard from moving straight into Q2.
- Márquez quickly put this morning’s frustration behind him to produce an incredible lap of 1:23.797 that took second position behind Jorge Navarro in a record-breaking Q1.
- The 23-year-old lapped even faster in a thrilling Q2 session and a scintillating pace of 1:23.585 took pole by 0.079s from Luca Marini.
- That flawless early lap in his 10-lap stint in Q2 secured him a first pole position since the Malaysian Grand Prix last October and fifth front row start of 2019.
“I didn’t expect to be on pole position but we did a great job”
“It has been a difficult day after we experienced some problems in FP3 this morning. I had a good meeting with my team before this afternoon and they gave me a lot of confidence because we had to change the plan in Q2. I had only one front tyre available, so it was quite difficult to manage the feeling on the bike. I felt strong and smooth and the lap time came relatively easily in Q1 because I did a 23.7 alone and that was positive. I said to my team that I could perhaps improve a little bit with a good reference and Navarro passed me and I took the opportunity to follow him. I knew he was so strong in sector three I pushed and made a very good lap time. I didn’t expect to be on pole position but we did a great job. In terms of my rhythm for the race we are not as competitive as I’d like but we will see how the race unfolds. We need to be patient because physically it is always difficult here with so many left turns. I’m confident for tomorrow but I need to be intelligent and collect important points for the Championship.”
Xavi Vierge: 8th. 1:23.881, 26 laps, 95 km.
- A small crash in FP3 this morning at the Omega right-hander didn’t halt Vierge’s charge into Q2 after his best lap of 1:24.328 set in FP2 placed him 11th on the combined practice leaderboard.
- Vierge worked hard in Q2 to join Márquez on the front row of the grid during his 11-lap run and he lapped 0.5s than his previous best pace over the weekend.
- The Spaniard eventually logged a best pace of 1:23.881, which puts him in between Jorge Martin and Remy Gardner on the third row of the grid.
- In another super close session, Vierge was less than 0.1s away from leading row two in fourth spot.
“I am sure we can improve tomorrow and try and fight for the win”
“When we see the result, I am a bit disappointed but when you analyse the complete day it has been very positive. I’ve had very good pace with used tyres this morning and the small crash stopped me from going faster on a new rear tyre. We returned to the set-up used in practice yesterday for qualifying and I felt good on the bike. It is a pity because on the first lap I came across a lot of traffic but I got into a good rhythm to finish inside the top 10. We have seen the last races have been very close and I am not far from pole position, so I am sure we can improve tomorrow and try and fight for the win. It will be key to make a good start and be patient because I think the race will be a big group and big fight at the front like in Assen and this time I hope we have more luck.”