July 1, 2017
BERLIN (Reuters) – Honda’s triple MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez lived up to his reputation of ‘King of the Sachsenring’ with an eighth successive German Grand Prix pole position on Saturday.
The Spaniard set a fastest lap of one minute 27.302 seconds on a drying track after afternoon rain to beat Italian Danilo Petrucci, on a non-works Octo Pramac Ducati, into second place with Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa third.
Ducati’s championship leader Andrea Dovizioso qualified only 10th with closest rival Maverick Vinales, on a Yamaha, set to start 11th.
Vinales clashed with Marquez during the session, with their bikes making contact.
Italian great Valentino Rossi, Vinales’s team mate and third in the standings after winning the previous round in the Netherlands, completed the third row in ninth place at the anti-clockwise track.
Marquez’s run of poles at the Sachsenring, near Chemnitz in eastern Germany, started in 2010 when he was competing in the 125cc category. He then took pole in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012 before a run of five in MotoGP.
The 24-year-old Spaniard also won all seven of those races to date at the Sachsenring and will be the big favorite on Sunday.
Dovizioso leads Vinales by four points with five different winners in the first eight races. The top four are separated by just 11 points.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar)