MotoGP Sachsenring Qualifying Results & Full Report: Lorenzo on Pole with the Back-Up Bike While Rossi Manages 5th


What Happens When It’s Time to Give Up the Ghost

9:22am EST — Jorge Lorenzo won pole for the 2010 German Grand Prix on his spare bike, after his primary race bike lost its engine and caught fire, causing a red flag for oil on the track.  That oil ended Randy de Puniet’s session, as he returned to his pit and was then taken to Clinica Mobile for an x-ray.  He still qualified seventh.  Casey Stoner gave Lorenzo a run for his money for pole, posting a time only a few hundredths off of Lorenzo’s 1:21.817, though both displaced session leader Dani Pedrosa in the closing minutes.  He will start third on Sunday.  Andrea Dovizioso continued his good season, posting the fourth fastest time while still recovering Valentino Rossi will start fifth, just six weeks after his crash that resulted in a compound fracture at Mugello.  Rossi completed 33 laps on his healing leg during the session, with only Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Ben Spies, and Marco Melandri completing more.Americans Colin Edwards, Spies, and Nicky Hayden have had better qualifying session, starting twelfth, thirteenth, and fifteenth, respectively.

Lorenzo took charge of the damp Saturday morning free practice, finding quite a lot of speed on his Fiat Yamaha.  The only other rider to come close was Stoner, who finished the session second fastest and a tenth off of Lorenzo’s blistering 1:22.253 lap time.  Rossi finished third fastest with Pedrosa, de Puniet, Dovizioso, Spies, Hayden, Barbera, and Simoncelli the top ten.  Former MotoGP rider Alex de Angelis, in for injured Aoyama beat out Loris Capirossi in the race to not post the slowest time.

Twenty minutes into Saturday’s qualifying session and Pedrosa led Stoner, Lorenzo, de Puniet, and Dovizioso as the fastest five, with Rossi twelfth.  Pedrosa’s time was just over Lorenzo’s fastest in the morning session, a 1:22.327.  Little had changed when the session was half gone: Pedrosa remained fastest, having reduced his time to a 1:21.948, with Stoner, Lorenzo, and de Puniet following.  However, Rossi also improved, jumping to sixth and then fifth fastest (a half second off Pedrosa’s time), having run a few laps less than the competition.  Americans Edwards, Hayden, and Spies still languished in the bottom half of the grid, posting fastest times for eleventh, twelfth, and fifteenth, respectively.

Rossi soon picked off de Puniet as well, moving into fourth fastest while Spies moved past his countrymen to eleventh.  The session was red-flagged at the twenty-five minute mark as Lorenzo’s bike began leaking copious amounts of oil and caught fire, with his boot also appearing to be aflame.  Both Spies and de Puniet appeared to be caught out by said oil and crashed.  de Puniet was taken away by a stretcher, but rode back to his pit on a scooter, with pain in his right leg, though he didn’t go to the medical center until after the session had restarted for an x-ray. Lorenzo, gentlemanly, stopped by his box to apologize for the oil spill that ended the Frenchman’s session.  Spies appeared to have suffered no major injuries.  According to Lorenzo, via the team, his engine had 1,500km usage on it.

When the session restarted with twenty-five minutes and change still left, Pedrosa led Lorenzo, Stoner, Rossi, de Puniet, Dovizioso, Simoncelli, Espargaro, Barbera, Kallio, Spies, Edwards, Hayden, Capirossi, Melandri, Bautista, and de Angelis.  Rossi was the first back onto the circuit, with teammate Lorenzo soon following on his spare bike.  Barbera gained time during the red flag to move to seventh.  Hayden then began his procession toward the front, as per usual in qualifying, by moving up to tenth fastest with the final fifteen critical minutes to go.  He was soon displaced by Spies.  Stoner bettered his time, but was unable to better his position with eleven minutes to go.

He soon did take second fastest from Lorenzo, nearly two hundredths off of Pedrosa’s fastest time, posted before the red flag.  Pedrosa and Stoner were the only two in the 1:21s.  Eight minutes left and the top five were Pedrosa, Stoner, Lorenzo, Rossi, and de Puniet, who was no longer running.  Dovizioso continued his season success, moving into fourth fastest and knocking Rossi to fifth.  Meanwhile, last-running de Angelis had an off, ending his session, though he appeared to be fine.  Spies went to ninth as the final minutes ticked down.  Lorenzo took Pedrosa’s prospective pole away with a lap a tenth faster than his fellow Spaniard, who then lost second to Stoner.  Both Lorenzo and Stoner had a 1:21.8s lap time.  With one minute left, Lorenzo led Stoner, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, and Rossi as the fastest five. They would remain in that order after the checkered flag.

Provisional Starting Grid for the 2010 German Grand Prix:
1. Lorenzo 1:21.817
2. Stoner 1:21.841
3. Pedrosa 1:21.948
4. Dovizioso 1:22.263
5. Rossi 1:22.395
6. Barbera 1:22.454
7. de Puniet 1:22.610
8. Simoncelli 1:22.624
9. Espargaro 1:22.910
10. Melandri 1:22.917
11. Kallio 1:22.961
12. Edwards 1:23.026
13. Spies 1:23.028
14. Capirossi 1:23.040
15. Hayden 1:23.090
16. Bautista 1:23.193
17. de Angelis 1:23.515

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