Jacque claims pole in Germany
Olivier Jacque pulled off the shock of the season so far by claiming the first pole position for a two-stroke this season in Germany today.
The French rider crossed the line with just under 10 seconds of the final session remaining to steal pole from works Yamaha team-mate Shinya Nakano by just eight-hundreths of a second.
Today’s session was the closest GP grid in history with just 1.5s splitting the entire 21-rider field.
Jacque said: " It has been frustrating being so far behind the four-strokes this season but we knew we had a chance at this track. The Yamaha works well here and this was one of the best opportunities to beat the four-strokes because of the nature of the circuit. "
Only one four-stroke made it on the front row and that belonged to Max Biaggi, who had briefly held pole in the closing stages. He was third ahead of Alex Barros while runaway series leader Valentino Rossi had to settle for sixth. Rossi was as low as 10th until the final two laps and he looked on course to grab pole having been under Jacque’s time through the third intermediate section. But he lost too much time at the final corner. It was a disappointing day for Briton Jeremy McWilliams who’d been on provisional pole yesterday.
He dropped to seventh as he was the only other rider apart from Tetsuya Harada who couldn’t improve on his time from yesterday.
Fresh from his terrific win at the British GP just six days ago, Frenchman Arnaud Vincent grabbed pole position for tomorrow’s 125 race at the Sachsenring.
Vincent was a massive 0.5s clear of his closest rival, series leader and reigning world champion Manuel Poggiali.
His best time of 1.29.09 smashed Lucio Cecchinello’s lap record by 1.3s and Vincent said: " The win at Donington has given me a lot of confidence after a couple of bad results. "
Italian duo Simone Sanna and Alex de Angelis completed the front row, while Poggiali’s closest title challenger Daniel Pedrosa will have a tough task as he could only manage eighth on the grid.
Briton Chaz Davies was 23rd, despite knocking 1.4s off his time from yesterday.