Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) grabbed his second pole of the season at the Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland to finish 0.181 seconds ahead of fellow Italian Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), with his teammate, Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46), rounding out the front row to make it an all-Italian front three for the first time ever in Moto2™.
The intermediate class took to the Sachsenring in beautiful conditions and it was the eventual pole sitter who came out the blocks with all cylinders firing, climbing to the top of the timesheets to set his benchmark time of 1:23.787 on his fourth flying lap – a time that would go unbeaten. The two VR46 riders went out in tandem with Bagnaia leading Marini around the 3.6km circuit, with the latter going 0.002 quicker than his teammate to claim his second consecutive front row start. Bagnaia had to settle for third, but will be confident of challenging for the win in Sunday’s race to try and extend his Championship lead over Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – the Portuguese rider starts 15th.
Fourth and the leading KTM was Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) as he launches from the front of the second row, with 0.001 splitting the British rider from Bagnaia. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) recovered from a crash in FP3 to qualify fifth on the grid, with FP2’s quickest rider Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) rounding out Row 2 at the team’s home Grand Prix.
After a heavy fall at Turn 8 in FP3, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was able to earn a seventh place start in qualifying, with teammate Joan Mir just 0.013 behind him in eighth. At his home Grand Prix, Marcel Schroetter (Dynavolt Intact GP) will launch from ninth in a bid to stand on the rostrum for the first time, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in 10th – less than four tenths from pole position.
Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up Racing) was an early faller in the session at Turn 3, the Frenchman will have work to do from P18 if he’s to claim his third consecutive podium. Meanwhile, Khairul Idham Pawi (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) also crashed at Turn 3 late on – both riders were ok.