Sachsenring : MotoGP – Day Two
World Championship leader Casey Stoner will aim to break the current MotoGP pole jinx as he goes in search of his sixth victory of the season from the head of the front row of the grid at the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland on Sunday.
The 21 year old Ducati Marlboro rider has shown great pace all weekend so far at the Sachsenring and was pushed hard in this qualifying session by Dani Pedrosa - who was just 0.004s slower than his Aussie rival this afternoon and still holds the circuit best lap record he set last year.
Stoner's five victories so far this season have all come from behind the top spot on the grid, with the MotoGP pole jinx extending back 11 races to Loris Capirossi's win in Japan last year, but the young Ducati rider has done everything right so far in Germany and the good race pace he demonstrated in practice means he has every chance of another win.
Joining Stoner and Pedrosa on the front row is Marco Melandri (Honda Gresini), while at the business end of the second row is Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet who put in a good time before a late crash which saw him veer onto the gravel and slam into the Sachsenring safety barriers at considerable speed. The tough Frenchman walked away and did not appear adversely affected in his pit-box after the incident.
The ever consistent Kawasaki-bound Rizla Suzuki rider John Hopkins was fifth and will be looking over his shoulder on the grid at five-time premier class title winner Valentino Rossi (sixth), who will go in search of yet another win from behind the front row.
The third row comprises Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro), Alex Barros (Pramac d'Antin) and Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP rookie Sylvain Guintoli, with Shinya Nakano lapping tenth quickest to head the fourth row.
Another frustrating run for Nicky Hayden saw the World Champion end up 14th and the 25 year old American will need to use all his grit and determination to fight through the pack if he is to secure a good result before his home Grand Prix at Laguna Seca next weekend.
DORNA / CAPSIS International