A downpour towards the end of the Q1 set the mood on wet for the second qualifying session of the MotoGP class. After escaping a challenging Q1, Danilo Petrucci confidently fired in a time over a second faster than his rivals, who were still getting a taste for the conditions. That experience helped him carry that speed throughout the session, the Italian looking set for a proper celebration tonight until the King of the Ring entered the court and snatched back his crown.
Marc Marquez put in the fastest time of the session on his final lap, while he already occupied top spot, to record his eighth consecutive pole position at the German track. It was an eventful afternoon for the world champion, who also rubbed fairings with Maverick Viñales, the Spaniards getting in each other’s way, with some friendly fire added by Petrucci back in parc fermé.
Dani Pedrosa also looked like a contender for pole early on, but the Spaniard had to settle for third position, placing the Pramac Ducati rider in a Honda sandwich on the front row.
Cal Crutchlow added yet another Honda to the second row of the grid, which will be shared with Jonas Folger as the lead Yamaha in the session and the factory Ducati of Jorge Lorenzo.
Pol Espargaro worked wonders in the rain to fight his way out of Q1 as the rain hit hard and didn’t stop there – the Spaniard qualified seventh, on the third row of the grid and gets bragging rights in the Espargaro household, Aleix finishing right behind him. Valentino Rossi gambled on the medium rear in the final minutes of the session, as a dry line was appearing, and improved but not substantially, the Italian completing the third row.
Andrea Dovizioso could not conjure up any magic in the wet and will start tenth. His only consolation is that his main rival in the championship starts right behind him, Maverick Viñales unable to put his Yamaha any higher than eleventh, ahead of Alvaro Bautista.
Johann Zarco will have to pull off something special as he could only manage nineteenth position in the tricky conditions of Q1.