German MotoGP Qualifying | Zarco wins it and bins it to deny Quartararo record

Johann Zarco delivers an upset to deny Fabio Quartararo a sixth pole position in a row for the German MotoGP, despite ending his session in the gravel trap

Johann Zarco - Pramac Ducati.jpg

Johann Zarco brought Fabio Quartararo’s streak of MotoGP pole positions to an end with a scintillating performance in qualifying for the German MotoGP, despite ending his session in the gravel trap just moments later.

In a surprise turnaround considering his modest results in free practice, Zarco managed to avoid yellow flags and the scourge of traffic on his fastest lap to pump in a 1min 20.236secs effort with three minutes of the session remaining.

The Frenchman then went a long way to confirming the result a few seconds later when he lost the front of the Pramac Ducati at Turn 4 on the following lap, sending himself and bike into the barriers at speed to bring out the yellow flags that would scupper the laps of those behind him.

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Regardless, such was Zarco’s unexpected fast lap - one that assures him his first pole of the year and the sixth of his MotoGP career - it was only fellow Frenchman Quartararo that looked capable of taking on the challenge.

However, Zarco’s crash came just as he was overtaking a touring Quartararo with the yellow flags distributed for both his own crash and another for Takaaki Nakagami at Turn 1 preventing the championship leader from making a last ditch attempt for a sixth straight pole.

Despite losing pole to his closest championship rival, Quartararo still looks strong for Sunday from second position, a front row he will also share with Aleix Espargaro, who produced Aprilia’s best-ever qualifying result in third position.

Jack Miller heads up row two in fourth, though the Australian will rue a mistake at the final corner of his final lap that could have denied him pole positon, while Marc Marquez landed his and Honda’s best qualifying result of the season with his run to fifth place.

Catalunya MotoGP winner Miguel Oliveira starts a threatening sixth for KTM but may find himself in hot water for touring to almost a stop as he attempted to find space on track during a busy session in which several laps were hampered by traffic issues.

Zarco’s rookie Pramac team-mate Jorge Martin produced a fine effort to qualify in seventh place, ahead of Pol Espargaro and the fallen Nakagami, while Pecco Bagnaia, Alex Rins and Alex Marquez - who ensured all four Hondas made into the Q2 - round off row four rows.

Missing out in a dramatic Q1, Brad Binder starts 13th from Avintia duo Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini, with Valentino Rossi the second best placed Yamaha in 15th on a day to forget for the Iwata manufacturer after Franco Morbidelli’s crash left him only 18th and Maverick Vinales, whose crash in FP3 had put him on the back foot, was caught out by yellow flags to leave him a dismal 21st.

Similarly, Joan Mir was hampered by events around him as he could only manage 16th on the grid.

2021 German MotoGP Qualifying Results | Sachsenring 

2021 German MotoGP QUALIFYING Results | Sachsenring | Round 8 / 19
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Johann ZarcoFRAPramac RacingDucati GP211m 20.236
2Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 20.247
3Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP1m 20.447
4Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 20.508
5Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 20.567
6Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 20.589
7Jorge MartinESPPramac RacingDucati GP211m 20.617
8Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 20.659
9Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda IdemitsuHonda RC213V1m 20.810
10Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 20.811
11Alex RinsESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 20.949
12Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 21.135
13Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 20.736
14Luca MariniITASky VR46 EsponsoramaDucati GP191m 20.864
15Enea BastianiniITAAvintia EsponsoramaDucati GP191m 20.953
16Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M11m 20.972
17Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 21.014
18Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M11m 21.091
19Danilo PetrucciITATech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 21.137
20Iker LecuonaESPTech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 21.154
21Maverick VinalesESPMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 21.165
22Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP1m 21.411