Olly Simpson lines up on pole position in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at Sachsenring after being fastest in free practice as qualifying in Germany was cancelled because of a thunderstorm.
The 16-year-old Australian heads the field for the first time with the front row completed by Italians Manuel Pagliani and Stefano Manzi.
That's great," said Simpson. "We have a pretty good bike setting now since Mugello and Assen and I like this track from last year so I was into it pretty early in the first session. We run used tyres in free practice so we changed the rear suspension a bit to make it easier on the tyre, so it didn't slide so much and the lap time came out OK."
"For me the race can be wet or dry but I guess it will be more fun if it is dry," concluded the South Australian. The weather could well be a factor for both Saturday and Sunday and it already affected Free Practice, as while the morning session was dry the afternoon session only supplied two dry laps before the rain came.
Fastest in those two dry laps was Darryn Binder and the 16-year-old South African hoped that the grid might be taken from FP2. "That would be great, then I would be on pole but it's not too bad if they take the times together as I was 11th in FP1. The main thing is that the bike is working OK. We went back to very much a base setting to start here after I struggled in Assen and that was OK in the first session," he said.
Points leader Jorge Martín was certainly glad that the times were taken overall with the quickest times all coming from FP1. "I was last in FP2 I didn't even really set a time. It was raining before I got going," admitted the 16-year-old Spaniard who qualified fourth thanks to his FP1 time and heads the points table on 101 with Japanese 14-year-old Soushi Mihara second on 78. Mihara lines up on the grid alongside Martín in 5th with 14-year-old Spaniard Oscar Gutierrez completing row 2.
Of all this year's podium getters, Brad Ray was the worst effected by the strange grid generation as the 17-year-old Briton starts from 10th. Qualifying is often a poor indicator of race pace anyway so it will not be unusual to see a completely different order in the two races as the identical KTM RC 250 Rs are let loose in the races on Saturday and Sunday.