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Rossi fires back for first Sachsenring pole

Rossi fires back for first Sachsenring pole

Italian tops timesheets for first time in German weekend for maiden pole at Sachsenring.

Valentino Rossi added a third pole position to an enviable haul from 2009 at Sachsenring on Saturday, coming out on top in a drenched qualifying session for the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Rossi’s last gasp 1’32.520 lap was not only enough to head the timesheet by over six-tenths of a second, but it was also sufficient to give him a first ever MotoGP pole at the German track.

Rossi relegated Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo to second on the grid, and the two share the front row for the sixth time this season. Joining them in the first line of attack will be fellow title contender Casey Stoner, a further six-tenths down on Rossi’s marker in the qualifying run.

Lorenzo and Stoner had experienced big crashes at Laguna Seca last time out, but this time they were two of the few riders not to have experienced a moment in preparation for the Sachsenring race. The area at and ahead of turn seven proved costly for a number of riders on Saturday afternoon, with falls for Marco Melandri, Toni Elías, Randy de Puniet, Alex de Angelis, Nicky Hayden and Niccolò Canepa adding to Chris Vermeulen’s Friday hit and James Toseland’s morning moment. Canepa first hit the gravel of his own accord, then later became involved in Hayden’s crash when the American speared him off track. All riders escaped unhurt.

Hayden took his best qualifying result as a Ducati Marlboro rider to date with fourth place, ahead of San Carlo Gresini Honda’s De Angelis and LCR Honda man De Puniet on the second row.

The Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland begins at 2pm local time on Sunday.


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