Friday’s Moto2™ HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland pacesetter Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) kept top spot at the end of FP3 to lead Championship leader Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) by 0.167 ahead of qualifying. Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) finished within two tenths of Binder as title contender Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) is among some heavy hitters who miss out on a top 14 automatic Q2 place.
The times are incredibly tight in the intermediate class this weekend but Binder’s Friday time was keeping the South African top of the combined standings, Lüthi was the only man to get within a tenth of the KTM rider during the session as the Swiss rider improved from P11 to P2 on the combined times midway through FP3. After a crash that caused his bike to catch fire at the end of FP2, Marquez needed to find time on Saturday morning but with ten minutes remaining, despite being just 0.4 off the pace, the Spaniard found himself outside the top 14.
There was plenty of chopping and changing inside the all-important and with just four minutes to go, Marquez was 18th on the combined times. Binder, still sitting top, then improved his Friday time to move the goalposts further away from the competition, a 1:23.876 the only time to dip under the 1:24 bracket and as the chequered flag dropped, just 0.468 separated the top 14.
Behind the top three was the two FlexBox HP 40 machines of Augusto Fernandez and Lorenzo Baldassarri in fourth and fifth, with home hero Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) all just two tenths astray from Binder’s time. NTS RW Racing GP’s Bo Bendsneyder clawed himself into the top ten in the latter stages to secure a Q2 place, with Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) completing the top ten. Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was the only rider to not improve his Friday time and despite a crash at Turn 3 in FP3, the Spaniard sits 11th and goes straight into the pole position shootout. Nicolo Bulega (SKY Racing Team VR46), Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) and Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) complete the top 14.
FP1 pacesetter and home favourite Jonas Folger (Petronas Sprinta Racing) failed to go quicker in FP3 and will contest Q1. Alongside him are frontrunners like Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) – a crasher in FP3 – and Marquez, as well as 20th place Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46).
Eight tenths cover P1 to P24 in the Moto2™ class which means one thing: qualifying looks set to be an incredible battle. Tune in for it at 15:05 local time (GMT+2).
Top 10 combined:
1. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) - 1:23.876
2. Thomas Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.167
3. Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) + 0.179
4. Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP40) + 0.184
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40) + 0.220
6. Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.239
7. Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.257
8. Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) + 0.294
9. Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) + 0.302
10. Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) + 0.373
Click here for the full results!