Nakagami takes first pole since 2013

Takaaki Nakagami spoiled the fun for Johann Zarco on his birthday, beating the French rider to pole in Germany.

Picking a favourite for pole position as Qualifying for the Moto2™ World Championship began was almost impossible, one second splitting the top 22 riders during FP3. Most of the usual names were towards the top of the timesheets immediately, finding themselves the target of riders looking for a slipstream.

Just a round after his first ever victory, Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) continued to build his confidence as the Japanese rider took his first pole since 2013 with a 1’24.274. In Barcelona Nakagami achieved his first podium of 2016 and quickly followed it up with victory, the confidence from the two results pushing him forward in Germany. It’s his fourth pole in the Moto2™ class, his three previous all coming in 2013. Two of his three previous poles saw him go on to finish on the podium, could he make it two wins in row races?

Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport), who celebrated his 26th birthday on the day of Qualifying in Germany, was the man to beat for most of the session. A 1’24.514 on his 11th lap of the session would stand as the fastest time until Nakagami’s last lap. In typical Zarco style, he’s not worried about missing pole position and is confident his race pace will at least have him alongside Nakagami on Sunday. Although he was a little upset Nakagami didn't get him a birthday present.

Throughout the weekend Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) has steadily improved his pace and climbed higher and higher with each session. His progress continued in Qualifying as he secured third on the grid, 0.367s off pole. This is his fifth front row of the year and continues the pattern of taking to the front row in every second race. All but one of his front row starts have converted into podium finishes, Qatar the exception due to the jump start penalty.

Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) will begin the German GP in fourth ahead of Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS). Both the Italians have shown great pace at the Sachsenring during their previous visits and will be looking for their first wins in the intermediate class. Sachsenring has a habit of producing first time winners, the last three Moto2™ races being won by riders who had never won before.

Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Team), Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), Marcel Schrotter (AGR Team) and Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completed the top ten.

Sam Lowes was the first fall of the session, coming off at Turn 3 but able to immediately remount.

Danny Kent (Leopard Racing) was forced to withdraw from the German GP after injuring his ribs in a karting accident. The injury was aggravated while riding in FP3.

Complete times from the session can be viewed here.