Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo snatched his fourth straight pole position today at the Sachsenring, the Spaniard earning the spot despite his Yamaha M1 blowing up on the front straight (with flames coming out of the side of the bike to add to the drama), coating turn one in oil and causing a crash that brought down Ben Spies and Randy de Puniet - an incident that brought out the red flag 25 minutes into the session.Spies emerged from the melee unscathed and return to the track, but de Puniet wasn't as fortunate as he struck Spies' bike and was taken to the medical center with what appeared to be a right-ankle injury. De Puniet was fifth at the time of the crash and ultimately dropped down the timesheets to seventh as others improved. Spies, meanwhile, struggled to 13th. According to Dorna, de Puniet's X-rays in the Clinica Mobile showed now broken bones and he is hopeful of racing tomorrow.Lorenzo's best lap was a 1:21.817 and it put him on pole, narrowly ahead of Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner's 1:21.841 with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa filling the front row and just .131 off Lorenzo's best."Since the new engine rule everyone has been starting to feel like these engines never have problems and it was honestly a surprise for me today when I came onto the straight and felt it stop," Lorenozo said. "It was so hot and there was oil on my feet so I had to go into the wall. I'm really sorry that Ben and Randy crashed and especially that Randy was slightly injured; it is good news that he will be able to race tomorrow. This pole position was very hard because Casey [Stoner] and Dani [Pedrosa] were so fast; I had to push at the maximum and ride really well. Well done to my team because we have improved so much since yesterday and now I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow."Row two will be led by Andrea Dovizioso on the second Repsol Honda, the Italian failing to crack into the 1:21s with his 1:22.263 just .132 of a second faster than Valentino Rossi. Rossi's best was a 1:22.395 and it put him fifth in his return to racing after breaking his lower right leg just six weeks ago at the Italian Grand Prix. Rossi is just .578 of a second off Lorenzo."I am really happy after this second day because I feel confident on the bike," Rossi said in a team release. "I have suffered more today because we've had two sessions instead of one and I have some pain and I'm more tired than yesterday, but I feel good and my movement is okay. Also the shoulder feels fine so it's definitely a positive return for me. Unfortunately today at the end we tried a small modification to improve the setting but it made it worse, so I think we lost one position for this. I don't think the front row was possible because Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa went under 1'22 and I don't think I could have done that today. For tomorrow of course there is a question mark but I hope to be able to finish; I think the podium will be difficult for me but top five would be a very good result.Hector Barbera had his best MotoGP qualifying performance of the season and he'll fill row two on the Paginas Amarallis Aspar Ducati.De Puniet will start from row three if healthy and he'll be joined there by San Carlo Honda's Marco Simoncelli and Pramac Racing's Aleix Espargaro.Marco Melandri rounded out the top 10.The trio of Americans didn't fare well today as Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards led the three by qualifying 12th. Fellow Texan Spies is 13th with Marlboro Ducati's Nicky Hayden down in 15th. Fortunately, Hayden is just 1.2 seconds behind in a closely knit field in Germany.

Final Qualifying

1.                  Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:21.817

2.                  Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:21.841

3.                  Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:21.948

4.                  Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:22.263

5.                  Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:22.395

6.                  Hector Barbera (Ducati) 1:22.454

7.                  Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1:22.610

8.                  Marco Melandri (Honda) 1:22.624

9.                  Aleix Espargaro (Ducati) 1:22.910

10.                  Marco Melandri (Honda) 1:22.91712. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:23.02613.Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:23.02815. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:23. 090

 

MotoGP Headlines

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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