Sachsenring, Germany

Sachsenring Sunday Morning Update

After two nights and one day of rain, varying between the torrential and the merely steady, the sun is almost out here at the Sachsenring. Despite the weather, the crowds are swelling, leaving a trail of thick red Saxon mud everywhere they go. The weather forecast is good, for the 125s and 250s at least, but showers are predicted for later in the afternoon. By the look of the radar predictions, the rain could arrive just in time for the start of the MotoGP race.

Valentino Rossi might not be so unhappy if that were to happen, as the Fiat Yamaha man was well off the pace during morning warm up, and not looking particularly happy. The opposite is true for Dani Pedrosa, as the diminutive Spaniard was very fast this morning, but less happy in yesterday's pouring rain. Casey Stoner is happy either way, as he is more worried about his endurance than the track conditions. 

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2009 Sachsenring MotoGP Qualifying Practice Report

Leaden skies over the Sachsenring

Qualifying at the Sachsenring was a thoroughly wet affair. The track had been soaked all afternoon and rain continuing to fall throughout the session, coming and going in intensity. And so everyone set about finding a wet setup, given the entirely plausible prospect of rain spoiling the race tomorrow. Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi swapped the lead in the early part of the session, the times edging towards the 1'34 marker, but with just 19 minutes of the session gone, Gresini's Alex de Angelis confirmed his strong form at the German track by taking the top spot.

De Angelis soon had another Honda take the lead from him, Randy de Puniet taking provisional pole, but only for the briefest possible time. De Angelis was following de Puniet round the track, and was straight back on pole.

A couple of minutes later, Casey Stoner got involved once again, and after briefly ceding pole to Jorge Lorenzo, the Australian cracked into the 1'33s, taking provisional pole with a lap of 1'33.759. His time would stand until the halfway mark, when Lorenzo started showing an interest once again, the Spaniard putting in a string of fast laps. At first, Lorenzo merely chipped away at the Australian's time, but within a couple of laps Lorenzo was faster, then taking a big chunk out of Stoner with a lap of 1'33.355.

With a quarter of the session left, a couple of remarkable things started to happen. The first was that Valentino Rossi took over pole from his team mate, slicing 5/100ths off Lorenzo's time. The second was that the rain was starting to make the track treacherous, and riders were starting to tumble like flies. 

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Anatomy Of A Crash - Mike di Meglio's Crash During 250cc Qualifying Practice

Always wanted to see how a crash happens? Ace shooter Scott Jones was standing in just the right spot when Mike di Meglio went down in front of him, and caught it all on digital film.

Too late to save it on the knee

Bike is going ...

Better let go now ...

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2009 Sachsenring 250cc Qualifying Practice Result - Favorites Come Through In Final Minutes

Results and summary of 250cc qualifying practice:

Marco Simoncelli will start from pole for tomorrow's 250cc German Grand Prix. The Italian was quickly up to speed, taking over the pole from a surprising Karel Abraham, the Czech rider impressing in the rain. After holding on at the top of the timesheets for most of the session, Abraham's hopes of a front row start were dashed in the dying seconds, after first Hector Barbera, then Alvaro Bautista and Hiroshi Aoyama dived under Abraham's mark. 

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2009 Sachsenring MotoGP Qualifying Practice Result - Last Ditch Pole Amid Crash-Strewn Session

Results and summary for the MotoGP qualifying practice session:

Valentino Rossi put in a last-gasp flying lap to take a dominant pole at the Sachsenring, dislodging his Fiat Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo. The session was dominated by the rain, and by the crashes it caused, with Toni Elias, Alex de Angelis, Niccolo Canepa, Marco Melandri, Randy de Puniet and Nicky Hayden all hitting the ground, almost all of them in the section around Turn 6, which had become treacherous in the rain.

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2009 Sachsenring 250cc FP2 Result - Abraham Surprise Leader Of Another Soaking Session

Karel Abraham was the surprise leader at the end of the second session of free practice for the 250cc class. But the Czech rider's position was largely a result of good timing, Abraham getting out and putting in a fast lap just before the rain came. The rain was so heavy that it left the timesheets largely unchanged, though Marco Simoncelli put in a good string of laps in the wet to climb up to 3rd. The wet weather practice will be very useful to the field, as the rain is expected to continue during qualifying this afternoon.

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