2021 Sachsenring MotoGP Qualifying Result: Surprise, Surprise

In the torrid heat at the Sachsenring and with so many headline acts in Q1, the action was quick to heat up and there were quite a few surprises on the cards, beginning with a power cut that delayed the start but built up the suspense. Once the action got underway, Fabio Quartararo flexed his muscles to lead after the first run and went on to improve his time at the second try. It was all going according to plan but Johann Zarco had other plans of his own and went even quicker to rob his compatriot of another Tissot watch. Zarco looked to improve his pole position time on the very next lap but crashed at turn 4, with the subsequent yellow flags impeding his rivals’ progress as well. Quartararo had to make do with second and missed out on pole by only one hundredth of a second but despite the French 1-2, the happiest man in pitlane was Aleix Espargaro, who gifts Aprilia their first front row start in the premier class in over two decades.

Jack Miller opted for a two-stop strategy and looked like he had the speed to challenge the French domination but a mistake on his final lap left him fourth, with the King of the Sachsenring breathing down his neck and three tenths off pole. Marc Marquez might not be in a grid spot that he’s familiar with at the Sachsenring but will be holding hopes of a podium starting from fifth on the grid. Miguel Oliveira will also be a threat from the back of the second row, while Jorge Martin did an amazing job to claim seventh on a pretty amazing day for the Pramac squad.

Pol Espargaro managed to escape Q1 and chasing Quartararo on his final run gave him a good marker on his way to eighth place, sharing third row with Honda colleague Takaaki Nakagami, who could have hoped for better than ninth, had he not crashed at turn 1 on his final flying lap. Pecco Bagnaia opens row four ahead of Alex Rins and Alex Marquez. The Suzukis looked like the favourites to escape Q1, but while Rins topped the session, Joan Mir struggled to match his teammate and a cancelled lap time for a yellow flag infringement dropped him all the way down to 17th on the grid, behind the class rookies. The rest of the unpleasant surprises were in Yamaha’s yard, where Franco Morbidelli crashed out at the final corner in the final minute of Q1 and had to settle for 18th, and an underwhelming Maverick Viñales had a disastrous session that saw him qualify on the last row of the grid. Thanks to Zarco’s surprise pole and a Q1 crash for Lorenzo Savadori the factory Yamaha team were spared from bookending the grid.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'20.236    
2 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'20.247 0.011 0.011
3 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'20.447 0.211 0.200
4 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'20.508 0.272 0.061
5 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'20.567 0.331 0.059
6 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'20.589 0.353 0.022
7 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 1'20.617 0.381 0.028
8 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 1'20.659 0.423 0.042
9 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'20.810 0.574 0.151
10 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'20.811 0.575 0.001
11 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'20.949 0.713 0.138
12 73 Alex Marquez Honda 1'21.135 0.899 0.186
    Q1 Results:        
Q2 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'20.644    
Q2 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 1'20.700 0.056 0.056
13 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'20.736 0.092 0.036
14 10 Luca Marini Ducati 1'20.864 0.220 0.128
15 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'20.953 0.309 0.089
16 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'20.972 0.328 0.019
17 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'21.014 0.370 0.042
18 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'21.091 0.447 0.077
19 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'21.137 0.493 0.046
20 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 1'21.154 0.510 0.017
21 12 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'21.165 0.521 0.011
22 32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'21.411 0.767 0.246
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Beautiful Italian gesturing by the ever beautiful Petrucci.

After all the recent bad press surrounding penalties this is the most important golden chance to put things right and not fine him...but something tells me he will come out of it worse than Bastianini.

How are they NOT going to penelize riders for coming to a near stop? Sure it was off line but that was moto 3 like...

I don't think there's a rule against that as long as you don't actually stop (bar an inability to continue).

What we will see in Moto3 is a big stick. The big stick will come out and bang Moto3 riders on the head until their behavior changes because their behavior is deemed to be an issue. When they start to behave themselves the big stick will go back in the cupboard. It wont come back out unless the situation gets out of hand again. No new rules needed. However, no doubt, a bunch of people will now take Binders black flag as a precedent and feel aggrieved that MotoGP riders aren't being black flagged too.

More importantly I checked the rules, Petrucci should be ok.

No signal of any kind may pass between a moving motorcycle and the rider’s team, or anyone connected with the motorcycle’s team, entrant, rider or Bastianini, except for the signals of the timekeeping transponder, lap trigger, GPS (as per Art., legible messages on a pit board, or body movements by the rider or team.

That's a different kind of signal.

I'm pretty sure riders have been penalized for offensive behavior before.

Never ! It does say Bastianini though :D It's the latest revision number of the rules...erm...updated 19th of June 2021...doesn't say who updated them though hmm

Aprilia front row start! Congrats.

The Ducati is interesting this weekend in particular. Friday, Zarco and Miller had a couple of sectors they had excelled in and a couple in which they struggled but they were opposite! Obviously this bike can do the business here. Rookie performance of Q goes to Martin. Fast kid, he is coming. 

Maverick, ouch! He returned to the garage at the end of FP 4 requesting a change in tire and crew chief. "How many are allocated for the weekend? Shall we try something besides the Galbusera and the hard?" Holy crap Vinales.

Mir as well, what the heck? And Morbidelli. Rins may have topped Q1, but when he came in he didn't look himself - in pain, hand shaking, trouble getting a glove off. He may struggle over race distance. 

The yellow flag ANYWHERE on the track cancelling everyone's lap...think that will stay here long? Lots of tows indeed (Bastiannini, wtf?). Not just Q1, the behavior in Q2 with 3 mins to go was egregious. Not just touring, which was done on odd lines, but a handful of riders nearly stopping on track?! Oliveira the worst offender - anyone else thinking it is RD time? I do.

Most benefit to Alex Marquez getting a personal FP session tutoring from Marc. It is cool seeing such comraderie at this level. (We have had so many siblings lately! Marc/Alex, Aleix/Pol, Vale/Luca AND Cal/Jack!). Off to watch Moto2 Q...


Sorry but those involved in that stupid " go slow " should either be starting from the back of the grid or the pit lane .

¿ harsh ? yes , but that sort of behaviour could so easily end up with somebody getting hurt and an example needs to be made now .

But nothing will happen , as so often , because " it will spoil the show " or cause revenue loses more likely - way too many decisions are made for financial reasons in sport these days , the Rossi Sepang incident was not the first example and boy it's not the last .

As always Money talks , b*llsh*t runs to keep up ...

A. Espargaro and the Aprilia folks - the embodiment of joy.

French one-two. Yes!

No Ducatis on the Mugello podium. Will there be any Hondas on the box tomorrow?

M. Marquez for the win...Oliviera, Quartararo, Miller and maybe even Zarco may have something to say about that. Ducatis look strong at a typically Ducati unfriendly track. Oliveira's fp4 pace looked stellar. And the orange bikes improved almost 1.5 seconds average per rider from fp1 to fp2. Maybe data sharing yields better results than the Honda philosophy of having four riders each on their own path unaware of anyone else's settings. Even the wife, who usually doesn't give a flippin burger about motogp, has expressed that a compromised and human looking M. Marquez makes for more exciting racing. We don't wish harm on anyone. But it is what it is.

Top 21 riders within .9 seconds. That's tight.

Hope RD does not penalize Petrucci's reaction to being blocked on a fast lap. Lots of hand gesturing and reacting going on out there. Lots of cruising and gamemenship too.


Suzi Q ? 11th and 17th! Alex "Text wrist" Rins six places closer to the front, but only 0.065 of a second difference, close! Passing is going to be a challenge. Even on the sweet handling Suzuki.

Maverick Viñales ? No idea! Worst qualifying result in six years. Never before in his MotoGp career has maverick been so far back on the grid. Well Mav may get a good start. OK Maverick isn't that far behind Franky Morbidelli or Valentino. Fabulous Q is on the pace. Yamaha will get some kind of result, I guess. Hopefully no "wardrobe malfunction" this race. Can Fabio invent a new way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again?

Congratulations Johann Zarco! Hope JZ5 can turn this pole into his long awaited 1st MotoGp win.

Congratulations Aleix Espargaro! Aprilia well done! Get Dovizioso to do more testing asap. Savadori not too far behind.

Is Marc Marquez sandbagging? Will the Marc win or crash? I'd prefer something in between, i.e. a solid result.

Four Ducatis on the first three rows! I think this means the big Duck can go around corners in 2021. Maybe if Ducati worked on the basics, rather than developing more gadjets than Batman, the project might progress faster.

Hahaha! You are cracking me up, Apical! But then again, the gadget path has gotten Ducati to where they are today. And Gigi is looking like a gadget genius. Of course, all that new-fangled stuff keeps Mike Webb and the other gadget inspectors plenty busy...

"And Gigi is looking like a gadget genius"

I heard a rumor that Dr. Robin Tuluie was involved with some of the Ducati trickery.

As some of you already know, Dr. Tuluie was behind the tuned mass damper which worked so well on the Renault F1 car that it was banned via the ( lame ) excuse that it was a "movable aerodynamic device".