Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies made it count today in a rain soaked Sachsenring qualifying, taking second on the grid for tomorrow’s race. The Texan faced treacherous conditions and heavy rain throughout the qualifying session, eventually finishing less than two tenths off pole after a thrilling closing few minutes saw an incredible number of first position changes by up to six riders.
Team mate Jorge Lorenzo was also heavily in the mix for the front row and one of the riders to briefly take the top spot. Despite still experiencing some pain in his ankle from last weekend’s crash Lorenzo was characteristically smooth on the waterlogged track. As the session wound up the rain eased, dropping the times at the top. The Championship leader eventually settled for fifth position on the second row, 0.585 seconds from pole.
Position : 2nd Time: 1’31.989 Laps: 18
“It’s been strange today, we’ve struggled in the rain a lot in the past, especially at this track in the last couple of years but I had a good feeling in the wet yesterday. I was honestly a bit lost in the last ten minutes of qualifying, my lap timer quit working so I didn’t know what times I was doing and what my splits were. I just rode off of what I thought was quick and saw P1 on my board a couple of times. In the end I just gave it some stick and hoped I would get on the front row! Great work by the guys to deliver a good bike for the conditions too.”
Position : 5th Time: 1’32.381 Laps: 28
“I feel much better every day, I can manage on the bike quite well but I’m still not 100%. We can do well tomorrow whatever the conditions I think. Qualifying was difficult today, we made a mistake with the tyre and did too may laps on it at the end of the practice. Second row is not so bad so let’s see. I’d like it to be dry but of course you can’t choose the weather!”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“P5 is not of course where we want to be but overall it’s not so bad. We missed a little bit of feeling in the front end but we did a lot of laps on the rain tyre at the end so lap times were good. Tomorrow will be dry I think so today’s settings are not so useful, we are ready for both eventualities though and Jorge will be there.”
Massimo Meregalli – Team Director
“At the end the weather was quite helpful today. We wasted the morning session but fortunately this afternoon was full wet. We managed to put together a good set up which Ben is really comfortable with and his pace is very fast. He still has something in his pocket to give so tomorrow should be good. Jorge did a good long run and we think he’s ready for the race. Let’s see what the weather brings us for tomorrow. The warm up will be important if it is dry.”