moto3 / Locatelli within touching distance of pole in Germany
The Italian of the Leopard Racing team had his best ever qualifying performance, Quartararo and Mir clinching their teeth to get on the fourth and sixth rows.
Saturday was a day of great results in Qualifying at the the German GP. With the sun finally shinning on the 3.7 kilometres of the Sachsenring, the scene was set for the ninth Qualifying session of the 2016 season. The three riders of the Leopard Racing team gave their maximum in the afternoon session to secure the best possible spot on the grid.
Despite ideal weather conditions, the music did not change for the best of the ‘triple force’ of the Leopard Racing team, Andrea Locatelli once again leading the way. The Italian showed his speed during the first two sessions on Friday and confirmed his great feeling during the useful FP3 session. He gained more confidence in braking and assessed his race pace with used tyres. In the afternoon Qualifying session, ‘Loka’ was able to hit a 1’27.448 which earned him his first front row with Leopard Racing and the best result of his career so far!
Fabio Quartararo hasn’t had the easiest of weekends but he tried to shake off the ill feelings from his crash at Turn 7 yesterday. In the morning he was slowed by a number of small issues and was unable to show his true potential during FP3. The talent from Nice did not lose his Nerve and drew on his undeniable talent, ending Qualifying 12th with a solid 1’27.990.
Joan Mir did well to close the gap to the front of the class. Thanks to work done by his crew to change the geometry of the frame, the rookie managed the 18th fastest lap with a time of 1’29.360 which sees him close the sixth row of the grid. One thing is for sure, Mir loves a fight and is ready to attack on Sunday.
Riders will take to the track at 08:40 local time (GMT +2) on Sunday for 20 minutes of Warm Up. Then at 11:00 the lights go out for the ninth round of the 2016 World Championship.
#55 Andrea Locatelli – 2nd (1’27.448):
“I am very satisfied with the second place and above all because at the start of this weekend we were running well and with a good rhythm. This morning I did a long time with the same tyre, to check my race pace. I can turn strong; I am satisfied with the work. My time has come pushing like crazy and passing the riders in front of me. Tomorrow, especially if it’s sunny, I’m sure I can have a good race.”
#20 Fabio Quartararo – 12th (1’27.990):
“Unfortunately in FP3 I could not run a lot because I had a gearbox problem. Also in qualifying the finger of my left hand started to ache. Shame because on my last timed lap a rider crashed in front of me; we will see tomorrow in warm up if I can hold out for the 27 laps.”
#36 Joan MIR – 18th (1’28.360):
“Today I was better on the bike, but in qualifying I could not express myself as I wanted. Tomorrow I will have to start well and give my best in the first corners to remain attached to the front group, which surely will be formed by many riders.”
Moto3™ Starting Grid – Motorrad Gran Prix Deutschland 2016:
1 – Enea Bastianini / ITA / Gresini Racing / Honda / 1’27.129
2 – Andrea LOCATELLI / ITA / Leopard Racing / KTM / 1’27.448
3 – Aron Canet / SPA / Estrella Galicia 0,0 / Honda / 1’27.501
12 – Fabio QUARTARARO / FRA / Leopard Racing / KTM / 1’27.990
18 – Joan MIR / SPA / Leopard Racing / KTM / 1’28.360
Moto3™ Schedule (Local Time, GMT +2):
Sunday, 17 July:
08:40-09:00 – WarmUp
11:00 (27 Laps) – Race
Photo credit: Leopard Racing