Francesco Bagnaia has continued his domination of the Sachsenring track by taking pole position at the German MotoGP.
“We did a great job today in these conditions, it’s very hot and tomorrow it will be even hotter,” said Italy’s Bagnaia on Saturday.
He will start Sunday’s race at the top of the grid with reigning world champion and current overall leader Fabio Quartararo of France in second.
This is the third pole position of the season for Ducati rider Bagnaia, who is fifth overall in the championship standings and 66 points behind Quartararo.
Bagnaia kept his cool as temperatures exceeded 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in the shade, soaring to 50 degrees on the track.
Frenchman Johann Zarco secured the third spot at the front of the grid for the 10th MotoGP race of the season.
Less than a tenth of a second separated the three fastest riders.
Feel ‘very confident’
“I’m very happy to be on the front row, our pace is pretty good, the only question is which tyre to use, but we are in a good position,” said Quartararo.
Spain’s Aleix Espargaro, currently second overall, Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio and Australia’s Jack Miller make up the grid’s second row.
Bagnaia has been in irresistible form all weekend and clocked a fastest time of one minute, 19.931 seconds in qualifying on Saturday.
The Italian set a new track record on Friday, then took turns with Spain’s Aleix Espargaro lowering it further on Saturday morning.
“I was surprised to start a weekend like this, but the good feeling grew from session to session and now I feel very comfortable,” Bagnaia said.
Before his arrival in Saxony, the Sachsenring track record had been held by Marc Marquez of Honda, who has won the German MotoGP every year it has held since 2013.
With the Spaniard sidelined after surgery on his arm, the absence of the six-time MotoGP world champion opens the door for Bagnaia.