Honda and Spain rider Marc Marquez is on pole at the Sachsenring, for the German MotoGP Grand Prix. The 20-year-old rookie has already made history this season, by becoming the youngest race winner in the category after taking the chequered flag at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas, back in April.
Two other Spaniards were not so fortunate though. Marquez's team-mate and championship leader, Dani Pedrosa, and defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo both missed qualifying, with injuries sustained over the weekend.
Yamaha have already confirmed the withdrawal of Lorenzo for this race and Pedrosa was expected to follow suit. However, the latest reports from Germany say the 27-year-old Catalan rider has been declared fit and will take part in the warm-up for the race.
Where to Watch Live
The race is scheduled to start at 12.30pm BST and live coverage is on BBC Two. Real-time internet updates will be available on the sport's official website.
The 3.671km Sachsenring circuit has 13 corners. The circuit record belongs to Pedrosa, who posted 1:21.846 in 2011. However, the fastest recorded lap is actually Casey Stoner's 2008 pole lap of 1:21.067, recorded on a Ducati; Marquez's pole time this year is 1:21.311.
The absence of Lorenzo and the possible absence of Pedrosa (depending on a medical evaluation after the warm-up session) should open the door for former world champion Valentino Rossi and rising young British rider Cal Crutchlow. The pair starts third and second on the grid respectively, with only 0.182s separating the top three.
Local favourite Stefan Bradl was fastest during second practice and second in fourth practice but, judging by their times so far, Rossi and the Spanish duo of Marquez and Pedrosa are the men to beat.
Pedrosa's fortunes took a major blow early on Saturday though, when he crashed on the exit of the first corner. Like Lorenzo, he injured his collarbone. However, initial tests revealed no bones were broken and he may still race later today.
Pedrosa leads Lorenzo by nine points, with Marquez and Crutchlow third and fourth. Rossi is fifth in the standings, albeit 51 points off the pace. If neither of the top two race on Sunday, it presents the chasing trio an excellent opportunity to close the gap at the top of the championship table, with well over half the season still to come.
Top 10 Qualifying Times from Sachsenring:
- Marc Marquez (Spa) Repsol Honda 1:21.311
- Cal Crutchlow (GB) Tech 3 Yamaha 1:21.434
- Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 1:21.493
- Stefan Bradl (Ger) LCR Honda 1:21.862
- Aleix Espargaro (Spa) Aspar ART 1:21.887
- Nicky Hayden (US) Ducati 1:22.157
- Bradley Smith (GB) Tech 3 Yamaha 1:22.297
- Alvaro Bautista (Spa) Gresini Honda 1:22.484
- Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Ducati 1:22.561
- Claudio Corti (Ita) FTR Kawasaki 1:23.059
For more times, click here.