Alex Rins saw off the challenge of Luis Salom to claim his third pole position of the season at the Sachsenring. The Estrella Galicia rider hit the front fifteen minutes from the end and held on as Salom hit mechanical trouble.
Rins was the early pacesetter as he lowered the benchmark time through the 1:27s but Salom edged ahead by six thousandths of a second with his best lap of the session. However, Rins would strike back three minutes later and due to the misfortune of the championship leader, pole position would be secured.
With four minutes remaining, Salom was midway through a lap threatening to depose Rins from pole position but while sweeping through the waterfall corner, smoke started to pour from the factory KTM. Salom swiftly dived off the racetrack but his session was unquestionably over and a second engine failure, this time for the Mahindra of Luca Amato, put any improvements in doubt.
Jack Miller hadn’t read the script though and found himself inside Rins’ pole position time heading into the final sector of his last lap but as Miguel Oliveira and Maverick Vinales jockeyed for position in front of him, the Australian lost three tenths which put him back in fifth. Ironically, Oliveira was the main beneficiary as he held on to third ahead of home favourite Jonas Folger but Vinales was less lucky and fell to sixth.
Efren Vazquez will head row three on the second Mahindra with Romano Fenati lining up a season’s best eighth ahead of Jasper Iwema. Alex Marquez completes the top ten after failing to match his qualifying pace of Assen while John McPhee starts inside the top twenty after a solid performance on Racing Team Germany’s FTR Honda.
Danny Webb will not take part this weekend after picking up injuries last time out with his place taken by Frenchman Jules Danilo. The rookie will start last though after struggling for pace.