Marc Marquez's sensational qualifying record in Moto2 continued as the championship leader edged out Julian Simon in the final minute at the Sachsenring. Conditions steadily improved as the session wore on but the track remained wet from the earlier Moto3 and MotoGP sessions, allowing a number of riders to outperform their machinery.
The best of all came from Xavier Simeon on the Tech 3 Mistral 610. The Belgian rider swapped the fastest time with Anthony West and Gino Rea, two star riders in the wet, before taking a stranglehold on the session fifteen minutes in. At one stage, the Tech 3 squad were on target for a dream result as Bradley Smith slotted in behind his teammate in second midway through.
Matters took a turn for the worse with a quarter of an hour remaining as Smith crashed heavily at turn eight. The Briton was unhurt but his motorcycle was too damaged to continue and he was forced to watch the rest of the session from the sidelines, unable to defend his second position.
He was quickly bumped down to fourth as Marquez and the impressive Rea squeezed between the Tech 3s and the French squad lost pole position five minutes from time, Julian Simon deposing Simeon with a 1:34.548. The Avintia Blusens rider was chasing a first pole in 21 months but Marquez was in no mood to show sentiment, and denied him by four hundredths of a second on his final lap.
Simeon made a last-ditch attempt to regain pole but slid off into the same gravel trap his teammate had explored earlier on, opening the door for Mika Kallio to snatch third. Simeon will start fourth with Gino Rea a tremendous fifth and Thomas Luthi sixth.
Anthony West gave the QMMF Racing Team their best qualifying result of the year with seventh while Alex De Angelis pushed Bradley Smith back to ninth after his costly error. Championship contenders Andrea Iannone and Pol Espargaro will have work to do from tenth and seventeenth but Scott Redding is in even deeper trouble on the ninth row in 26th.