Casey Stoner admitted he was slightly fortunate to claim pole position for the German Grand Prix after a technical problem midway through qualifying put him on his back foot. The world champion was forced to pull off mid-session and saw Stefan Bradl knock him off provisional pole and he accepts he would've been stuck in second had the conditions not improved late on.
“It was actually a very difficult session. We started off well and then we switched to our number one bike with a completely different set up and that felt a lot better. On the first lap, I matched my best time I did on my second bike, then unfortunately on the second lap the engine gave up. We’re not too sure what happened, if it was something electrical or if some water got in there, but we’ll find out later. This put us on the back foot a little because as soon as we came back and got the tyres ready on the second bike, it started to rain hard again so we knew we wouldn’t be able to get a better lap time in those conditions. We decided to wait for later in the session as we knew we wouldn’t have much hope unless the conditions improved a little, and luckily they did. It ended up being a really good day for us and we’ll see what we’re capable of tomorrow”.
Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa will launch his challenge for a hat-trick of Sachsenring wind from third on the grid and the Spaniard was happy to finally achieve a positive result in such conditions.
“I’m very happy with this qualifying session. It was difficult, especially at the beginning as it was raining very hard and we had so much water on the asphalt, it was difficult to stop the bike spinning and aquaplaning. It was crucial to be ready at the end when the rain stopped because everybody was improving their lap times and in one lap you could be first or sixth. I’m very happy because in the past in these kind of sessions we didn’t get a good result. But this time, I was more confident every lap and we made it; I thought I got the pole in my last flying lap, but anyway to be at the front is key in Sachsenring. Yesterday we also had a good feeling in the dry, and it looks like we will have a dry race tomorrow, so it will be important to make the right choice on tyres and try the hard compound in the warm up to compare with the soft we tried on Friday”.