With overtaking opportunities around the tight Sachsenring circuit extremely limited, Johann Zarco’s first MotoGP pole of the season could be crucial.
Qualifying for any MotoGP race is important, but Sachsenring presents unique challenges that not many other circuits on the calendar do.
The short straights and tight one-line nature mean turns 1, 12 and 13 are the only realistic passing opportunities.
Which is why Zarco’s pole could be vital in his quest for a first MotoGP win.
However, Zarco is not necessarily thinking about victory which he described as ‘optimistic’ following qualifying.
“Thinking about the victory right now is really optimistic because I still have a big question mark on the race pace. I did a big step from yesterday to this morning, so that’s a nice proof of good work with the team,” added Zarco.
“Then in the afternoon, I finished first in the FP4 but I changed the tyre at the end of the practice because with the used tyre I was struggling a lot, but it’s always helping to get information.
“I hope tomorrow to find even another step with the team. It’s difficult for us, but I think it’s also difficult for the others.
“Starting from pole will give me this advantage to have the chance; not to control the race, but to control a little bit my tyres and see if I can be first or not.”
Zarco’s qualifying was not without drama as he crashed at turn five immediately after jumping ahead of Fabio Quartararo.
Zarco was perfectly fine from the crash and also alluded to finding somewhat of a breakthrough regarding new tyre performance.
The 30 year-old said: “All okay. I’m pretty happy to be able to use the tyre at the best on the first lap. It’s giving you some tenths.
“This morning and at the beginning of the qualifying I was not able to use it, but on the last exit I could do it and then you can see immediately that the lap time is coming pretty good.
“Then, one lap remaining I was thinking to still push and see what I can do, confidence was there, but I got a bit too much leaning in turn five and I’ve lost the front. I saw that I could not hold it so I just tried to protect myself.”