SACHSENRING, Germany: World champion Francesco Bagnaia will start from pole position for the fourth time in seven races this season after topping the qualifying session for the German MotoGP on his Ducati.
The 26-year-old Italian will have compatriot Luca Marini (Ducati-VR46) and Australia's Jack Miller (KTM) completing the front row both for the sprint later Saturday and the race proper 24 hours later.
"It was a pretty difficult qualifying session," said Bagnaia.
"It was very easy to make an error or to have your fast lap voided due to a yellow flag."
Spain's Marc Marquez, who has won the race on all eight occasions he has contested it, illustrated how tricky the conditions were, due to the rain earlier on Saturday, as he fell several times on his Honda.
The 30-year-old six-time world MotoGP champion will start from seventh spot on the grid -- France's Fabio Quartararo who Bagnaia dethroned as world champion last year is a lowly 12th on his Yamaha.
Bagnaia tops the standings with 131 points, 21 clear of another Italian and Marini's team-mate Marco Bezzecchi -- who will start from fifth place on the second row of the grid. -- AFP