Oscar Gutierrez put in two brilliant laps at the end of Qualifying to take Pole Position from Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup points leader Bo Bendsneyder. While the 16-year-old flying Dutchman is looking for his fifth victory in a row the 15-year-old Spaniard is seeking his first.
Makar Yurchenko, the 16-year-old Russian recorded exactly the same qualifying time as Fabio Di Giannantonio but the 16-year-old Italian takes third on the grid thanks to the fact that his second best time was faster.
After a string of three podium places in the first four races of the season, Gutierrez has only one way to go. "I want to stop Bo getting his fifth win," exclaimed the ever cheerful native of Santa María de Palautordera near Barcelona. "My first pole! I really can't believe it. That was such a great session, on the second to last lap I was hitting the rev limiter through one corner so went a gear higher on the last lap and it worked perfectly!"
"The bike is great, we changed it a little after the first session but after that it has been just great. I couldn't put in a lot of fast laps in the qualifying because so many riders were waiting for a tow but then I found some space when I needed to at the end. Now I can't wait for the race," concluded Gutierrez.
No easy ride
Bendsneyder missed last year's German GP through injury and had only a bit of experience from four years ago to call on for track knowledge. "It was a bit different at first but after some laps I knew the track and the lines. We had a bit of chatter early on but some adjustment sorted that out and the bike is good."
"Oscar was just faster today, that is fair enough," he admitted with his great smile. "I was not taking it easy, I was pushing and going for a front row start. That is what I have so I'm not unhappy about that, I am sure we are going to have a great race."
Though they tied on time, Di Giannantonio and Yurchenko felt very differently about qualifying. "Not good," said the Italian. "Fantastic!" enthused the Russian who has taken big steps forward this season after injury disrupted 2014. "That was such great fun, when my dad hung out the board saying I was third fastest I couldn't believe it, I had to look three times to make sure," bubbled Yurchenko.
"Especially after Free Practice 2 when I wasn't happy with the bike and came into the pits twice, I was only 19th in that session. Then Santi (suspension engineer Santiago Morralla) came up with some magic and the bike was just great for qualifying. I have never ridden here before but I love it," enthused the Saint Petersburg native.
Of course Di Giannantonio has a different perspective having finished second in the last three races. "No it was very bad. I really love this track, it is so much fun but the bike is just doing whatever it wants, I didn't know what I was doing with it."
"We changed a lot of settings today but it still isn't right and honestly we don't know why. I am not sure what we will do for a race setting, probably leave it as it was for qualifying but I don't know, I will really have to think about it."
This weekend's Rookies Cup races can be seen live on www.redbull.tv and on TV stations around the world. Race 1 is at 16.30 CET on Saturday and Race 2 is on Sunday at 15.30, the show starts 10 minutes before the race.