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Marquez, second in Germany despite a crash
World Championship leader completes first day at Sachsenring with strong times, albeit with a highside in the first session. Dani Pedrosa, tenth, also suffers a crash.
The ninth round of the World Championship has begun with a good feeling for Marc Marquez, who was able to overcome a crash early in the day to set the second fastest time of Friday -behind Aleix Espargaro. Dani Pedrosa also went down halfway through the second session, concluding in tenth place and half a second off the top.
After completing just 4 laps, Marc Marquez was flung from his Honda at Turn 2 of the Sachsenring circuit in a spectacular highside. Despite the heavy fall, the current MotoGP World Championship leader was able to return to the pits and continue with his work in the first session, finishing sixth. Lowering his best time by 6 tenths, he led the way for most of the afternoon runout, concluding with a 1'22.158 time on the sixth of 20 laps that placed him second overall.
Dani Pedrosa ended the day tenth. Eighth in the morning session, the Repsol Honda joined his teammate in suffering a crash -his coming on the fifth lap of the second session. He lost the front under braking at Turn 12, but completed a further 18 laps. He could not, however, best his time from his third lap, and his 1'22.589 top time as half a second off that of Espargaro.
With data gathered today, tomorrow Marquez and Pedrosa will continue setting up their Honda in the last two practice sessions, before the qualifying session that will decide the starting grid for Sunday's final race before the summer break.
Marc Marquez 2nd 1:22.158 37 laps 136 km
"The day went very well, because even though I crashed I was fortunate not to get injured, but the impact was hard. The crash was a little strange, but when we looked at the telemetry later on we understood why it happened. It's a long left turn in second gear on the throttle the whole time, and I accidentally touched the gear shift lever with the toe of my boot. This engaged another gear and as I was leant so far over - and had the gas open - the rear wheel slid out and I was thrown off. The afternoon session was really good and I felt comfortable on the bike again. l was able to put in a good lap, but most importantly I kept up a strong pace".
Dani Pedrosa 10th 1:22.589 40 laps 147 km
"We were fortunate to have two dry sessions to test out the track today, it went pretty well and I had a good feeling, but I also suffered a crash. During the two practices I had problems with the brakes, and it was precisely at a braking point that I pushed too hard and crashed. However, I was able to go out again with another bike and continue riding through to the end of the afternoon session".
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi had a solid start to the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland race weekend despite slightly threatening weather conditions.
Both riders were quick to find their rhythm at the challenging German circuit during the morning free practice session. Topping the standings multiple times throughout the session, Jorge Lorenzo finished as leading factory bike in second place, only 0.253 from first. Teammate Valentino Rossi was not far behind in third place, 0.296 seconds from the front.
Lorenzo continued his form during FP2. The afternoon session was shortly interrupted by spots of rain, but the rack was quick to dry with action resuming. The Spaniard was soon back out on the track and managed to keep his times consistent within the 1'22's, to eventually finish third in the combined times, 0.327 from the front.
Rossi used the second session to find a set-up that suits the harder front tyres. He was not able to improve on his time from the morning session and ended the first day of practice in sixth position overall, 0.425 from first.
99 Jorge Lorenzo
3rd / 1'22.368 / 23 laps
"It went quite well today. We were always within the top three. Today the bike is working well. It's more stable than it was in Montmeló and in Assen, so in pace I'm quite good and also the braking is good. We just need to improve some small details to fight for first row tomorrow. Also, physically I am better than ever, so I feel strong."
46 Valentino Rossi
6th / 1'22.466 / 21 laps
"It's a shame that I couldn't improve on my time from this morning, because this morning was a good practice for me. I was in the third position and I felt very good with the bike, but this afternoon with the higher temperature we had to use the harder tyre on the front and we don't have the right setting to use it. The bike was more difficult to turn and had understeer. I suffered a lot and I wasn't fast enough. I'm a little bit worried, especially because for tomorrow morning we have to improve and understand the problem. Tomorrow will be an important day, especially in the afternoon. We have to try to stay in the top position. We have to work with the team and improve the setting for the harder tyres. Also, this weekend I have the new exhaust with two pipes. I like it, it's not a big difference but from the bottom it's more smooth so we can work on the pipe and try to improve."
Aleix Espargaro tops tightly-packed field in Sachsenring Friday practice
Round 9: German Grand Prix - Free Practice 1&2
Sachsenring, Friday July 11 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 17-20°C; Track 30-32°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 23-24°C; Track 40-44°C (Bridgestone measurement)
For the second successive Grand Prix Aleix Espargaro was the quickest rider on the opening day of practice, as the NGM Forward Racing rider set a rapid lap time of 1'22.041 at Sachsenring in Free Practice Two.
Using the combination of the soft compound front and rear slicks, Espargaro set the day's quickest time on his very last lap to finish 0.117 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez who was second quickest today. Third quickest on the first day of action in Germany was Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo with a best time of 1'22.368. Sachsenring is the shortest circuit in MotoGP? and this often results in a very competitive field and today was no exception, with the top seventeen riders setting personal best lap times within one second of each other.
The first two practice sessions of the race weekend took place in generally fine conditions, although a short rain shower in FP2 resulted in most of the field momentarily returning to their garages. Track temperatures in the afternoon practice session reached a peak of 44°C, so the light rain didn't affect grip levels and the riders were able to increase their pace after the short interruption. As temperatures rose in the afternoon, the most popular front option was the hard compound slick as it provides maximum stability in the numerous, long-radius corners at Sachsenring. For the rear tyre, the softer slick options were the most widely used for both the Factory and Open-class riders, but evaluation of the harder rear slick options yielded some positive results. Further evaluation of all rear slick options will take place in tomorrow's FP4 session, as the Sachsenring is one of the most brutal for rear tyres and an optimal bike setup and tyre choice is a key factor in achieving a good race result.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
"Sachsenring is one of those circuits where a good setup that uses the tyres well is very important, so thanks to the fine weather the riders were able to test a few different tyre combinations today. This is the first time we've brought our medium compound front slick to Sachsenring, and the feedback we received from the riders that tried it is that it's working well, although the hard compound front slick is still the preferred option here. For the rear tyre both the softer and harder options have their own distinct advantages at this track, and the riders will spend more time evaluating their options tomorrow to see what is the better choice for them. We often see many riders close together on lap times at this circuit, but to see the top seventeen riders within one second of each other is quite impressive and I hope this level of competitiveness continues over the rest of the weekend."
Challenging Start for AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing on Day One at Sachsenring
Circuit Length: 3.671 m
Bike # 5 - Johann Zarco
FP1: P8; 1'26.049 - 13 laps
FP2: P14; 1'26.130 -24 laps
Bike # 2 - Josh Herrin
FP1: P30; 1'27.714 - 24 laps
FP2: P30; 1'27.240 - 24 laps
FP1: (Conditions) Dry; (air temp) 21°, (track temp) 32°
FP2: (Conditions) Dry; (air temp) 25°, (track temp) 39°
The German Grand Prix saw a challenging day one for the AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing Team.
After a strong start an unfortunate crash in FP1 hampered Johann Zarco's chance to improve his time as he was forced to return to the box and sit out of the remainder of the session. Heading back out for FP2 the Frenchman worked hard to pick up the pace but struggled with his feeling on the #5 bike.
Teammate Josh Herrin focused on getting to grips with the trying layout of the 3.671 m circuit, putting in the laps and making steady progress throughout.
#5 Johann Zarco: "I'm not so happy about this first day because I could not improve the second exit. I had a crash in the morning session and for sure this was not the best for the confidence, but this is a very technical track and it's not easy to set the bike.
"I'm a little bit frustrated at the moment but the most important day is Sunday and also to get a good qualifying position tomorrow.
"I feel better on the track this year and I can understand compared to the year before what my problem was and which way we need to go to be fast here, so I have no doubt for this. I just hope my feeling on the bike will improve and I will not be on the crash limit to do the lap time, so we will see tomorrow."
#2 Josh Herrin: "The track is definitely harder to learn compared to the others that we have been to, but we were closer than normal in the second session, so I am pleased with that. On the last lap in FP2 I know I would have done a high 1m26s but I made a mistake in the last segment. My ideal time was 1m26.6s which would have put us around P23. Considering this I'm happy with how today went.
"Tomorrow we just have a couple of little things which will be important to work on, so I'm looking forward to getting back out there. I'm really enjoying the track, it's a lot of fun and I like the elevation change. It is difficult but at the same time it's great to ride."
LOCAL HERO BRADL SETS THE 4th LAP TIME ON DAY ONE AT SACHSENRING
Sachsenring, 11 July: LCR Honda MotoGP's Stefan Bradl started his home race weekend with a productive 4th place (1'22.430) at the end of day one at partially sunny Sachsenring circuit. The German, who has high expectations ahead his home crowd, found his pace already in the morning session and continued to fine-tune his RC213V also in the afternoon session having special consideration for the tyres choice.
Stefan: "Well... it was a pretty good day for us and the 4th place is a good beginning at my home GP. We have tried many things including the tyres because we had many options and we are not sure about the race tyre yet. The situation with the front tyre is a bit critical because we have a soft option and a hard option but basically the medium is the best at the moment. Anyway it seems that when the weather is good we can use the harder spec. so let's keep our fingers crossed for a sunny race. At the end we tried some adjustments to find more stability in the front and we took the right direction so I am looking forward to tomorrow because our pace is okay and we can qualify in the top five".
First day of practice at the Sachsenring circuit
First day of practice at the Sachsenring circuit
The first day of practice starts in the right way for both Pramac Racing Team riders, Andrea Iannone and Yonny Hernandez finished the FP1 in the top ten respectively with the ninth and tenth position. In FP2 Iannone earned other positions while Yonny was not far from the tenth fastest time.
Andrea Iannone and his team take full advantage of the time available on track. Despite the difficulties encountered during riding due to lack of grip in both distance and acceleration, Andrea gained position, achieving the sixth position with a lap time of 1'22.565 which allowed him to be the first Ducati.
The first seventeen riders are within a second and Yonny Hernandez is just a little more than a tenth of a second from the coveted top-ten position, precisely in twelfth place with a time of 1'22.724. The EnergyT.I. rider was unable to improve from the first free practice session his time lap by lap, ending the day positively. The team is focused on doing the little leap forward that will allow Yonny to gain direct access to the QP2.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"I'm glad for the sixth best lap time. It's hard to make the bike turn faster because the track is very narrow and when I turn the throttle the bike begins to slide. With the guys we're working hard to try to stay in the top five riders even if they are very fast, we'll do our best!"
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I am very happy to be close to the top ten lap and not too far from the official Ducati bikes. I'm pretty close to the top 10, which is my primary goal, tomorrow I will try to directly access QP2. We worked well on the bike and this gives me a lot of confidence. I'm also working on tire life because the thirty laps of the race are a lot."
Dovizioso 9th, Crutchlow 13th in Friday's free practice for German GP at Sachsenring
Round 9 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship got underway today at the Sachsenring circuit in the former East Germany, with the first two sessions of free practice action. On the German track, one of the shortest and slowest on the calendar, Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow set ninth and thirteenth quickest times respectively.
Dovizioso worked well with his team crew today and the Italian already has quite a clear idea regarding the choice of race tyre for this track, even though the weather has to be factored into consideration, seeing as there is a slight chance of rain on Sunday.
Team-mate Crutchlow, who was just two-tenths of a second away from Andrea's time, was a bit more cautious in his approach. The rider from Coventry has not yet been able to find an optimal set-up to tackle the German weekend, and in addition is also suffering with a back problem, which should however not affect his performance in the race.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) - 9th (1'22.576)
"We did a good session, working both with the hard and the soft tyre. For us it's quite difficult to use the hard tyre because we struggle to get the bike to turn, and we have to spend a lot of time in lean angle where we don't have much grip. The soft tyre on the other hand gives us the possibility to manage the bike better and in fact we were able to constantly set some good times towards the end of the session. In my opinion we are in line with the times that we expected and quite close to the front, and so the session was positive for this reason. For sure we still have to improve because for us lapping in these times is quite tiring."
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) - 13th (1'22.757)
"As was to be expected today, the Ducati bikes seem to be struggling with understeer, but we are trying hard to resolve the problem. Today me and the guys tried a few different settings but they didn't give the results we hoped for. We'll check the data tonight and see what we can do for tomorrow. My main concern at the moment is that I probably have a trapped nerve in the bottom of my back. I woke up this morning with a pain, I'm unable to walk very well, but on the bike actually it's not so bad and is of little hindrance."