Here they are:
Marquez reigns over Rins, Quartararo menacing on Friday
The rookie lost out on a final push to dethrone the King of the Ring
Friday, 05 July 2019
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) topped the timesheets on Day 1 of the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, but the reigning Champion had some competition at the venue he’s reigned nine times in a row. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was second quickest, but Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) stole a few headlines in both sessions. The French rookie was fastest in FP1, and in the latter stages of the day he was denied the chance to improve his lap first as he got held up by teammate Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and second as he caught Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) at the end of his final push. Does the rookie sensation have more in the tank for Saturday?
Conditions were warmer in the afternoon and almost the entire premier class field were able to improve their FP1 times within ten minutes of FP2 on a day of good weather in Germany – sometimes easier said than done – and two action-packed sessions, including 66 degrees of lean for Marquez and Quartararo’s determination to try and dethrone the king of the Sachsenring didn’t disappoint. And although the Frenchman didn’t manage that in the end, Quartararo’s rookie run of form in recent sessions is akin only to Marquez’ speed in 2013 – with the rookie now in the top three for 16 sessions in a row; a good omen for the rest of the weekend.
Assen winner Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), who finished on the podium here last season, was the man in P4 after the first day and just over a tenth off Quartararo, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) next up to complete the top five; the Spaniard putting in another stunner of a performance for Austrian factory KTM.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was P6 despite struggling through the pain barrier after a cycling mishap, just ahead of the fastest Ducati on Day 1: Jack Miller (Pramac Racing). Miller led a Borgo Panigale 7-8-9 as he headed Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) by half a tenth, with Petrucci’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso only a further 0.005 in arrears. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completed the top ten on Friday and therefore currently holds the last of the provisional places in Q2. The ‘Doctor’ was also in the top three in the morning.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was an infinitesimal 0.005 off that fastest ten, and he’ll be the first pushing to try and crack it on Saturday morning in FP3, ahead of Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), rookie Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and home hero Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team), who is standing in for the injured Jorge Lorenzo. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) completed the fastest fifteen.
It was a day with low rates of attrition and only Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) suffered a crash, the Italian going down in FP1. He missed FP2 as he headed for a check up in Chemnitz in the afternoon, rider ok.
That’s it from Day 1! The top ten after FP3 will go through to Q2, and that final chance to move up the timesheets starts at 9:55 (GMT+2) on Saturday morning at the Sachsenring. Does Quartararo have an ace up his sleeve? Can Marquez move the benchmark once again? Qualifying begins at 14:10 to decide the grid.
1 – Marc Marquez (SPA – Honda) 1:20.705
2 – Alex Rins (SPA – Suzuki) +0.341
3 – Fabio Quartararo* (FRA – Yamaha) +0.360
4 – Maverick Viñales (SPA – Yamaha) +0.488
5 – Pol Espargaro (SPA – KTM) +0.560
Marquez in control on Friday in Germany, Bradl competitive at home
An advantage of over 0.3s saw Marc Marquez lead the MotoGP field on the opening day of the German GP as Stefan Bradl made constant improvements.
A cloudless day welcomed the MotoGP World Championship to the 3.7km long Sachsenring circuit for round nine of the 2019 season. The Repsol Honda Team are eager for a strong result this weekend ahead of the summer break.
Immediately on the pace, Marc Marquez produced a consistent first day at the German Grand Prix. Hardly leaving the top two positions, the reigning World Champion ended the opening day of practice with a 1’20.705 in first place on the combined times. With a total of 50 laps completed across the two sessions, Marquez and the team were able to collect a good amount of information ahead of Saturday and Sunday running. Comfortably in the top ten, Marquez and his Repsol Honda Team are pleased with the progress made on Friday.
Stefan Bradl spent the opening day of practice adjusting the Repsol Honda Team RC213V to both himself and the Sachsenring circuit. Finishing FP1 in 17th, the home hero improved his time by over a second to ultimately end Friday in 14th. Continued improvement remains Bradl’s objective for Saturday as he pushes for a place in Q2.
Competition was tight at the top with only one second dividing the top 15 riders as the day came to a close. On track action resumes with Free Practice 3 tomorrow, Saturday July 06, at 09:55 local time.
“We started today well, from the first run I felt good on the bike. Today we were able to try two different bikes to understand some things as well trying all the tyres available. It was a busy day but tomorrow we need to keep working even if we have the best pace now, the others aren’t as far as it seems. We need to keep working in this way, analyse everything and shape our plan.”
“It has been great to work with the Repsol Honda Team so far, the level of everyone is very high and we are able to all work efficiently and well today. I’m pleased with how we have started as we aren’t so far from the top guys and the times are very close so even a small gain can move you a lot on the time sheets. Tomorrow we will keep pushing and I think we can aim for the top ten.”
ALEIX FIVE THOUSANDTHS FROM THE TOP TEN
ANDREA ALSO GROWING IN CONFIDENCE WITH HIS APRILIA AND AIMING FOR Q2
It was a rather positive first day of practice for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini on the German Sachsenring, in preparation for the GP on Sunday.
Aleix Espargaró – who is still suffering due to the two fractures to his left leg in the accident in Barcelona and despite encountering a bit of traffic on the track – finished the combined standings with the eleventh best time (1’21.543) just five thousandths from a top-ten spot. Andrea also showed his stuff, taking eighth in the morning session and then – improving up to a time of 1’21.785 – he finished just 2 tenths of a second behind tenth place.
There are still some fine-tuning steps both riders need to test on the RS-GP tomorrow, but both are coming away from this Friday with good sensations and rather confident in their chances of going through to Q2 in the decisive sessions.
“Physically I feel a bit better than in Assen, but on this track, with a lot of left-handers, my ligament continues to suffer. I think that the situation will improve throughout the weekend. I don’t like taking painkillers, so I’ll try to limit them to the minimum. In terms of pace, I did two good sessions. I am riding better than last week. Given the characteristics of the track, working well in preparation for the race is essential. There is a lot of spinning and the tyres need to be managed as best as possible. On my flying lap in FP2 I ran into a bit of traffic. In the end, I missed the top 10 by 5 thousandths, but even the top six spots are just a few tenths off, so I am optimistic.”
“Overall, the sensations are good. There are still some details on the bike that need improving. For example, we need to find more grip at maximum lean angle and we are not fast going into turns. Given the gaps and the feeling I am finding, tomorrow we’ll be able to take a shot and going through to Q2. It is a reasonable target. As for the tyres, there seems to be a significant drop in performance for all the options, so they will play a fundamental role in the race on Sunday.”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team duo Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli started their German GP weekend in fine form with positive pace and boxes ticked as the pair prepared for Sunday’s race at the Sachsenring.
Quartararo ended the day third overall despite encountering slower riders during his FP2 time attack, while Morbidelli worked through his plan of work to finish 12th.
Quartararo got his weekend in Germany off to the best possible start in the morning’s session, deposing Marc Marquez to second in the final seconds of the session, ending FP1 0.074secs ahead of his Spanish rival. Morbidelli worked on his race pace, evaluating various set-up changes before coming home in 13th.
The Frenchman’s form continued into the afternoon’s FP2 session, with Quartararo looking set to end the day even stronger until he caught slower riders on his fastest laps of the day, forcing him to settle for third place. His Italian-Brazilian team-mate continued with his work from the morning to ensure he’s in the best possible shape for Sunday’s 30-lap duel around the tight and twisty circuit.
The PETRONAS Yamaha SRT duo will have another two sessions of free practice tomorrow before the fight for pole position starts at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm Malaysian time).
Show more images
“We’ve got decent pace with used tyres, but I wasn’t able to improve as much as we expected with new tyres, so that’s where our focus is, especially to ensure that I go straight to Q2. My ideal lap time was well inside the top ten, so I’m happy that we’ll be able to put it all together in FP3. We are looking for a little bit more race pace, but overall I’m feeling confident heading to qualifying.”
“It was a positive day for us, because we were able to try all the tyre compounds and we’re good with all of them. We didn’t really push for a lap time with the soft tyre, but we know we’re really strong with the medium and hard. My arm is feeling good. It’s a special track with so many left-hand corners, so for my physical condition, it’s one of the most favourable configurations. My flying lap was a little bit interrupted, but I’m still very happy because although it’s not one of my favourite tracks, we’re feeling strong.”
Just a few days after a superb win in Assen, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team resumed the action at the Sachsenring circuit today. Despite tyre degradation and grip issues, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi showed an encouraging pace in FP1 and continued to up their speed in FP2, finishing in fourth and tenth place respectively in the combined free practice timesheets.
Still elated about last Sunday‘s victory, Viñales showed he was able to find a good pace right from the start of the German round. He needed little time to adjust to the Sachsenring lay-out, showing steady rhythm as he worked on the base setting. He clocked a 1‘22.251s half-way through and held fourth position for a long time. However, as the Assen-winner didn‘t put in a hot lap in the final stages, he was ultimately pushed down to fifth place, ending the session 0.861s from first.
The Spaniard was eager to show the same strong pace in the afternoon and did just that. He spent the majority of the available time preparing for tomorrow‘s hot qualifying day, all the while featuring in sixth or seventh place, but this time made sure to take part in the mini shoot-out and post a fast lap at the end. He clocked a 1‘21.193s on his penultimate lap to take fourth place in the FP2 and the combined timesheets, 0.488s from first.
Rossi‘s motivation to make a strong start to the German GP was through the roof, and it showed. He carried a competitive pace right from the get-go and settled into the top six for the whole of the morning session. The Italian kept working on his bike and showed the progress he made when setting a 1‘21.967s lap that put his YZR-M1 briefly in second place, before being pushed to third, 0.574s from the top.
The Doctor continued the positive feelings in the afternoon. As the sun came out at the German track, the Yamaha rider was determined to better his time. He focused on fine-tuning his bike‘s settings, all the while maintaining his provisional top-10 position. In the usual mini time attack, Rossi set a 1‘21.538, ending the day in tenth place, 0.833s from the front, both in the FP2 and the first day results.
“After the last race, we expected the first two sessions to go a bit better, especially since this track suits our bikes. This morning we suffered a lot of front tyre degradation and also the rear grip wasn’t as good as we expected. Due to this, we spent most of our time comparing all the tyre specifications, both front and rear, to get a clear understanding of where we would stand for the race. Though our riders showed good pace and we managed to achieve our target of having them in the top-10, we still have some work to do, because the gap to first needs to be reduced. It didn’t help that both Maverick and Vale were disturbed by other riders during their time attack, so we will have to work hard in FP3 to make up for it.”
“I think it was a very positive day. Even though I didn’t feel great on the bike because the grip level was low, our lap times were pretty competitive. I tried to ride with a race set-up to find out which direction to take in preparation for the first few laps. We tried the tyres as well and know more or less what our feelings are for tomorrow, so tomorrow instead we can focus on riding style and improving some more, especially in sector 2. At one point I had a fresh tyre and I was ready to push really hard, but then in the third corner I was held up by some other riders. It’s important to pay attention to what’s happening on track at such a narrow circuit. Sometimes one bad lap in FP3 can make you go to Q1.”
“Today was not so bad, especially my feeling with the bike and my pace are quite good with the race tyres, so I’m quite competitive. Unfortunately, with the soft tyre at the end, I didn’t make a very good lap and I didn’t improve much. I expected to be more towards the front, now I’m just in tenth position, but the pace is quite good, this is the most important thing.”
Ducati Team: Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso respectively 8th and 9th in Friday’s free practice at Sachsenring
The Ducati Team resumed action today near Chemnitz (Germany) at the Sachsenring circuit, home of the ninth race of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship and last round before the summer break. At the end of Friday’s free practice sessions, held in partially sunny weather – with temperatures around 25 degrees in the atmosphere and 40 on the tarmac – Danilo Petrucci sits in eighth position in the combined standings just ahead of his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, only five thousandths of a second slower.
Both Petrucci and Dovizioso worked on race pace ahead of Sunday focusing on tyre wear, a variable that at Sachsenring – which features 10 left-hand corners out of 13 in total and a race distance of 30 laps – often turned out to be decisive towards the final results. Fifteenth in the morning, Petrucci improved his lap times by more than a second during FP2 to clock a 1:21.484. Dovizioso also showed progress by taking approximately nine tenths of a second off his best lap time to post a 1:21.489 with a hard rear tyre.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:21.484 (8th)
“Today has been a bit more complicated than what we expected because, despite knowing that Sachsenring is not the most ideal track for the characteristics of our bike, we’ve always been quite competitive here in the past. However, we struggled a bit in the first two sessions. Not only we need to improve our speed on a single lap, but first and foremost our consistency in terms of pace. We also need to be more efficient in managing the rear tyre, because when we try to save it we’re not quick enough and the race is really long here. We have our work cut out for us to find a better balance and now we’ll analyze the data into detail. I believe our potential is higher than what we’ve shown so far.”
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:21.489 (9th)
“We’ve been able to progressively improve our performance but, at the moment, we still haven’t reached the competitiveness we’re aiming for. In particular, we’re struggling a bit with corner speed but I’m not too worried because it’s only Friday and we still have plenty of time to work on the bike. I wasn’t able to ride a ‘clean’ lap towards the end, also because I’m still suffering a bit due to a small issue with my back, and I preferred not to push too hard in the final laps and instead pace myself ahead of the rest of the weekend. For sure we’ll be quicker tomorrow morning, but so will be our rivals. We just need to stay focused and keep working, on consistency even more so than pure speed, because the race distance is 30 laps here.”
The Ducati Team will be back in action tomorrow, July 6th, at 09:55 (CET) for a third free-practice session while qualifying is scheduled to start after FP4 at 14:10 local time.
STRONG START IN SACHSENRING FOR SUZUKI RIDERS
Team Suzuki Press Office – July 5.
Alex Rins: 2nd – 1:21.046 (+ 0.341)
Joan Mir: 13th – 1:21.678 (+ 0.973)
• Alex Rins closes opening day in promising 2nd place.
• Joan Mir improving quickly as track warms up.
• Team keen for tomorrow’s qualifying.
Day 1 at the sinuous circuit of Sachsenring saw strong pace for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders.
In FP1, Alex Rins slotted himself into 2nd place early in the session and only dropped to 4th as the chequered flag flew. Meanwhile, Joan Mir struggled a little – 1.466 seconds from the top – as he got to grips with the tricky track for the first time with his GSX-RR.
In the afternoon’s FP2, rookie Mir found a more comfortable rhythm around the German track and he quickly carved over a second out of his morning time. Rins did his usual Friday ‘routine’ of trying different tyre configurations and settings, but the Spaniard maintained quick race pace laps throughout, before closing FP2 in 2nd place, just 0.341 seconds from the top.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“We’ve had a good start; Alex was consistent and quick early this morning and he kept that up all day. We tried a few different settings and we feel that we’ve done a good job today, especially as he is running towards the top of the time sheet. Joan did well today too, he’s learning and trying to get the best set-up. He didn’t use the soft tyre for the time attack today, so there’s still room for more improvement from him. We’re ready for tomorrow.”
“I’m happy with my performance today, the bike felt really good from FP1 onwards. When I tried the different tyre configurations I found the best feeling with the hard one, and that surprised me a bit. In FP2, I kept a strong rhythm and stayed near the top. I’ll give my all tomorrow to get a good grid spot, ideally on the front row.”
“The team and I are working hard to find the best set-up, and I’m working on finding the best lines around this circuit. I didn’t push for a fast lap today, so I feel that I have even more potential for tomorrow and I’m pleased with my progress.”
GP of Germany – Combined Classification after Day 1:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’20.705 (FP2)
2. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’21.046 0.341 / 0.341 (FP2)
3. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’21.065 0.360 / 0.019 (FP2)
4. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’21.193 0.488 / 0.128 (FP2)
5. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’21.265 0.560 / 0.072 (FP2)
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’21.392 0.687 / 0.127 (FP2)
7. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing 1’21.442 0.737 / 0.050 (FP2)
8. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team 1’21.484 0.779 / 0.042 (FP2)
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’21.489 0.784 / 0.005 (FP2)
10. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’21.538 0.833 / 0.049 (FP2)
11. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’21.543 0.838 / 0.005 (FP2)
12. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’21.641 0.936 / 0.098 (FP2)
13. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’21.678 0.973 / 0.037 (FP2)
14. Stefan BRADL Repsol Honda Team 1’21.693 0.988 / 0.015 (FP2)
15. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’21.729 1.024 / 0.036 (FP2)
16. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’21.758 1.053 / 0.029 (FP2)
17. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing 1’21.897 1.192 / 0.139 (FP2)
18. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 1’21.899 1.194 / 0.002 (FP2)
19. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’22.001 1.296 / 0.102 (FP2)
20. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 1’22.208 1.503 / 0.207 (FP2)
21. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1’22.462 1.757 / 0.254 (FP2)
63 Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing NO TIME SET
LCR Honda 1
DEMANDING FIRST DAY FOR TAKA IN GERMANY
PRESS RELEASE: 05 July 2019 | Sachsenring GP Day One
Takaaki Nakagami ended the opening day of free practice for the German Grand Prix down in 15th position. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider was hampered by the injury to his left ankle that he sustained at Assen last weekend as he struggled to find his best form.
Nakagami rode through the pain barrier in FP1 and impressed as he went ninth fastest. But his injury became progressively more painful and restricting throughout the day and, although he improved in FP2, he slipped down the order and now has work to do ahead of qualifying on Saturday.
Takaaki Nakagami – 15th
(1’21.729 – lap 21 of 21)
“Of course, my body condition is not quite ready, but FP1 was ok without painkillers as I wanted to understand how painful riding would be. It was quite painful but after the session, with a lot of movement, the ankle was worse. But I’m here to fight until the end and be strong. I’m not feeling very well, but I’ll do my best this weekend. I know that after two more days we have a summer break which will be important for me to recover. I’m a little sad about this afternoon because everybody improved their lap time, but the times are very close at this circuit. If we can improve by one or two tenths you can make a big step. We tried to find the best set up on the bike because we struggled a bit to find grip, but we still have time to understand and improve tomorrow.”
Oliveira and Syahrin learn Sachsenring aboard their KTM
The Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo of Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin did their first laps of the German Grand Prix today at the shortest track of the entire MotoGP World Championship calendar.
Thereby, premier class newcomer Oliveira did well to significantly improve from FP1 to FP2. By the end of the second session, he missed out on the top 10 by only 0.361 seconds, which placed him in P18 of the ultra-competitive field. In the meantime, Syahrin showed a great learning curve as well to lower his time by 1.749 seconds from the first to the second session, well supported by his new carbon swingarm, that KTM supplied for this weekend. He eventually ended up just three tenths behind his teammate
“A good first day here in Sachsenring. We continued to work with the bike to find a decent pace for the race this afternoon. We still need to understand a bit more how to manage the bike with the hard tyres, but I think we are on a good direction. Regarding lap times, I think the first run was a bit better, though it was still not perfect. We want to be a bit faster, but we are just 0.3 from the top 10. It’s very tight, which is a bit frustrating, but we continue working for FP3 tomorrow in order to be even closer and do our job well, as always.”
“Today has been positive. The second Free Practice was a huge improvement today, after I was a bit confused with the front feeling this morning. In the afternoon, I had some truly good sensations with the hard and the medium tyre. We are very close, but still need to find a better solution for the left side of the rear tyre, as this circuit is full of left corners. Now we are working on the race pace. We know, that everyone is fast on one or two laps for Qualifying, but the race here is very long with 30 laps, so we need to find a better support on the rear.”
CRUTCHLOW STARTS WELL AT SACHSENRING
PRESS RELEASE: 05 July 2019 | Sachsenring GP Day One
Cal Crutchlow made light of an injury to his right knee as he got off to an encouraging start on the first day of free practice at the German Grand Prix. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider damaged ligaments during a freak accident whilst out on his bicycle, but it didn’t seem to affect him as he ended up in sixth position on the timesheets.
On a warm but cloudy day at the Sachsenring, Crutchlow eased fears over his knee problem as he posted the tenth quickest time in the morning FP1 session. He then improved by over a second in FP2 after a fast late lap on fresh soft tyres and now looks well placed to move through to Q2 in Saturday’s qualifying.
Cal Crutchlow – 6th
(1’21.392 – lap 22 of 23)
“Honestly speaking it (the injury) wasn’t too bad, I expected it to be worse. The swelling has built up again since yesterday, but I’m not allowed to get it drained as it’s now the race weekend. It’s blood that’s in the knee, so I’m trying to ice it and get the fluid out of the joint. But it’s ok, I can bend it how I want to go round corners and I didn’t feel it too much. I don’t feel that comfortable, but it’s not the reason why I’m not going fast enough. The bike feels ok at the moment, but I’m just having the same problems as usual. I feel competitive though, I haven’t got the pace I want yet, I need to improve in some areas. We need to find about three or four tenths a lap, but that means only one tenth each sector. I know it’s easier said than done, but if we can manage that we’ll be right there in the mix.”