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Jul 11, 2014

Aleix Espargaro Remains On Top In MotoGP FP2 At Sachsenring (Updated)

Aleix Espargaro (41) in action at Sachsenring.

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Sachsenring, Germany

July 11, 2014

Free Practice Two Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (FORWARD YAMAHA), 1:22.041

2. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:22.158

3. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:22.368

4. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:22.430

5. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:22.440

6. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:22.565

7. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:22.569

8. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:22.576

9. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:22.589

10. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:22.619

11. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:22.719

12. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (DUCATI), 1:22.724

13. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (DUCATI), 1:22.757

14. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-APRILIA), 1:22.928

15. Scott REDDING, UK (HONDA), 1:22.933

16. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (HONDA), 1:22.961

17. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (HONDA), 1:23.049

18. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (HONDA), 1:23.204

19. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FORWARD YAMAHA), 1:23.327

20. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-KAWASAKI), 1:23.393

21. Mike DI MEGLIO, France (FTR-KAWASAKI), 1:23.858

22. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (ART-APRILIA), 1:23.912

23. Broc PARKES, Australia (PBM-APRILIA), 1:24.158

More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Tech3 duo commence Sachsenring GP positively

Pol Espargaro kick started his eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland MotoGP race weekend in an encouraging manner by collecting a solid 8th place in the combined standings today. The young Spanish rider delivered a strong performance in the morning practice session to finish in 4th place before continuing his positive momentum into the afternoon, where the session remained overly dry despite a few drops falling just beyond the midpoint of the 2nd practice. Espargaro guided his Yamaha YZR-M1 around the tight, meandering 3671 metre Sachsenring circuit to complete the FP2 session with a best time of 1.22,569, which was only just two tenths from the first row as he also clocked fastest speed of the Yamaha YZR-M1’s with 290.0 kmh. His performance today leaves the premier class rookie poised to achieve a promising qualifying performance tomorrow for round 9 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Germany.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Bradley Smith pulled off a determined display in the afternoon practice after enduring a challenging opening session which saw him fall twice without sustaining any major injury, to finish in 12th. The 23 year old remained resolute and bravely remounted to set a best time of 1.22,719, seizing 11th place in the combined standings at the end of the day and just over three tenths of a second from 3rd position. Smith remains confident for tomorrow and is convinced of bouncing back strongly to qualify within the two front rows after what was an intensely competitive opening day in Germany with the top 13 riders all within seven tenths of a second.

Pol Espargaro

Position : 8thTime : 1'22.569Laps : 41

"All in all, I am pretty happy with today’s result. The Sachsenring track is a very special one as it’s really narrow so it takes quite a bit of time to learn. My feeling wasn’t too bad from the word go this morning and we were even able to continue improving during the day. In the morning session we lost time in the first two sectors however, it seems we fixed this problem in the afternoon session but then lost time in the opposite ones. Also during my best lap I made a few small mistakes and could have been faster still, yet my pace on used tyres was nearly identical to my quickest lap time. Now we will analyse the data this afternoon and find a setup solution which combines the positives of all of the modifications that we tried today. My feeling on the bike during the second day usually improves a lot so I am already feeling confident even if the qualifying will be a really tight one and I intend to battle for a top position that counts."

Bradley Smith

Position : 11thTime : 1'22.719Laps : 30

"Obviously, I am lucky to be walking away more or less unscathed from one very big crash, as well as another fall this morning. The only trouble I had was that I reinjured my finger a bit which I originally hurt at Mugello last year, however nothing major overall. Today was a bit tricky for us, we are certainly riding faster than we did last year however I don’t feel completely comfortable on the bike due to the balance not being perfect for the moment. In addition, my confidence at maximum lean angle can still improved. Considering the difficulties which we had to face today, the gap to the front is not enormous and this is really promising because this track is a challenging one due to all of the left hand corners, so it always takes a while to get comfortable. I am convinced that we can progress significantly and take home a strong qualifying position tomorrow."

More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

Grand Prix of Germany

Solid Start at Sachsenring for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Sachsenring (Germany), 11th July 2014

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.

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.”

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.”

Massimo Meregalli

“It's impressive to see Jorge's strength and focus back to its inspiring normal state. After a difficult weekend in Assen he is here totally focused and fast. He rode two impressive sessions today, very fast and consistent and he looks very promising for the weekend. Vale was also impressive this morning, they then made a very small change to the setting for the afternoon session and it was clear to see that with the harder front tyre the bike behaves very differently. We were not able to find a solution in time to improve the lap time today but will of course work on this tonight and also in general to improve Jorge’s set up and be ready for FP3 tomorrow morning.”

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

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.”

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Tough first day in Germany for Marquez and Pedrosa

The Repsol Honda Team have endured a tough start to the German GP in Sachsenring, with both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa crashing.

Marc’s crash came this morning on his fifth lap in turn two, where the reigning World Champion and current Championship leader made a small mistake and engaged third gear causing a vicious high side where he landed heavily on the side of his head and left him with a painful neck. He was able to go back out on track and record a fastest time of 1’22.767 (lap 11 of 17) finishing 6th for the session. Dani also had a slower start in FP1 and his fastest lap of 1’22.848 (lap 21 of 22) placed him 8th.

This afternoon, after receiving treatment to his neck, Marc was able to improve his time by six tenths with a fastest time of 1’22.158 (lap 6 of 20) putting him second fastest for the day. Teammate Dani also improved from the morning session with a fastest lap of 1’22.589 (lap 3 of 18) placing him 9th, but he had a heavy crash on lap five in turn twelve. He went back out on track but wasn’t able to better his earlier time and finished 10th fastest in the combined times.

FP3 will commence tomorrow at 09h55 local time.


Marc Marquez

2nd - 1'22.158

"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

"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”

More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

Provisional pole position for Aleix Espargaro at Sachsenring

It was a great start for the NGM Forward Racing Team at Sachsenring in Germany with Aleix Espargaro setting the fastest time in both free practice sessions.

It was a very productive day for the Spanish rider who tested for the first time in a race weekend the Forward chassis. The comparison test between the two bikes equipped one with the Yamaha chassis and one with the Forward chassis was very positive and tomorrow Aleix will continue to work in this direction.

Team mate Colin Edwards worked on the set up of the bike in order to find the best compromise for the German racetrack, characterized by tight corners and a short straight (700 mt). Tomorrow Colin will continue to work to improve his feeling with the front, which remains the main issue that prevents him to ride as he would like.

Colin Edwards

“I cannot be happy with my final position, but the feeling with the bike is ok. The issue is that I have no front feeling. I need to figure out what the young generation does in terms of riding style to use all the potential of the bike”.

Aleix Espargaro

“We continue our positive momentum. With Barcelona and Assen, this is the third race that we are constantly improving and today I’m satisfied because in the FP2 we tested the Forward chassis and it worked really well. We set the third fastest time with a tyre that had 22 laps on and the feeling was very positive. Sachsenring is a very special track for its layout and we will need to test it also on other circuits, but the feeling was really good. Tomorrow we will continue to work in this direction and if everything works well I want to use it also for the qualifying. I have also enjoyed riding here at Sachsenring. I’m confident because we have a good race pace and tomorrow we can make another step forward”.

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

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.”

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


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”.

More, from a press release issued by Scott Redding's publicist:

Redding leads the production Hondas at Sachsenring

Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany – 8 July 2014: Scott Redding got his German Grand Prix weekend off to a good start, as he ended the opening day at the Sachsenring 15th on the timesheet.

Redding was the fastest of the four production Honda riders and also less than one second off the time of provisional pole sitter, Aleix Espargaro.

The 21-year-old Briton encountered some technical issues in this afternoon’s session, but heads into tomorrow’s final free practice and qualifying with confidence, having thoroughly enjoyed riding the Sachsenring circuit aboard a MotoGP machine for the first time.

Scott Redding // 15th // 1’22.933

“The Sachsenring has never been one of my favourite circuits, but I’m enjoying riding it a lot on the MotoGP bike. So far, I’m quite happy. In the second free practice we had a small problem with the rear shock, so it was difficult to set good lap times, but we’re not overly concerned about it. We focused mainly on learning the track and the electronics, specifically the anti-wheelie function because here we can’t use so much power. Now we just need to find a little more rear traction, continue learning the track and improve my rhythm. If we can do this then, hopefully, we can close a bit further on the bikes ahead of us.”

More, from a press release issued by Cardion AB Motoracing:

Balanced Sachsenring: Abraham is on seventeenth position with loss of one second to the leader

After Friday free practices, the Czech rider Karel Abraham is losing one second to the fastest rider Alex Espargaro. Amongst a tightly bunched group, Karel Abraham holds seventeenth position with a minimal loss to Hiroshi Aoyama and Scott Redding. Other rider on production bike Honda, Nicky Hayden, is tightly behind Karel Abraham.

Karel Abraham

"I guess this will be really interesting weekend. The weather seems to be completely unpredictable for the whole weekend. It´s not good news for us, I rode only few wet laps in Assen and that´s not enough to get used to the new bike. However we made quite good job on dry today. We still haven´t find ideal grip, but I´m sure that we will be able to make another step tomorrow.”

Marco Grana, Cardion AB chief mechanic

"We did very good job this day. Even we finished 17th, we losing only one second to the top. It´s common situation on Sachsenring, because the engine is not so important on this circuit, so the performance of the bike doesn´t affect the lap time so much. It´s good chance for us and for other open riders to show our best. I think that this is the track where we can fight for Q2. Today we tried different types of tyres to find more stability in the corners. Karel is not still confident with the front and we must help him to find it. We´ll see what weather brings to us tomorrow. Forecast is changing from minute to minute, so let´s hope that it get better tomorrow.”

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Excellent Aleix Espargaro in charge as Honda pair suffer big crashes

Aleix Espargaro set the best lap in the MotoGP™ FP2 run at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, outpacing Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo at the head of the timesheet.

Having also gone quickest in FP1, Espargaro lapped in 1’22.041 on the NGM Forward Racing ‘Open’ Forward-Yamaha on a softer option rear at the end of the FP2 session. The riders kept their concentration despite some light rainfall 20 minutes from the end of the afternoon run.

World Champion Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) ended the session 0.117s behind compatriot Espargaro, having had a big crash at turn 3 earlier in the day in FP1.

Another Spaniard, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Lorenzo kept out of trouble at a track where he had a big crash last year in practice and missed the 2013 race. Lorenzo was third fastest, trailing Espargaro by 0.327s.

Home rider Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and his fellow Honda equipped rival Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) were fourth and fifth.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was sixth fastest overall, lapping just over 0.4s slower than pace setter Espargaro – the Italian’s best time came in FP1.

The top ten was completed by Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) – who walked away from a high speed FP2 crash at turn 12.

The top 16 riders were separated by less than a second at the short, tight and twisting German track.

Turn 12 also saw another FP2 crash, for Michael Laverty (Paul Bird Motorsport), who was unhurt and ended the day 14th. His teammate Broc Parkes was down in 23rd and crashed in FP1.

Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) crashed twice in FP1 and ended the day 11th best overall.

Moto2™: Cool Kallio ahead in final Friday session

The Friday afternoon action at the Sachsenring was rounded off with Mika Kallio marking the best time of Moto2™ FP2, ahead of next best pair Esteve Rabat and Simone Corsi on the combined timesheet.

As the first day of action at eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland drew to a close Kallio outpaced his closest rival and teammate Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) by just 0.074s.

Behind the leading pair, Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) was third best overall, with his best time coming in FP1 – that lap just under a tenth slower than Rabat’s best.

Behind the Finn, the Spaniard and the Italian in the top three, fourth best was Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), with German representative Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) going round fifth quickest on the first day of his home GP.

The combined timesheet also featured Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2), Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team), Alex De Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2) and Randy Krummenacher (IodaRacing Project).

In FP2 Lorenzo Baldassarri (Gresini Moto2) and Axel Pons (AGR Team) walked away from spills, with Cortese, Simon and Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) escaping injury in FP1 crashes.

Moto3™: Determined Miller ahead of rivals at Sachsenring

Jack Miller was the pace setting rider in the second practice session of the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland for the Moto3™ class, with Alexis Masbou and Danny Kent also in the top three.

Having also led in the morning session Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) put in a 1’27.302 in sunny conditions at the 3.67km Sachsenring track on Friday afternoon. Miller aims to bounce back from his Assen DNF this weekend in Germany and extend his lead at the top of the World Championship standings before the summer break.

Behind him on the FP2 timesheet were Frenchman Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) and Englishman Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) also in the top three, trailing the Australian by 0.255s and 0.362s respectively.

The top five also featured Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN).

Completing the FP2 top ten were Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team), Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing), Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46). Binder was ninth best in FP2 but sixth overall courtesy of his FP1 time, as the South African failed to improve in the afternoon and survived a big wobble as he went off track at one stage.

Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) was down in 21st place, feeling unwell on the first day in Germany.

A late incident saw substitute rider Gabriel Rodrigo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) and Kornfeil go down, but both walked away unhurt. There were also crashes without major consequence in FP1 for Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0).

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

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.”

More, from a press release issued by Drive M7 Aspar Team:

DRIVE M7 Aspar riders start work at Sachsenring

Hiro Aoyama places 16th after improving in second session. Nicky Hayden, 18th, looks for balance at German track

Marc Márquez tried to impose his will on the first two practice sessions of the German GP, but undoubtedly the star of the day was Aleix Espargaró -who set the best times in each of the two practice sessions. In the afternoon everyone thought that Marquez would set the top time, but his compatriot stole the top spot on his final lap. The two were little more than a tenth of a second apart, leaving Lorenzo, Bradl and Bautista two tenths behind. Espargaró’s time today was close to the record held by Pedrosa (1’21.846) but not near to the lap Stoner set at Sachsenring in 2008 (1’21.067). Márquez suffered a heavy crash in the morning, whilst Pedrosa did likewise in the afternoon, The latter has three recent victories (2010, 2011 and 2012) at the Sachsenring circuit. Both Pedrosa and Lorenzo missed the race in Germany last year due to injury.

Hiroshi Aoyama complained that the Sachsenring circuit did not present the best conditions for the first prractice session of the German Grand Prix. In contrast, in the second runout the track temperature greatly increased asphalt and the Japanese DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider gained confidence -especially when cornering. Thanks to this, he could ride much better in the afternoon and dropped nearly a second from morning to afternoon -concluding the day in sixteenth position. His teammate, Nicky Hayden, also improved from one session to the other, but not by as much. He still has not found the balance on his bike that would allow him to go fast at all sectors of the German track. He ended Friday in eighteenth.

16th Hiroshi Aoyama 1.22.961 (46 laps): "This morning the track conditions were quite strange. We suffered from a lack of grip. Yet this first day was still positive. The track temperature rose strongly for the second session and I felt more confident on the bike, so I could push harder. Last year my personal best time at the track was 1.23; today, on the first day, I managed to go quicker than that. In the second session we greatly improved the cornering of the bike, and thanks to that our times lowered a lot compared to the opening session. Despite the improvements, the fast corners are still causing problems and we will work on this tomorrow. Overall, my feeling with the bike has been very positive -hopefully tomorrow the weather lends us a hand and we can keep improving."

18th Nicky Hayden 1.23.204 (43 laps): "This first day hasn’t been spectacular; we expected to be more competitive than at the last round, but that wasn’t the case. This morning we started quite well but at a certain point neither the team nor I were able to continue to progress. We found a couple of improvements, which we worked for us in some places but hindered us in others. We must find a balance with the bike for every sector of this track. The first part of this circuit is very twisty, and at the end it gets very fast and requires heavy braking. You have to find a compromise and a balance for the bike on all sectors to improve your times. We have several ideas in mind for tomorrow, and I am sure that they will help us improve. Basically we aim to improve the maneuverability of the bike on the long, fast corners."

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