MotoGP: Bagnaia Breaks Lap Record In Tight FP2 At Sachsenring (Updated)

MotoGP: Bagnaia Breaks Lap Record In Tight FP2 At Sachsenring (Updated)

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

MotoGP FP2

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Bagnaia fastest out the blocks with new lap record at the Sachsenring

It’s an all-Ducati top three lock out on Day 1 as Bagnaia leads Marini and Miller

 

Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Friday, 17 June 2022

Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia has come tantalisingly close to the 1:19s as he broke the All Time Lap Record in MotoGP™ FP2 at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. The Italian fired in a 1:20.018 to establish a new benchmark around the Sachsenring as Ducati locked out the top three in the afternoon and overall. Mooney VR46 Racing Team’s Luca Marini grabbed second and FP1 pace-setter Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) took third, with Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro the best of the rest.

FP1

The twisty layout of the Sachsenring might not traditionally have suited the Bologna bullets, but it seems times they are a-changing as Ducati Lenovo Team had already gone one-two in FP1. Miller led the way with a 1:21.479, ahead of Bagnaia by just over a tenth.

 

Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo, who had the new-spec swingarm on his YZR-M1, was not far away either. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ rider finished the session third-fastest courtesy of a 1:21.557 which he set just after Miller’s fastest lap. Very few went for time attacks at the end of proceedings but Quartararo continued to lap in the 1:22s despite using just the one set of tyres. Fourth went to Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) on a 1:21.655 and fifth to Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) on a 1:21.660, an encouraging start to the weekend for the Japanese rider after his crash at Catalunya a fortnight ago.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) was a solid sixth in FP1, and sampling the Noale factory’s new fairing, he clocked a 1:21.665 and managed to keep himself upright despite an excursion through the gravel at Turn 1. Marini started seventh on a 1:21.671 while Andrea Dovizioso (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP™ Team) picked himself up from a crash at Turn 1 to claim eighth with a 1:21.730 which he set near the end of the session on new tyres.

The top 10 was rounded out by Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) on a 1:21.735 and Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) on a 1:21.772, with Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) just 0.041 seconds slower again in 11th.

 

Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) crashed twice in FP1, rider ok but a little battered and bruised after a highside, and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) also took a tumble. Rins didn’t complete the whole session as he nurses his wrist injured in Barcelona.

FP2

Aleix Espargaro took over on top with a 1:20.789 on his first run, with Bagnaia just 0.054 seconds slower. But Miller was one of the earliest to switch to genuine time attack mode in the closing stages of FP2 and, armed with new softs on the front and rear, he vaulted back to the top with a 1:20.211. Aleix Espargaro twice came close to bettering the Australian again with a 1:20.284 and a 1:20.219 on consecutive laps, but it fell to the man on the other red Ducati to get the job done.

Bagnaia broke Marc Marquez’s three-year-old All Time Lap Record of 1:20.195 when he laid down a 1:20.132 on a medium-soft tyre combination in the final three minutes of the session, and there was time enough to go even faster again before the chequered flag unfurled. Marini likewise beat Marquez’s old Sachsenring benchmark, shuffling Miller back to third, albeit only at 0.193 seconds off the pace of his team-mate… and that makes it a Ducati top three heading into Saturday.

 

Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Provisional Q2 places

Behind the Ducati trio, Aleix Espargaro was fourth-fastest all-told, and he is the odd one out in a top six otherwise filled up by GP22s. Johann Zarco claimed fifth on a 1:20.264 and Prima Pramac Racing teammate Jorge Martin finished up sixth on a 1:20.275.

 

Johann Zarco. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Johann Zarco. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Seventh overall goes to World Championship leader Quartararo on a 1:20.399, ahead of Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) and another impressive performance from Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) on yet another Ducati.

Either side of the top 10 cut-off which decides who goes straight into Q2, as it stands it’s Joan Mir in 10th on a 1:20.574 and his Team Suzuki Ecstar teammate Alex Rins in 11th on a 1:20.591. Nakagami faded in the afternoon but was first of the Honda riders in 12th on a 1:20.616, while Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) took 13th at another 0.131 seconds off the pace after an early run through the gravel at Turn 1. Pol Espargaro took 14th, ahead of Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), and the first of the KTM contingent in Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), in 17th after a tough day for the Austrian factory.

 

Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Those outside the top ten will, of course, all be looking to improve their positions and book a place in Q2 when FP3 unfolds on Saturday. Can they do it? The answers will come from 09:55 (GMT +2), before qualifying from 14:10 as the grid gets decided at the unique challenge of the Sachsenring.

FRIDAY: TOP 3

1 Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) – Ducati – 1’20.018

2 Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) – Ducati – +0.115

3 Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) – Ducati – +0.193

 

Augusto Fernandez (37). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Augusto Fernandez (37). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Fernandez demolishes the field on Friday

The number 37 finishes Day 1 nearly a half a second clear of Acosta and Aldeguer

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez is the rider to beat after topping both Moto2™ Free Practice sessions on the opening day of the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, and both by big margins. He raised the bar and ended FP2 nearly half a second clear, with teammate Pedro Acosta next-best and Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) making it an all-Spanish top three. Meanwhile, World Championship leader Italian Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), is currently a considerable way outside the provisional Q2 cut-off…

Fernandez was comfortably quickest in FP1 and 0.421 up on the field, and that was still the best lap of the day through much of FP2. It was only beaten by the man himself with less than 10 minutes to go in the afternoon when he went almost two tenths faster again. The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo was flying in formation but when Acosta crossed the line just behind, he was still 0.470 seconds shy and that’s how it stayed.

Earlier, Aldeguer had got somewhat close to the fastest lap of the session when he set a 1:24.501, and that effort would be good enough for third-quickest overall. Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing team) clocked a late 1:24.557 to take up fourth spot and shuffle fellow Briton Jake Dixon (GASGAS Aspar Team), who laid down an early 1:24.600, back to fifth. Marcos Ramirez (MV Augusta Forward Racing) was another who did his best work right near the start of FP2, a 1:24.621 earning him sixth on the timesheets, ahead of home hero Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), rookie Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors Speed Up), the now nearly-recovered Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team), and Portugal winner Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team).

Fine weather is expected again when FP3 unfolds and a number of key players in the World Championship will be hoping to improve. Currently 11th-fastest is the man who was runner-up at the Catalan GP a fortnight ago, Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40), ahead of Albert Arenas (GASGAS Aspar Team), Filip Salač (Gresini Racing Moto2™), and Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP40).

That leaves Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team), Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda team Asia), and Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) all looking for more, and Arbolino did not register a lap time in FP1 due to an early crash. The Italian only got up to 16th with a 1:25.058 in FP2, while Chantra and Ogura sit 19th and 21st respectively. Still, all three are faster than the rider at the very top of the Championship points table, with Vietti 24th and a full 1.467 seconds off on Friday.

Barry Baltus (RW Racing GP) crashed in FP1 and went to the medical centre but was declared fit. Albert Arenas (GASGAS Aspar Team), Aldeguer, Keminth Kubo (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp), Niccolo Antonelli (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Lopez all crashed too, riders ok. Simon Corsi (MV Augusta Forward Racing Racing) had a spill in FP2 at Turn 1 – rider ok.

Will we see another Vietti rescue job, and can fellow title contender Ogura also dig himself out of trouble? Find out when FP3 kicks off on Saturday at 10:55 (GMT +2), before qualifying from 15:10.

FRIDAY: TOP 3

1 Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – Kalex – 1’24.023

2 Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – Kalex – +0.470

3 Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) – Boscoscuro – +0.478

 

 

Tatsuki Suzuki (24). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Tatsuki Suzuki (24). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Suzuki reigns Day 1 at the Sachsenring

Guevara splits the Leopards as Garcia faces a fight back to make it to Q2

Leopard Racing’s Tatsuki Suzuki ruled Day 1 at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. The Japanese rider set a 1:26.363 in FP2 to take over on top overall, while teammate Dennis Foggia took third thanks to his time from the afternoon, too. GASGAS Aspar Team’s Izan Guevara splits the duo on the combined timesheets thanks to his FP1-topping 1:26.459.

The combined top 14 and riders provisionally on to move through to Q2 was exactly the same as the top 14 in FP1 until the last five minutes of the afternoon session, when Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team) elevated himself to fourth with a 1:26.842, knocking Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) back to 15th, but it was hardly the end of the story.

Joel Kelso (CIP Green Power), the rookie on his second visit to the Sachsenring in Moto3™, took fourth on the combined times on a 1:26.608 and John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) finished fifth courtesy of his 1:26.691 from FP1. Lorenzo Fellon (SIC58 Squadra Corse) made an almighty save into Turn 11 when he closed up on Alberto Surra (Rivacold Snipers Team) before setting a 1:26.768 later in the session, that good enough for sixth ahead of Nepa.

Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3), who went for a bit of impromptu motocross in the gravel during the session, nevertheless took eighth, ahead of Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI) and second start podium finisher David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports). Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) took P11 ahead of fellow rookie Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo), with Holgado’s teammate Masia in P13. Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) is currently the last rider set to move through… leaving Championship leader Sergio Garcia (GASGAS Aspar Team) in P15 and looking to move up in FP3.

In FP1 only Masia crashed, before Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) and Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) took tumbles in the afternoon but riders all ok.

FP3 kicks off at 9:00 (GMT +2) to decide the final graduates to Q2, before qualifying from 12:35.

FRIDAY: TOP 3

1 Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing) – Honda – 1’26.363

2 Izan Guevara (GASGAS Aspar Team) – GASGAS – +0.162

3 Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) – Honda – +0.228

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Mooney VR46 Racing:

EXCELLENT DEBUT FOR MARINI AT SACHSENRING

The rider of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team is second in the combined standings after the first day in Germany. Just three tenths from the Q2, Bezzecchi in P16

Chemnitz (Germany) – Luca Marini closes the Day1 of the German GP, which will take place on Sunday at Sachsenring (02.00 pm), in second place in the overall standings, momentarily in Q2, just 115 thousandths from the leader of the day (Bagnaia, 1:20,018). Not far from the access into the second qualifying session also Marco Bezzecchi, 16th today in the free practices.

At ease on the Ducati Desmosedici GP from the start (P7 in FP1, 1:21.671) and satisfied with the progress made in the last test in Barcelona, Luca is among the protagonists of the afternoon session where he keeps a good pace and signs a best lap time of 1:20.133.

Taking confidence with the MotoGP on the tortuous German track and overall good feelings for Marco who set a lap time in FP2 of 1:20.866, a crono that means a gap of just three tenths of a second from the Top10.

Luca Marini

A good first day for all the Ducati: we worked well with the Team, it was important to quickly understand how to use the tires here and that’s where we can make a step forward. With the hard I wasn’t as fast as Pecco and I have really struggled with so little grip to get the bike turning, an aspect where we have to work on. In any case, the problem is clear and we will return on it in FP4. For now the goal is to achieve the direct access into the Q2 in FP3, the key for managing the QP. We will then analyse the data: this afternoon everyone with the heat have struggled a bit more and we have to compare the data to gain something in speed. I’m happy with this Friday.

Marco Bezzecchi

A first day that was not easy but not too complicated. I’m quite happy, I made a nice step forward between the two sessions and honestly I expected to struggle with the grip conditions. We need to go back to the data and work on this to be able to get closer to the Q2 tomorrow.

Pablo Nieto

A good start for Luca and the Team on a particularly complicated track. The guys did a good job and what they experienced at the Barcelona test was also helpful. I’m happy, Luca begins to have a real fun on track. Not far from the leaders also Marco, for the first time on the track here with the MotoGP. Let’s continue in this direction!

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Tech3 KTM Factory Racing:

Sun, Waterfall and Left Corners: Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Completes Day 1 in Sachsenring

Rookies Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez set off for the first time on a MotoGP bike at Sachsenring, a place where they both have good records in lower categories. Coming from a positive weekend at the Catalunya Grand Prix followed by a test day, both were looking to continue their good form for the first day of the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.

During Free Practice 1, Australian Remy Gardner was looking to take the positives which came out from the test day in Barcelona and develop them on a race weekend. This morning, he rode in 1’22.598, a best lap time obtained at the end of his first run, in new tyres. In the afternoon, he continued to push and times went down as the track got hotter. Remy managed to take his lap time down by 1.295, which placed him twenty-second in the combined standings. Tomorrow, he will continue to push in order to get a good grid position on qualifying day.

His teammate Raul Fernandez had in mind to try a different setting on the whole weekend after some positive information came out of the test day in Catalunya. In the morning, he got his best lap time in 1’22.807 and took it down to 1’21.820 in the afternoon session. He finished the first day of the German Grand Prix in P24 and will be looking to continue his efforts on Saturday, when the action resumes with FP3 at 9:55 local time (GMT+2), followed by FP4 and the qualifying sessions.

Remy Gardner

Position: 22nd

Time: 1’21.303

Laps: 42

“I expected a bit more from today to be honest but it has not been a bad day overall. We are close to the factory riders, which is important. We will see what we can do tomorrow and hopefully improve a bit.”

Raul Fernandez

Position: 24th

Time: 1’21.820

Laps: 41

“The day was good, especially during the Free Practice 2. I did not get a good lap time, but this weekend, we are trying a different setting that we worked on during the test in Catalunya, so we will see how it works on the weekend’s duration. I think that it was a rather positive day, so we will continue our efforts tomorrow.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:

SACHSENRING FRIDAY: OK DAY FOR DIGGIA, BASTIANINI HAS MARGIN

#GermanGP Free Practice. The opening day for round ten of the season sees once again Fabio Di Giannantonio on great form, as he is now consistently in the top ten – at least in the single-lap performance. The series rookie was immediately very comfortable aboard his Desmosedici machine, and his performance gave him the ninth position in the combined times of today’s FP1 and FP2 sessions (1’20.545).

Without his race engineer Giribuola, who stayed at home as a precautionary measure after testing positive to Covid-19, Enea Bastianini had a bit more of a difficult time compared to his teammate. The standard bearer of Team Gresini MotoGP still has time to bounce back, starting from tomorrow morning’s FP3 which will be key in order to avoid having to go through Q1. Only a few milliseconds are needed in order to be back among the protagonists.

9th – FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #49 (1’20.545s)

“We start back from Barcelona: we made very little changes to the bike and we had a good feeling, which is very, very positive. Let’s say we’re on the right track: we’re still missing something on the front-end, especially with regards to some corners like turn three, but we have some changes in mind to make a further step forward tomorrow. The goal is to be in Q2 here as well.”

13th – ENEA BASTIANINI #23 (1’20.747s)

“We struggled a bit, and last year here hadn’t been easy, either. We know where we have to focus on in order to be competitive and I’m confident tomorrow we’ll be part of the game. We’re still missing something in sectors two and three. From turn six to turn eight I don’t feel well, I have a lack of feeling with the front-end and that means cornering is also affected.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Hundredths of a second the difference on German GP Friday for the Repsol Honda Team

A bruising first day in Germany for the Repsol Honda Team, but both Pol Espargaro and Stefan Bradl put in their maximum – unrewarded by just a few tenths but confident of more on Saturday.

Europe’s heatwave was in full affect at the Sachsenring as temperatures in the mid 20s graced the track all day and temperatures are only set to rise further over the weekend. The summer conditions meant times were immediately fast, the outright lap record already being improved upon in Free Practice 2. There was little to choose between the riders as the hotly contested premier class arrived at the shortest track on the calendar.

Pol Espargaro’s day got off to an incredibly difficult start with two crashes at Turn 1 during Free Practice 1. The first fall was a relatively gentle lowside but the second crash, just a few minutes later, was a vicious highside which brought the #44’s session to an early end. After a visit to the medical centre, Espargaro was deemed fit and fortunate to escape any major injuries. A whole team effort meant that both of Espargaro’s Honda RC213V machines were ready for Free Practice 2. Pushing through some pain in his ribs and wrist from the morning, Espargaro managed a 1’20.816 for 14th overall – just two tenths from the top ten. The time was just a tenth slower than his qualifying time from 2021.

Home hero Stefan Bradl was a man in demand with the fans as the German GP weekend got underway. The HRC Test rider started steadily and improved his pace in the morning before making a big step in FP2. Finding 0.7s from FP1 to FP2, Bradl challenged the top ten until the very final moments of the session. Ultimately taking 20th place on Friday, he is confident a lap in the 1’20s was possible today as his switch from tester to racer continues.

Pol Espargaro

12TH 1’20.816

“Today was a tough day. The first crash wasn’t bad but the second one really caught me by surprise and I came down quite hard. My wrist and elbow hurt a bit but the biggest pain at the moment is on my left ribs. It’s hard to take a deep breath and especially with all the left corners here, it’s quite painful. We need to rest tonight and take some anti-inflammatories. Even like this we were able to be faster than last year, but the pace is really high this weekend and we will have to work tomorrow for QP2. Today I was the limit, there’s still some margin inside of me.”

Stefan Bradl

20TH 1’21.117

“I am happy after today because we were able to make a good step. In Free Practice 1 we struggled a bit and then in the afternoon we improved. I am happy with the performance because not just the bike made a step, but I also did with my riding. There is still some parts to improve, especially about the timing of runs and my confidence when going for a fast lap. This will come with time and this is where we will find those last tenths we are missing. The goal for tomorrow is to improve again with the soft rear, I want to lap in a 1’20 – that’s the objective.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team:

Interesting opening day for WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team in Germany

While Darryn Binder got gradually used to the mostly left-hand circuit on Friday, Andrea Dovizioso was working on race pace.

Hot conditions welcomed riders and teams at the traditional Sachsenring Circuit in Germany for the 10th round of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship, which will see sold out grandstands throughout the weekend. Thereby, the WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team duo of Darryn Binder and Andrea Dovizioso experienced an exciting Friday.

MotoGP rookie Binder was riding the German circuit for the first time today and clearly needed Free Practice one in the morning to get used to the 10 left corners of the unique track layout. But once he figured it out, he made a huge step from FP1 to FP2. The South African went 1.883 seconds faster in the afternoon to place himself in 19th position overall.

Meanwhile, Dovizioso registered a crash in the first session this morning, but went out again quickly to clock the eighth fastest time of the field and eventually finish FP1 well inside the top 10, just 0.251 seconds from the top. In FP2 the Italian focused on race pace and didn’t use a soft tyre for one fast lap. He concluded day one in P23, but seeing potential for Free Practice three tomorrow morning at 09:55 local time.

DARRYN BINDER

“It’s been a good day, a good start to the weekend here in Sachsenring. I struggled a little bit this morning in FP1 to learn the Sachsenring Circuit on the MotoGP bike, but towards the end of FP1, I started to find my feet. In FP2, I feel like I made a couple of good steps forward. To finish the day just one second off the top is pretty decent. I’m quite happy with that. I know where to work on tomorrow and I hope we keep improving.”

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO

“Today I did a different strategy than the other riders, as I stayed out with the used tyre until the end, so I didn’t do a single fast lap time in the afternoon. I don’t have the reference with the soft tyre yet, but with the hard tyre, the grip is very low. I’m not that fast, but I think, the base is better than some of the other races and after the practices of today, it’s clear, that we have to ride in a different way, because you can’t push at the beginning of the race and do 22.5s, as the tyre drops a lot. It was good to understand and now we’ll try to work in a better way tomorrow.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP EVALUATE TYRE OPTIONS ON GERMAN GP FRIDAY

Sachsenring (Germany), 17th June 2022

GRAND PRIX OF GERMANY

FREE PRACTICE

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli started the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland with high motivation, but getting the hard-spec tyres to work at the Sachsenring proved challenging. They secured 7th and 15th place respectively. With the top-17 riders setting times within 0.897s of each other, the heat is on this weekend.

7th FABIO QUARTARARO 1’20.399 (FP2) / 25 + 22 LAPS

15th FRANCO MORBIDELLI 1’20.856 (FP2) / 27 + 21 LAPS

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team started Round 10 of the MotoGP World Championship at the Sachsenring looking for a solid base set-up suiting the twisty track and evaluating different tyre options. Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli secured 7th and 15th place respectively in the combined FP results.

Quartararo made steady progress in the morning session. He gradually found his pace on his first run and began to dip under the 1‘22s-mark. He worked himself up to second place with a 1‘21.557s on lap 11/25. He used his second run to improve his race set-up and ended FP1 in third place, 0.078s from first.

El Diablo used the hot afternoon session to find a good feeling on the hard-spec tyres, but he didn‘t feel like he could ride on the limit yet. He improved his time to a 1‘20.399s on lap 22/22 when he fitted a soft rear tyre and found more than a second compared to his morning result. He ended the first day in Saxony in seventh place, 0.381s off the fastest time.

Morbidelli was pleased to confirm some of his findings from the Catalan Test during the Friday session. He wrapped up his first run at the Sachsenring by setting a best morning time of 1‘21.939s on lap 9/27. At the time it earned him a top-10 placement. He ultimately completed FP1 in 14th position, 0.460s from the top.

Like his teammate, the number-21 rider shifted to the hard tyres in the afternoon to establish if it was a good option for the race. He too found that the hard tyre wasn‘t working as well for him compared to the medium option in the cooler morning session. Still, the Italian shaved off more than a second of his morning time. He clocked a 1‘20.856s on lap 19/21, which left him 15th and 0.838s off the P1 time.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

The FP1 session was better than FP2 for us. We used the medium tyres in the morning session when the temperatures were lower. The bike was behaving well, and the pace of both riders was good. In the hotter afternoon, we used the hard compound because we wanted to see if this spec is a good option for us for the race. So far, the hard spec didn‘t give Fabio or Franky the feeling they were looking for in any area. We will investigate if there is something preventing this tyre from performing well for us, or if it‘s simply too hard. Though we‘re not satisfied with our afternoon performance, Fabio is still in the top 10. We will continue to work hard as we hope to make a significant step in FP3. The weather forecasts are good for tomorrow, this will give us all the time we need to improve.

FABIO QUARTARARO

I feel good, but we‘re still missing some performance. I mean, our pace is not too bad, but in the first laps on a new hard tyre I was pretty slow compared to the others, and we need to find a solution to find that 0.4s-0.5s that we‘re missing. When I go out on a new hard tyre, it feels like a used tyre, so that‘s something we need to improve. The feeling is kind of similar to Barcelona. Let‘s see who will and who won‘t improve when the temperatures go up further later this weekend. I don‘t think it will be a big issue for us.

FRANCO MORBIDELLI

So, there are some things to improve with the race tyres, but the feeling and the pace weren’t bad at all. For sure, to get to the top guys‘ pace we need at least 0.3s-0.4s. But the biggest problem is that I can’t improve on a new tyre like others can. Others seem to be able to improve by 1s. I’m not on that level. We are working on understanding the new tyres better to improve on them like we should.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

PROVISIONAL TOP-10 FOR THE APRILIAS IN GERMANY
 

TYRE WEAR AND RACE PACE ARE THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVES ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE

The Friday practice sessions on the Sachsenring, in Germany, had both Aprilias finishing the day with a provisional top-10 position. This result has particular value as it was achieved in spite of concentrating efforts on preparation for the race on Sunday. Thirty laps which, due to the high temperatures predicted, promise to be extremely gruelling.

Aleix shone in both sessions, finishing fourth in the combined standings at a gap of just two tenths. However, by the Granollers native’s own admission, there is plenty of margin to be explored. This will be the clear goal tomorrow, where some time will need to be shaved off in order to go straight through to Q2.

Maverick also performed well, finishing the day eighth. He did a lot of testing and, like his teammate, he took the new aerodynamics solution developed by the Aprilia techs and already tested on the Monday after Barcelona onto the track.

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ

“As for how things went today, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have the race straight away and then head off on holiday! All joking aside, we did good work today. Tyre choice and management seem to be particularly important here and, from this point of view, I was able to be fast on the hard rear. I made a few mistakes on the time attack but, despite this, I did three laps at  20.2 and that’s not at all bad. We can improve further but I can consider myself satisfied with this start.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“I’m pleased above all with the information we were able to gather today. We have already identified a couple of points where we need to improve. I need a bit more stability. I had a good pace on the medium tyre but here, as always, shooting for a qualifying position on the front two rows will be fundamental. The race will be significantly conditioned by this.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

VALIANT DISPLAY FROM SUZUKI ON FRIDAY IN GERMANY

Joan Mir: 10th – 1’20.574 (+ 0.556)

Alex Rins: 11th – 1’20.591 (+ 0.573)

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders made strides towards the Sachsenring race on Friday as both showed solid form. Alex Rins took to the track nursing the wrist injury he suffered in Catalunya, but he rode through the discomfort to finish just outside the Top 10, while Joan Mir kept himself among the fastest ten riders as he tried the new aerodynamic package on his GSX-RR.

Rins showed grit from FP1 onwards, putting in 13 laps in the morning session. A crash at Turn 1 with 17 minutes to go put paid to his progress, but thankfully the fall didn’t exacerbate his injury. Mir started FP1 in determined mood, looking good from the outset, and he completed a total of 23 laps which saw him gradually drop his times around the short Sachsenring circuit.

The ‘boys in blue’ showed further promise in FP2, as they both took chunks out of their morning times in the hot afternoon conditions. Mir spent the last part of the session with the aerodynamic package that was first tried in the Catalan Test, and a final push from both riders on hard-medium tyres saw them rise to the Top 5. At close of play on Friday Mir was 10th and Rins 11th.

Joan Mir:

“I feel good, we’re making steps forward and working hard, and this makes me happy. We’re getting there, slowly but surely – we’re still not quite where we want to be but we’re not far off it either. I’m keen to see what we can do tomorrow! We’ll try to improve and qualify well so that we can set ourselves on a good path for the race.”

Alex Rins:

“My wrist was a bit more painful than I expected. I suffered with it a bit in FP1, but I was hoping that for FP2 it would feel a bit freer and less painful, but it was actually the opposite; it was more uncomfortable in the afternoon. It could be that the high temperatures are making it feel worse, or just the fact that I was pushing for a fast time. We’ll see how I feel after resting tonight, and together with Livio and all the team we will make a decision following FP3 tomorrow.”

Livio Suppo – Team Manager:

“I’m very happy for Alex, he didn’t give up and kept the ‘no pain, no gain’ motto in his head! He was impressive, and he did some good laps. He’ll see how he feels this evening, but it seems that he’ll be able to continue. I’m also feeling pleased with Joan’s performance today; he was fast from the first exit, and he likes the new aero fairing, so we feel positive for tomorrow.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:

MIXED START FOR ÁLEX MÁRQUEZ AT SACHSENRING

Álex Márquez had a mixed day as free practice for the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring got underway on Friday. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider looked impressive in the morning as the premier class renewed rivalries at the famous old circuit in Saxony, but has work to do ahead of qualifying on Saturday after finishing the opening day in 18thposition overall.

Fresh from his excellent top-10 finish in Catalunya, the Spaniard got stronger throughout today’s FP1 and took 10thspot after finding good rhythm towards the end of the session. He improved by seven tenths in FP2, but that was only good enough for 18th and will now look to make a step forward in tomorrow’s FP3 to secure a place in Q2.

Álex Márquez – 18th

(1’21.053)

“First day here in Germany, it was quite good in the morning. We had a good feeling, tried some new things and felt good about the pace. In the afternoon we tried the hard rear, but it wasn’t a fantastic tyre for us, we were struggling a lot and there was no grip overall. We put the medium on for one lap before the soft and immediately the rhythm, the lap time and everything was much better, so that’s something we need to adjust and understand. Later on with the soft I was feeling good, but I had margin to improve, so tomorrow we should keep improving the bike and we’ll try hard to be in Q2. We’ll give our best as always.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

TAKA THE TOP HONDA ON DAY ONE AT SACHSENRING

Takaaki Nakagami impressed on the opening day of free practice for the German Grand Prix having been passed fit to compete at the Sachsenring. Despite still feeling aches and pains from his fall at Montmelo last time out, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU man rode through the pain barrier and showed his potential to challenge towards the front of the MotoGP field this weekend.

Taka dispelled any concerns over his competitiveness in FP1 as he quickly established himself amongst the early pacesetters, eventually finishing the session in 5th. His race pace looked encouraging in FP2 and, although he was unable to find a quick lap and maintain his place in the top-10, he remains confident of improvement and making Q2 tomorrow.

Takaaki Nakagami – 12th

(1’20.616)

“It was a positive first day here in Sachsenring. We made a quite a big step this afternoon and our race pace is already good. We need to improve and work on our qualifying lap, because this afternoon at the end of FP2, the first time we tried the soft compound on the rear I had a lot of grip. So, we need to improve the setting on the bike and electronics in many areas. I am good, even though my physical condition is not the best, I am looking forward to riding tomorrow.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Lenovo Team:

Three Ducatis lead the way in free practice for the German GP at the Sachsenring. Bagnaia tops the timesheets ahead of Marini and Miller

Francesco Bagnaia leads the way after Friday’s free practice for the German GP, the tenth round of the 2022 MotoGP season, held this weekend at the Sachsenring circuit.

Located near the city of Chemnitz, the Saxon track has never been one of the most favourable for the characteristics of the Desmosedici GP, but today’s results proved otherwise.

The Ducati Lenovo Team rider closed ahead of two other Desmosedici GP bikes, with Mooney VR46 Racing Team rider Luca Marini second and team-mate Jack Miller third. In this morning’s FP1, the Australian rider closed in the first position, beating Bagnaia by just 15 thousandths. On the other hand, in this afternoon FP2, the Italian rider set the pace, setting a new all-time lap record in 1:20.018 with the soft tyre, closing ahead of Marini by just 115 thousandths and Miller by 193 thousandths.

Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1st (1:20.018)

“It was a very positive day, and I think this was our best Friday since the start of this season. After this first day, I don’t want to make any setup changes; I just want to focus on improving my race pace. The time attack also went well, and I had fun doing it. Tomorrow the conditions will be different: the temperatures will be higher, and the FP4 session will be fundamental to understand what kind of pace we can have in the race in the heat.”

Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 3rd (1:20.211)

“During the Barcelona test, we could make some big steps forward. We changed my riding position a lot, which is now closer to that of the other Ducati riders, and this increased my feeling with the front, allowing me to ride differently and exploit the full potential of my bike. Sachsenring is a very narrow track, and on paper, it’s not one of the most favourable for the Desmosedici GP, but today I felt comfortable right away. The temperatures could be higher tomorrow and Sunday, but I’m confident I can do well anyway”.

The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track tomorrow at 9:55am local time for FP3, while qualifying for the German GP will take place from 2:10pm CEST at the end of FP4.

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