Vinales tops cool Friday in Germany

Decidedly un-summer-like temperatures (max air 16° C, ground 19°) made the opening day of the German GP quite demanding for the riders today. The Sachsenring Circuit is already tough on tyros due to majority of left-hand corners that make it difficult to keep effective operational heat in the right-side rubber, prompting Michelin to bring an asymmetrical front tyre spec for the first time this season.

Weather in the morning’s FP1 session was even colder before a light rain forced everyone back to the pit after just a couple of exits, rendering the session almost useless. The Sachsenring Circuit is already tough on tires due to majority of left-hand corners that make it especially hard on tires.

Friday was an important day for the premier class, riders and teams attempting to understand how the new electronics and tyros change the behavior of their bikes around the 3.7km Sachsenring. Times continued to edge closer and closer to the records of 2015, Maverick Vinales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) recovering from a brutal fall at Turn 11 to lead the day with a 1’22.161. Since finishing on the podium in France the Spaniard has struggled to challenge for the top three, but that could all change in Germany.

Having topped FP1, Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) kept his pace high to end as the only rider within half a second of Vinales. The Italian was able to cut over 1.3 seconds off his time from the first session, weather playing less of a role in the second session of the day. Ducati enter the weekend looking for their 100th premier class podium and a second victory at the German circuit.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) is going to have to work hard to keep his King of Sachsenring title, the Spaniard’s 1’22.775 0.614s off Vinales’ time. His time also made it three different manufacturers in the top three, suggesting that Honda’s grip on the German circuit beginning to loosen. In 2016 Marquez is looking for his seventh straight win at the Sachsenring. As in Assen, Marquez may not be breaking records but his pace is significantly better than that of his title rivals.

Fourth was Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), fresh off a private test in Sepang. He’s had an up and down season, but there’s no denying the Brit still has his speed from previous years. 0.113s back from Crutchlow was his twice-former teammate Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), 0.679s off the overall leader. Ducati were again the only team to have both of their bikes in the top five.

Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing), Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich), Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) and Yonny Hernandez (Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team) completed the top ten.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was the leading Yamaha rider in 11th, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in 14th with Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) a disastrous 16th place. There’s a significant amount of work to do for all the M1 riders, they’ll need to make the most of any dry track time on Saturday. Yamaha have never excelled at the Sachsenring, but 2016 looks to be an even greater challenge.

Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) was 21st on his return from injury.

Turn 11 continued to claim victims in Free Practice 2, Maverick Vinales sliding off at the fast right hand corner. Crashes are almost identical at the corner, the front folding away from the rider. Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) followed his fellow Spaniard into the gravel during the session, again losing the front at Turn 11.

Eugene Laverty (Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team) broke the crash-trend when he fell at Turn 1. Like Rabat and Vinales, he was unharmed.


Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1'22.161
2 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 0.220
3 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.614
4 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 0.656
5 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 0.769
6 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.792
7 BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 0.854
8 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 0.892
9 REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 0.900
10 HERNANDEZ Yonny 68 COL Aspar MotoGP Team Ducati 0.962
11 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1.239
12 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1.299
13 MILLER Jack 43 AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1.324
14 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1.373
15 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1.579
16 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1.663
17 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.797
18 BRADL Stefan 6 GER Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.955
19 RABAT Tito 53 SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2.585
20 LAVERTY Eugene 50 IRE Aspar MotoGP Team Ducati 2.750
21 BAZ Loris 76 FRA Avintia Racing Ducati 2.888

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