After achieving a career-best premier class result of fourth in Assen, Espargaro came into the weekend full of confidence. He enjoyed strong results in Germany in the past on his Aprilia CRT machine, the tight and twisty track relying less on top speed.
FP1 saw the Open Yamaha rider top the session with a 1'22.170s, ahead of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) who suffered a heavy crash. The first session was spent on the Yamaha chassis. Espargaro's fast time came in the closing minutes as he took advantage of the soft tire available to Open class riders.
The second practice session saw him spend the majority of time on the Forward chassis as the Spaniard continued to evaluate the differences between the two. The Forward chassis had several pros, but was less responsive in the change of direction according to the rider.
Espargaro once again topped the session in the closing minutes, although this was done on his Yamaha chassis. 1'22.041s put him top of FP2 and top on the combined times.
"I feel great, and it was fantastic to ride here, like last year. We explored a lot of different settings on both the Yamaha and Forward bikes. I was really happy with our first day. I did my fast laps with the Yamaha frame, I think I can be faster on the Forward frame because it is a little bit better in the tight corners," he commented.
Espargaro continued, "Tomorrow I think I'll use Forward in qualifying, we're still experimenting a lot. I did 22 laps on the rear soft, it was strong till the end. I think we can race with the soft like in Assen but the temperature can change a lot here in Germany."
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.
|1||Aleix Espargaro||41||ESP||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||YAMAHA||1'22.041|
|2||Marc Marquez||93||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||HONDA||1'22.158|
|3||Jorge Lorenzo||99||ESP||Yamaha Factory Racing||YAMAHA||1'22.368|
|4||Stefan Bradl||6||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||HONDA||1'22.430|
|5||Alvaro Bautista||19||ESP||Go & Fun Honda Gresini||HONDA||1'22.440|
|6||Valentino Rossi||46||ITA||Yamaha Factory||YAMAHA||1'22.466|
|7||Andrea Iannone||29||ITA||Pramac Racing||DUCATI||1'22.565|
|8||Pol Espargaro||44||ESP||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||YAMAHA||1'22.569|
|9||Andrea Dovizioso||4||ITA||Ducati Team||DUCATI||1'22.576|
|10||Dani Pedrosa||26||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||HONDA||1'22.589|
|11||Bradley Smith||38||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||YAMAHA||1'22.719|
|12||Yonny Hernandez||68||COL||Pramac Racing||DUCATI||1'22.724|
|13||Cal Crutchlow||35||GBR||Ducati Team||DUCATI||1'22.757|
|14||Michael Laverty||70||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART & PBM||1'22.928|
|15||Scott Redding||45||GBR||Go & Fun Honda Gresini||HONDA||1'22.933|
|16||Hiroshi Aoyama||7||JPN||Drive M7 Aspar||HONDA||1'22.961|
|17||Karel Abraham||17||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||HONDA||1'23.049|
|18||Nicky Hayden||69||USA||Drive M7 Aspar||HONDA||1'23.204|
|19||Colin Edwards||5||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||YAMAHA||1'23.327|
|20||Hector Barbera||8||ESP||Avintia Racing MotoGP||FTR-KAWASAKI||1'23.393|
|21||Mike Di Meglio||63||FRA||Avintia Racing MotoGP||FTR-KAWASAKI||1'23.858|
|22||Danilo Petrucci||9||ITA||IodaRacing Project||IODA-SUTER||1'23.912|
|23||Broc Parkes||23||AUS||Paul Bird Motorsport||PBM||1'24.158|