Espargaro fastest Friday at Sachsenring

NGM Forward Racing's Aleix Espargaro was a dominant force with his outright pace on Friday at Sachsenring, while still managing to test the Forward chassis on the opening day of the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.

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.

Results

Pos. Rider Num. Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
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

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