MotoGP: Marquez looking for German GP three-peat as tops Friday practice
Marc Marquez was fastest in FP1 at the Sachsenring on Friday, then went on to improve upon his time in FP2 to finish the day quickest overall.
The Repsol Honda rider set a fastest lap time of 1:21.621 to finish on top on Friday, despite not yet equaling the 1:20.937 lap he set to claim pole at the German GP last year.
Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) finished in second place on the combined sheets, 0.119 sec off Marquez’s pace. He recently told motogp.com that he feels much more comfortable with the 2015 M1 than he has with previous iterations, feeling faster and more consistent pretty much instantly. This certainly showed on Friday.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) came in third, only 0.084 sec slower than Smith, leaving Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) in fourth.
Fifth place went to Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, who put in a lap time 0.268 sec off the pace set by his Repsol Honda colleague. Honda has a good record in Germany – since the introduction of the 4-stroke MotoGP class in 2002, the Japanese manufacturer has been the most successful at the Sachsenring with nine wins in total.
Aleix Espargaró – who is racing in a striking retro livery celebrating 30 years of the GSX-R – came in sixth place for Team Suzuki Ecstar. He finished just 0.007 seconds quicker than Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha).
Scott Redding (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), Yonny Hernández (Octo Pramac Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) complete the top 10.
Meanwhile it’s all change further down the MotoGP timesheets this weekend, with three new riders lining up to do battle at the Sachsenring:
Claudio Corti replaces Stefan Bradl for Athiná Forward Racing due to his broken scaphoid. Bradl was obviously disappointed to miss the German round, stating that: “It’s really a shame to be forced to miss my home Grand Prix, but doctors have advised me not to rush the recovery in order not to jeopardize the rest of the season.”
AB Motoracing’s injured Karel Abraham has been substituted for Hiroshi Aoyama. The Japanese rider said: “It’s a strange feeling to be back again, I’m very sorry for Karel, but I’m very excited to jump on his bike.”
Michael Laverty also makes his return to MotoGP, permanently taking Marco Melandri’s ride in the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. It’s a tough challenge replacing a rider mid season, but Laverty is no stranger to the Aprilia, reasoning that: “I have been riding with the Aprilia test team so I am comfortable with the Aprilia RS-GP machine and the Bridgestone tires.”
The German Grand Prix will be shown LIVE Sunday beginning 7:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.