Espargaro Sets Sachsenring Pace
SAXONY, Germany – Aleix Espargaro set the pace in both MotoGP practice sessions Friday at the Sachsenring.
After going fastest in the opening practice, Espargaro lapped the circuit in 1:22.041 on the NGM Forward Racing ‘Open’ Forward-Yamaha on a softer option rear at the end of the second practice session. The riders kept their concentration despite some light rainfall 20 minutes from the end of the afternoon run.
World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) ended the session .117 of a second behind compatriot Espargaro, having had a big crash at turn three earlier in the day in the first practice.
“The day went very well, because even though I crashed I was fortunate not to get injured, but the impact was hard,” said Marquez. “The crash was a little strange, but when we looked at the telemetry later on we understood why it happened. It’s a long left turn in second gear on the throttle the whole time, and I accidentally touched the gear shift lever with the toe of my boot. This engaged another gear and as I was leant so far over – and had the gas open – the rear wheel slid out and I was thrown off. The afternoon session was really good and I felt comfortable on the bike again. l was able to put in a good lap, but most importantly I kept up a strong pace.”
Another Spaniard, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, kept out of trouble at a track where he had a big crash last year in practice and missed the 2013 race. Lorenzo was third fastest, trailing Espargaro by .327 of a second.
Home rider Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) and his fellow Honda equipped rival Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) were fourth and fifth. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was sixth fastest overall, lapping just more than .4 tenths of a second slower than pace setter Espargaro.
The top ten was completed by Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) – who walked away from a high speed crash at turn 12 in the second practice.