“It was a good day. We did many laps with used tyres and the pace was nice. We hoped and expected to have a good time attack at the end and we managed to do it. There was no pressure at all to be super-fast today but you know it just kind of happened. So that means we are on a good direction and I feel comfortable with the bike. We need to be sharp and still pay a lot of attention to the small details because our rivals are also quite fast so I hope to do a good FP3 and hopefully go straight through to Q2 and qualify well for Sunday.”
Fabio Quartararo – P2
“I didn‘t feel great with the front tyre this morning and we saw that quite clearly. I crashed straight away. But anyway, I feel good and I‘m on the pace. We had more than 30 laps in total on the tyre in FP2, so that was mentally challenging. I was counting to myself, ‘17, 18, 19‘. I thought, ’Okay, I know that I have old tyres.‘ The time attack after that was a little strange, because you switch from a medium with 30 laps to a brand new soft. That‘s totally different. I didn‘t use all the potential of the soft, but in general I feel happy. I don‘t feel as good with the bike as I usually do, but we are working on it for tomorrow. I would really like to get pole, but first I need to stay calm and work on the pace. Then qualifying for me is like a game. It‘s an important part to prepare for the race, but the most important part for me is to have fun in tomorrow‘s Q2.”
Maverick Vinales – P3
“It‘s been a positive Friday. I‘m happy because the work done in Montmeló is now paying off. I have such a good feeling with the front, which was something that we were looking for. Normally we struggle a bit in this area, and then I lose confidence. With Silvano we worked a lot with the front, and it‘s starting to get much better. But, you know, when you focus a lot on improving one specific area you can lose out a bit in another. So, right now we are trying to find a good balance on the bike and try to build it up. I think it was important to be inside the top 3 today. That‘s always nice, also for the team. We will try to keep going with a lot of motivation.”
Alex Rins – P4
“This is a track that I like, and I’m not feeling bad with my arm. I’m pleased with my position today, even if I lack a bit of consistency in lap times I am quite fast. I have a bit of pain in Turn 3 because it’s a long right-handed corner then there’s a quick change of direction. I also feel it on the brakes in Turn 1 and Turn 12, but in general this track has a lot of left-handed corners which maybe helps me a bit, although in MotoGP we’re always using our right hand for the throttle and brakes! I’m happy because I’ve completed my programme today, and tomorrow will be a similar plan. I’m satisfied with fourth, and tonight I will take some painkillers and try to rest a bit to be ready for tomorrow.”
Pol Espargaro – P5
“Crashing was not part of the plan, but I am trying to find the limit now, rather than in the race. We are figuring it out but Turn 3 is causing some problems at the moment and this is why I fell there. Over one lap we are quite good, but the crashes meant we couldn’t really do as long a run today as we had hoped. It was a bit of a messy day honestly, but we have the speed here. Tomorrow we need a smoother day, less crashes and more in control. The bike is working well here this weekend.”
Takaaki Nakagami – P6
“Today was a really good start to the German GP and a good day for us. We were P3 in FP1 and this afternoon we were able to be in the top six. We have a good feeling on the bike and good pace already. In sector one I need to improve as that’s the only place I’m not able to make a good speed, but in all the rest we’re in good shape. Tomorrow I’ll be focusing on improving in sector one and, if we can do that, we have a chance of maybe staying in the top three. That’s the target for tomorrow and I’m looking forward to the qualifying session.”
Aleix Espargaro – P7
“I know it may seem strange, given the final position, but I think this was the best Friday of the season so far. I felt good straight away. I’m able to be fast without taking excessive risks and the grip helps us, significantly higher than it was in Barcelona. I didn’t put together a perfect performance on my flying lap, but I’m competitive in terms of pace. This will be a track where the tyres will be highly stressed, also because of the weather conditions, so working well on that aspect is important.”
Johann Zarco – P8
“I am happy to be riding at this circuit again. My style is not ideal for this track, but I will try to adapt myself as much as possible. Together with the team, I am working a lot to find the best solution for us. I am happy with my last run where we were able to find important information.”
Jack Miller – P9
“My feeling with the bike is good, and I’m pretty satisfied with the work done today. We tried all the available tyres except for the soft and made a time attack with the medium in the final minutes of FP2. I think I already have a clear idea of what we will use in the race on Sunday. We are working mainly on the setup to make the bike more stable in the last two sectors, where we are not yet as strong as in the first two. Overall, I’m positive and happy with how the weekend is going so far.”
Franco Morbidelli – P10
“It has been a good first day and we managed to get into the top-ten, which is an important thing. Although I think the lap time will need to be a bit faster to get into Q2. Today we were fast enough to do it and I felt good with the bike, we didn’t have any problems, so I’m happy about that. Of course there are things that could be better here and there, which we will do our best to try to improve, but it’s only the first day here. We are looking at some combinations of settings at the moment, to give ourselves the best bike setup that we possibly can. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
Danilo Petrucci – P11
“I’m really happy about the feeling I have with the bike here. It was maybe the first session, in which I felt strong and I was always very confident. We did some steps and it works, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I think if we do everything in a perfect way, we can make it to the top 10, which would be a very good target for us.”
Marc Marquez – P12
“Here I feel less physical limitations, honestly I was expecting zero problems but I still don’t think I am riding at my best. I can manage it and we have a good pace at the moment but for sure a focus for tomorrow is working on riding style. I didn’t put a new tyre at the end, I spoke with the team as I didn’t feel like I had the energy to do it. We are working to understand many things with the bike when it’s working well here. Our pace is looking good but it’s not the best on track at the moment.”
Álex Márquez – P13
“The end of the first day and I can honestly say I’m happy. It’s my first time here with a MotoGP bike and I enjoyed it, that’s the most important thing. I was able to play with the bike to try to improve things, we need to improve with the used tyre especially and make a step forward, but we are not bad and we can be happy with our day. There’s still a lot of work to do and things that we need to understand better, but we introduced today the new aerodynamic and among other things that were working quite well. The bike is working well. The problem of the grip is still there, but it’s something that we can manage a bit better than at Montmelo. This weekend, it will be important to be in Q2 directly, and also difficult because everyone is so close, but it’s definitely possible at this track.”
Jorge Martín – P14
“Physically I feel much better compared to how I was In Barcelona and that is a good starting point. I am not far off from the top ten and I feel satisfied with this first day even though this is my first time riding a Ducati on this track. I remain positive.”
Joan Mir – P16
“I’m not happy about today, we still have a lot of work to do because my feelings with the bike weren’t good, especially in FP2. We have a margin to improve and we need to figure it out overnight, but I feel quite calm anyway because I know we can be stronger. I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike overall, but especially with the grip – these hot temperatures make everything slippery and I felt better in the cooler conditions. I did my time attack with a medium front tyre, and I think I should’ve used the hard because I feel better with that. I didn’t have much confidence with the front so I couldn’t really push. Once we’ve checked everything we can try to piece it all together in FP3 so that we’re prepared for qualifying.”
Iker Lecuona – P17
“Finally, it was a quite ok day. We have been working well with the team and improved from FP1 to FP2. We are still far from the top, but in some places of the track I feel really good. We need to check the data now and we are aware of the way we need to follow, so I feel we have the potential to recover the gap tomorrow morning and to fight for the Q2.”
Luca Marini – P18
“It was not an easy day, we had some problems, but the feeling was not bad at all. What we did in the Barcelona test worked here, I felt good on the bike and I rode as I like. In FP2 I had a problem shortly after the start, which made me lose feeling with the rear. I went back out on the soft tire, but I couldn’t get the most out of it because I had the medium tire in front, whereas I prefer the hard one. I tried to push anyway because the top 10 was possible, but I crashed. The soft held out for about three laps, so I tried to make the most of it on my fifth attempt. I’m really sorry for the team because they’ll have a lot of work to do tonight.”
Enea Bastianini – P19
“It was a difficult day, however, we got some positive things out of it and we have a good pace. This morning I was able to try different tires, but I didn’t feel comfortable with the hard one. My fast lap wasn’t very good and also some other riders bothered me and didn’t allow me to give 100%. I am sure that tomorrow we will achieve better times and we will try to give our best.”
Lorenzo Savadori – P20
“I liked coming back to this track. The last time I raced here was in 2019 with the MotoE bike. Clearly, everything changes with a MotoGP bike. The track gets a lot smaller, but I must say that I had fun. We worked a lot with used tyres. We need to improve the second stage of the race because in Barcelona that was a limiting factor for us again. When I put on the new tyre, I did two decent laps, but I think that our potential is higher. We are still lacking a bit, especially on T2, but I continue to improve and, for now, that is still the main objective.”
Valentino Rossi – P21
“It’s been difficult today because it’s been very hot. In FP2 this afternoon we also tried the harder tyre to try to understand what it’s like. My second run was not too bad because my pace was quite good but in the end I unfortunately had a small crash, and it made me lose some confidence. This also meant that I had to change bike for the time attack, so my fast lap was not fantastic – plus I also made a mistake in the fourth sector. I am losing some time in sector three, so we need to look at this to find the best setting for tomorrow. It’s difficult to predict what will happen this weekend, as it is only Friday, but we will try our best.”
Francesco Bagnaia – P22
“It was a productive day. We focused mainly on finding the right set-up for the bike to limit tyre wear and get a good pace for the race. I am pretty satisfied with the work we have done in the two sessions today. For sure, it will be important to take another step forward ahead of tomorrow morning’s FP3, where we will also try our time attack to secure a spot directly into Q2″.
Friday Practice Reports
New week, same speed: Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) remains the fastest man in MotoGP only a few days after his Catalan GP win, with the Portuguese rider topping the timesheets on Day 1 of the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Around half-a-second off the outright lap record, Oliveira escaped Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) by a couple of tenths to take to the top, with Maverick Viñales making it two Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP machines in the top three on Friday as he ended FP2 within a tenth of his team-mate.
The day started with a very familiar name at the top of the Sachsenring timesheets: Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). The Spaniard is undefeated at the venue in the premier class plus a few years before that, and he was quick out the blocks before also stringing together a longer run of laps. Second was Quartararo, who also took a fast tumble – rider ok – at Turn 12 before moving back to within 0.168 off Marquez.
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) started the event a tenth further back in third, ahead of another Honda: Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team). The number 44 also crashed at Turn 2, rider ok. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completed the top five, less than half a tenth in further arrears.
The other crasher in FP1 was the first: Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing). The Spaniard went down at Turn 12, rider ok.
In the afternoon, everyone improved and Miguel Oliveira took over at the top. The Catalan GP winner went more than 1.6 seconds quicker than his morning best, and just under a second quicker than Marc Marquez’ FP1 fastest lap, to head the timesheets in the session. He had two-tenths in hand over Quartararo, who was second once again, with Viñales moving up from tenth in FP1 to complete the top three.
Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) stole some headlines in fourth, the Spaniard impressing despite his wrist injury sustained ahead of Barcelona, ending the day top Suzuki and just under four tenths off the top. Pol Espargaro, Nakagami and Aleix Espargaro also impressed again, taking fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Marc Marquez, meanwhile, was shuffled down to outside the top ten.
Luca Marini (Sky VR46 Avintia) crashed first at Turn 13 and then at Turn 7, rider ok, and Pol Espargaro had his second crash of the day at Turn 4. Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) also slid out; the ‘Doctor’ at Turn 1.
Friday Combined Times
FP2 timesheets are the combined timesheets, so it’s Oliveira, Quartararo, Viñales, Rins, Pol Espargaro, Nakagami and Aleix Espargaro in the top seven. Next up is a Ducati duo as Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) pipped Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) to P8 by just 0.011, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) completing the top ten.
Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing), who now has the updates seen on the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machines of Oliveira and teammate Brad Binder, took P11 by the end of play and is the first man set to miss out on Q2 as it stands, with Marc Marquez ultimately ending the day in 12th by just 0.009. The eight-time World Champion said he’d expected to find himself in slightly better shape at the track but also didn’t push for a time attack.
Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) was even closer to the rider ahead – Marc Marquez – by the end of the day. Just 0.002 split the two as the younger Marquez slots into P13. With the track not featuring on the 2020 calendar, the day was the first taste of the Sachsenring in MotoGP for more than just the 2021 rookies. Alex Marquez was the fastest of those who haven’t raced the track before in the premier class.
Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) was a tenth further back in P14, with Brad Binder completing the fastest fifteen on Friday ahead of reigning Champion Joan Mir.
Rossi ended Friday in P21, with a compatriot for company just behind him: Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team). The number 63 was last on the timesheets and, although he didn’t push for a fast lap on soft tyres, will be looking for a lot more on Saturday morning as FP3 gets underway – as will the likes of Marc Marquez and Joan Mir.
Friday MotoGP Combined Times
MotoGP Championship Top Five
Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was fastest in FP1 and FP2 on Day 1 of the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, ending the day an impressive three tenths clear in the combined times. It was once again a Red Bull KTM Ajo 1-2, however, with rookie Raul Fernandez the man on the chase.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completed the top three, pipping Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) to it by a single thousandth.
Friday Moto2 Combined Times
Moto2 Championship Top Five
Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO
John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was the man to beat on Day 1 of the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, the Brit topping the timesheets in the morning and no one able to displace him. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) starts his German GP off on good footing too as he ends Friday in second, just over a tenth off the top, with Championship leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completing the top three after going quickest in the afternoon.
Aussie rookie Joel Kelso who answered a call-up from the CIP Green Power Team to replace their injured rider finished Friday 25th quickest, 2.8-seconds off the P1 pace set by McPhee.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.