Marc Marquez has shown that the improvements made at Assen are working here at the Sachsenring, the Repsol Honda rider topping the timesheet in the second session of practice as well as the first. The two Repsol Hondas led for most of the session, but as the riders put in soft tires to chase a quick lap ahead of qualifying, Dani Pedrosa slipped down the standings, going from 2nd to 5th. Bradley Smith made clever use of Andrea Iannone's slipstream, the former Moto2 rivals catapulting themselves into 2nd and 3rd place respectively, and ahead of Jorge Lorenzo.
Danny Kent kept control of the Moto3 class at the Sachsenring, once again dominating the second session of free practice. The championship leader was once again over two thirds of a second faster than the rest, this time Niccolo Antonelli leading the chasing group. Alexis Masbou found a burst of speed to take 3rd behind Antonelli, while local hero Philipp Oettl grabbed 4th. Enea Bastianini had a difficult practice, crashing out and ending the session down in 13th.
Sam Lowes has topped the first session of free practice for the Moto2 class. The Englishman has a new Speed Up chassis at the Sachsenring, and immediately put it to good effect, constantly being at or near the top of the timesheets. A final push took him ahead of Johann Zarco and back to top spot. Takaaki Nakagami also sneaked ahead of Zarco, the Japanese rider having a good weekend so far in Germany.
Marc Marquez has carried the momentum gained at Assen over to the Sachsenring, topping the timesheets in the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class, and getting under the race lap record already. Marquez took top spot with the soft front tire, then took the asymmetric out at the end of the session and improved his time even further.
Danny Kent's reign of terror continues in Moto3, once again leading the rest of the Moto3 field by nearly two thirds of a second. The Leopard Racing rider was fast from the start, and seized control a third of the way into the session, never to relinquish it again. Fabio Quartararo grabbed second spot, finishing ahead of Kent's main rival in the championship Enea Bastianini. Bastianini's best lap was nearly nine tenths off the pace of Kent.
The Sachsenring treated us to its usual surprises on Thursday, with rain and squally winds blowing through the paddock in the morning, and the sun coming out as the day went on. Fortunately, the only people out on track were the riders doing reconnaissance laps on the scooters, and safety officers cutting fast laps during their usual pre-weekend track inspection.
Press release previews from the MotoGP teams, Bridgestone and others:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Shapes Up for Sachsenring Showdown
After an action packed race in Assen, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team looks forward to another sensational weekend at the Sachsenring circuit this weekend.
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 8th July 2015
Barely recovered from an eventful race in the Netherlands a fortnight ago, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo are looking forward to arriving in Germany for this weekend‘s Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.
Previews from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams:
Quartararo and Navarro motivated for German GP before summer break
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 head to Sachsenring with Fabio Quartararo sixth overall with 74 points, and Jorge Navarro eleventh with 44 points.
Still on a high after a podium for Fabio Quartararo and a great fourth place performance from Jorge Navarro at the Dutch TT, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 arrive in great shape for the halfway point of the season.
What makes for great racing? Many things, but great last corners really help. A great last corner, or sequence of corners, allows riders to attack the bike ahead of them, and take one final shot at victory. Even better is when the option to attack offered by the final corner comes with some risk attached: getting ahead is one thing, but staying ahead to the line is quite another.
MotoGP moves from one track with a last corner which guarantees spectacle to another. The final GT chicane at Assen produced fireworks with the clash between Valentino Rossi and Marc Márquez, and the last two corners at the Sachsenring offer similar opportunities. At Assen, the hard-braking right corner is followed by a quick flick left, giving the defending rider the chance to counterattack if he is passed.
At the Sachsenring, the long drop down the steep, steep hill provides the ideal platform to launch an attack from, diving up the inside on the brakes on the way into the penultimate left hander. That line comes at a price, though, as it forces the attacker to run wide on the exit. That opens allowing the defending rider to strike back up the inside on the approach to the final turn, the last left uphill towards the line. Even entering that corner ahead is no guarantee of the win: like Turn 12, Turn 13 offers two lines, inside and outside, both of which can be used to pass.
The only other place to pass at the Sachsenring is the first corner, at the end of the front straight. The rest of the track is so tightly coiled that the bikes are spending too much time on their sides to try to line up a pass. If you're lucky, you can try to figure something out through the section between turns 7, 8, and 9, but from that point on, your mind is focused just on one thing. The crest of the hill just after Turn 10 and then the lightning fast flick right at Turn 11 heading down the Waterfall, and towards the last two turns again.
As the season reaches its mid-point, injuries are starting to take their toll. Riders are being forced to miss races, and replacements have to be found.