German fan favorite Stephan Bradl delighted the local crowd with the top time FP2 at the Sachsenring Circuit Friday. Bradl’s 1’22.030 put him two-tenths clear of second-place Dani Pedrosa and another one-hundreth clear of third-fastest Marc Marquez. Jorge Lorenzo, who crashed hard in the session and retired early, still managed fourth and his teammate Valentino Rossi placed fifth, a position he held for much of practice.
Could it be that Jorge Lorenzo’s broken and plated collarbone will prove to be a greater disappointment to his rivals than the World Champion? The first MotoGP practice at the German Grand Prix certainly indicates that possibility. Lorenzo set the fast lap early in the session and kept upping the pace throughout to grab the top spot with a 1'22.047.
Championship rival Dani Pedrosa finished second with the newly invigorated Valentino Rossi in third. Rossi held second much of the session but was pipped by Honda rider at the end. Still, both were two-tenths behind Lorenzo.
The big question, of course, is can he do it again? After taking his first win two-and-a-half years and 45 races (after Assen, there were a lot of tortuous calculations being made trying to squeeze the number '46' in somewhere) after his previous one, the question is, was it just a one-off or is Valentino Rossi capable of fighting for the win every weekend from now on?
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring:
Repsol Honda Team prepare for GP of Germany
After a dramatic weekend in Assen 10 days ago, the Repsol Honda Team head to Sachsenring this weekend for the Grand Prix of Germany, the eighth round of the season.
The 3.67km Sachsenring track, the second shortest on the calendar after Laguna Seca, has numerous tight corners - 10 left and 3 right - and requires a very accurate set up of the bikes.
The UK came one step closer to gaining a brand new race track on Wednesday. The Circuit of Wales received outline planning permission for the project to build a racetrack and engineering center near Ebbw Vale, in South Wales. This means that the track can go ahead, once funds have been found to build it, though the project is still subject to review by Welsh government inspectors.
With the start of the summer break coming up in ten days time, contract negotiations are starting to hot up for the 2013 MotoGP rider market. The two race weekends at the Sachsenring and then Laguna Seca will see a frenzy of meetings, horse trading and secret talks as the few open MotoGP seats for 2014 get closer to be being filled.
Cal Crutchlow has not taken the customary route into MotoGP. Not for him racing 125s in the Spanish Championship, before the inevitable climb up through the Grand Prix support classes to MotoGP. Instead, he took a very sideways path, through BSB, World Supersport and World Superbike, before encountering a very tough first year in MotoGP.
That circuitous path has stood him in good stead, however. Crutchlow is now on the brink of breaking into the elite circle of riders who have won a MotoGP race in the dry, and his services are in demand. It is surely just a matter of time.
Bridgestone today issued a press release after the test at the Argentinian circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo. The press release covers some interesting ground, including how the company approaches designing and building tires for a brand new circuit, and how their research stands up against the data collected from the test. It also gives an insight into the nature of the circuit, which promises to be very fast and flowing. Below is the full text of the press release:
Bridgestone reviews the MotoGP™ test at Argentina’s Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo
The second and final day of testing in Argentina got off to a damp start, with rain falling for much of the morning - the curse of MotoGP, it appears, as it had not previously rained in the area for several months, local sources reported. Not wishing to risk injury in the damp, the MotoGP and Moto2 riders present stayed off the bikes in the morning, mingling instead with the fans. The afternoon saw the sun return, and the riders take to the track once again, putting more laps on the bikes and providing valuable feedback for Yamaha and Honda, as well as for Bridgestone and Dunlop.
MotoGP bikes have at last taken to the track at Argentina, marking the return of Grand Prix racing to South America for the first time in nine years. All of the riders praised the layout, liking the fast and sweeping nature of some of the sections. Other parts are technical and challenging, but the track appears to have several different lines around it, promising good racing when the series alights for the Argentinian round in 2014.