July 12th, 2014
Chaz Davies heads to Superpole with the fastest time of the day, beating the Aprilias of Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri. Tom Sykes has to rely on his time from the second session for provisional fourth, while Toni Elias's time from the first session qualifies him for Superpole Two, knocking Loris Baz down to Superpole One where he will be one of the favourites to be promoted to the second session.
2014 Sachsenring Friday MotoGP Round Up - Marquez' Big Crash, Some Fast Yamahas, And Fixing Turn 11 Again
There are those who say that Marc Marquez is due a big crash soon. He is always riding so close to the edge of traction that at some point, he will go over the limit and suffer the consequences, they reason. They will therefore not have been surprised to learn that Marquez had a huge highside on Friday morning. What will surprise them is the cause of the crash. It was not due to pushing his Honda RC213V beyond the limits of adhesion, he explained to the media afterwards, but was caused by a minor slip of his foot. His toe touched the gear lever, clicking the bike into 3rd, and that caused the rear tire to grip momentarily and flick him off.
The crash happened at Turn 2. "You turn with the gas in second gear," Marquez said. "I didn't know at the time, but I was touching a little bit the gear lever." In the last part of the corner, he accidentally engaged third, and as he kept the throttle in the same position, the bike highsided. Marquez was thrown upside down, and landed on his neck. He was lucky to walk away, but walk away he did. He returned to the garages and was straight back on the bike again, posting the sixth fastest time, six tenths off the pace of Aleix Espargaro, and a third of a second behind Jorge Lorenzo.
By the afternoon, Marquez was back at full speed, and second quickest behind Aleix Espargaro once again. He still had some stiffness in his neck, he said, but it was not really hindering him. "The neck feels a bit locked in some corners, but it is not a problem," he said. Intensive physiotherapy kept his neck warm, and prevented it from seizing up and becoming painful. That only happened after the session was over, and his neck started to cool down.
Tom Sykes set the quickest time ahead of Chaz Davies, much like the results of race one last year. Marco Melandri, third quickest today, was fourth behind Eugene Laverty in that race.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at the Sachsenring:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at the Sachsenring:
Sylvain Guintoli sets the only 1'23 lap of the session but has still got 1.2 seconds before he matches his own best time, the outright lap record of 1'22.683, set in 2013. Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri are within three tenths of a second.
Mika Kallio has ended the first day of practice as the fastest rider in Moto2, topping the afternoon session at the Sachsenring. Kallio was only fractionally faster than his Marc VDS Racing teammate Tito Rabat, the Spaniard less than a tenth off the pace his Finnish teammate. Dominique Aegerter could only manage 3rd, finishing ahead of Simone Corsi, though neither man could improve their times from the morning session.
While the Marc VDS team led the way, the other Moto2 giants suffered. Pons Racing's rookies struggled to find their feet in Germany, Luis Salom ending the day in 10th, with Maverick Viñales was a lowly 19th. Though they have many riders in front of them, the time gaps are small, Salom just half a second off the pace, Viñales a second slower than Kallio.
Aleix Espargaro has once again topped the timesheets during the second session of free practice at the Sachsenring, the Forward Yamaha rider again putting a soft tire on to grab top spot. Espargaro had earlier experimented with both the Forward and the Yamaha chassis, before switching back to the Yamaha chassis to set the fastest time. The Forward chassis is said to be stronger in the slower corners, of which the Sachsenring has plenty.
Marc Marquez ended the session in 2nd, having much calmer session after his monster highside in the morning. The Repsol Honda man had treatment for his sore neck, and appeared to have suffered no ill effects. Jorge Lorenzo continues to be fast on the Yamaha, the factory man ending the session two tenths behind Marquez and a third of a second off the time of Espargaro.
Jack Miller has topped the second session of free practice for the Moto3 class at the Sachsenring, stamping his authority on the class with a late charge. Miller had been fast throughout, but the KTM man pushed towards the end to secure top spot. Frenchman Alexis Masbou took 2nd on the Ongetta Honda, a quarter of a second behind Miller.
Englishman Danny Kent has found his old form in Germany, getting up to 3rd in the second session of practice on the Husqvarna, and ending ahead of Efren Vazquez on the RTG Honda. The two Estrella Galicia Hondas of Alex Rins and Alex Marquez made a little progress, Marquez moving up to 7th and Rins ending in 12th, though both men are over eight tenths behind title rival Miller.
Simone Corsi leads the way in the Moto2 class, topping the first session of free practice at the Sachsenring. Corsi's advantage is small, however, with both Dominique Aegerter and Mika Kallio within three hundredths of a second of the Italian. Championship leader Tito Rabat ended FP1 in 4th, a tenth off the pace of Corsi, and ahead of last year's winner Jordi Torres.
The Moto2 class, too, had plenty of fallers. Mattia Pasini was an early crasher, but he was joined throughout the session by Johann Zarco, Julian Simon and Sandro Cortese. All escaped without serious injury.
Aleix Espargaro has put the soft tire available to the Open class riders to good use, posting a very fast lap at the end of FP1 to take top spot. It was not the first time during the first session of free practice for the MotoGP riders that Espargaro set the fastest time, the Forward Yamaha rider dislodging Jorge Lorenzo from the top spot earlier.
Lorenzo showed he was ready to bounce back after a difficult Assen, leading the way throughout the session and setting down a very strong pace. He ended the session just in front of his Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, who was close to the front for most of the session. Pol Espargaro posted a fast lap at the end of the session to jump up to 4th. The only Yamaha rider missing at the top was Bradley Smith, who suffered a very tough session, crashing at the start and at the end, two both times in tricky positions. Smith's first crash was at the top of the Waterfall, getting flicked off at Turn 10, his bike sliding dangerously to a halt right at the apex of Turn 11. The second crash came as he tried to save a highside, getting flicked off line and running through the gravel down the hill.
Press releases from the World Superbike teams and organizer ahead of this weekend's round of World Superbikes at Laguna Seca:
Jack Miller has topped the first session of free practice for the Moto3 class at the Sachsenring. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was fast throughout the session, swapping the lead with Brad Binder and Romano Fenati, before pulling out a very fast lap at the end of the practice. Efren Vazquez put the RTG Honda into 2nd, just edging out Binder on the Mahindra, while Fenati was forced to settle for 4th.
The Estrella Galicia Hondas of Alex Rins and Alex Marquez got off to a poor start after a strong race at Assen. Rins ended the session in 12th, just under a second off the pace of Miller, while Marquez was a lowly 17th. Rins had a small off at the end of the practice session, but walked away unhurt.
2014 Sachsenring MotoGP Preview - On Breaking The Streak, Fighting For Contracts And Keeping The Waterfall
After winning the first five races of the season, Marc Marquez said he feared the trio of Mugello, Barcelona and Assen, which were to follow. He would surely be beaten at one of those tracks, given they favored the Yamaha M1 and were strong tracks for both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. Three races and three wins later, and Marquez is looking increasingly invincible. The Repsol Honda man keeps inventing new ways to win, and keep his opponents at bay.
So if Marquez is impossible to beat at a Yamaha circuit, perhaps he can be beaten at a Honda track. So far, Dani Pedrosa has been the only rider to get close to beating his teammate, after pushing him all the way at Barcelona. The Sachsenring is a track where Pedrosa has reigned supreme in recent years, having won four times in the last eight years. Impressive as it is, that does not do his record at the track justice. In his rookie year, he finished fourth in Germany, missing out by just three tenths of a second in one of the closest and most thrilling races to be held at the circuit. In 2008 he crashed out of the lead in the wet, a result that would lead him to concentrate on improving his riding in the rain. In 2009 he finished third, close behind the battle between Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, and in 2013, Pedrosa was absent after breaking a collarbone during practice.
There is just one minor problem. If you think Dani Pedrosa's record at the Sachsenring is strong – and numbers don't lie, Pedrosa is the man to beat in Germany – just wait until you see what Marc Marquez has done at the circuit. For the past four years, in three different classes, Marquez has won the race after starting from pole. The Spaniard won here in his last year in 125s, won both Moto2 races he contested here, then took victory in his first MotoGP race at the circuit. It was his second win in the class, after becoming the youngest ever winner at Austin earlier in 2013. Marquez did not have to beat either Pedrosa or Lorenzo, of course, both men having withdrawn with broken collarbones. So this race is a straight fight for Sachsenring supremacy. The winner in 2014 may rightly call himself King of the 'Ring.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone previewing this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring: