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Marc Marquez continued showing why he is the exception, not the rule. For FP2, the championship points leader was fastest in only his second practice at the Laguna Seca circuit in Central California with a time of 1’22.040.
Stephan Bradl continued a strong recent run with a second in qualifying and Andrea Dovizioso put his factory Ducati in a surprising third place. Valetino Rossi couldn’t turn his consistently fast laps into a front-row time and he settled into fourth place.
Cal Crutchlow, who led the morning session when conditions were cool and damp, was relegated to fifth place. Jorge Lorenzo, one week removed from his second collarbone surgery this season, managed sixth fastest. And Dani Pedrosa, second in the championship race and also nursing collarbone and shoulder injuries, put his Repsol Honda into 11th place. Both riders initially had said they didn’t plan to ride at Laguna Seca.
Race officials red-flagged the session briefly after Blake Young highsided is Attack Performance Racing bike at Turn 5. Young was fine.
Cal Crutchlow has topped a typically misty and cool first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Laguna Seca, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider posting a late fast lap to blast to the top of the timesheets. Crutchlow had been threatening to go top a couple of times, but was balked once by Randy de Puniet, then got caught behind Jorge Lorenzo as he was on fast laps.
Crutchlow heads Valentino Rossi, the factory Yamaha man posting a strong string of laps, clearly comfortable again at the race track. Marc Marquez set the 3rd fastest time, an incredible start at a track he has never ridden at before, and which is notoriously difficult to learn. The Repsol Honda man ended the day ahead of LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl, and the second satellite Honda of Alvaro Bautista. Andrea Dovizioso took 6th spot on the Factory Ducati, and was the last man inside a second of Crutchlow.
Rookie Marc Marquez set the fastest time of the weekend in FP3 with a 1’21.903 during yet another practice session marred by heavy crashes, including that of teammate Dani Pedrosa. The championship points leader crashed early in the session at Turn 1 shortly after a light rain had briefly halted practice.
Pedrosa, who was traveling at a relatively low speed, immediately grabbed his left shoulder and collarbone after the nasty highside crash. He immediately went to the mobile clinic but his condition remains unknown. Aleix Espargaro, always impressive on his Aprilia-powered CRT, came in second and Valentino Rossi placed third.
Given the combined times of the three practices, Q2 riders will be Marc Marquez, Aleix Espargaro, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow, Nicky Hayden, Alvaro Bautista, Bradley Smith, Andrea Dovizioso and the top two riders from Q1.
Luis Salom returned to the top of the timesheets during the first Saturday practice at the German track and set a new Moto3 lap record in the process. His 1’27.013 bettered both countryman Alex Rins’ fast lap in FP3 and his (briefly held) Moto3 lap record of 1’27. 208 set during Friday’s FP2. Rins held on for second-fastest. Local-favorite Jonas Folger climbed into third -- but still a half-second behind Salom. The top eight riders -- including championship contender Maverick Vinales (7th) -- are within a second of the front.
Scott Redding reclaimed his place at the top of the timesheet during FP2 in Germany on Friday. The British rider was better than one-tenth quicker than Alex de Angelis and championship rival Pol Espargaro. Espargaro, fastest in the first session, sits second in the championship. Redding is first with 134 points, a full 30 points clear of Espargaro.
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.
Lorenzo’s Turn 10 spill forced the practice to be red-flagged briefly. The highside crash flipped the World Champion over the bars and directly onto his repaired collarbone. He was taken to medical center, where scans showed that the titanium plate fitted to his collarbone last weekend had been bent in the impact. Lorenzo will require surgery to fix the plate, and will not race at the Sachsenring.
Immediately after the crash, the M1 remained in the middle of the track so the marshals briefly halted practice.
Cal Crutchlow, too, finished his day early. After a big crash at turn 11 left his Yamaha scattered across the gravel trap, Crutchlow (19th) returned to the pits with abrasions on his hand. His team reported that he is expected back for FP3 on Saturday.