until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Marquez in ominous form in first German GP practice despite fall

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

A crash ended Marc Marquez's opening practice in his first Sachsenring MotoGP weekend as a Ducati rider - but the Spaniard had made a strong initial impression before that.

Key moments:

  • Marquez strong before crash
  • Martin fastest on new tyres
  • Espargaro withdraws

A rider with a legendary record at the small, left-hander-dominated German Grand Prix venue, Marquez was into the lead with his first proper flying lap and remained the only rider to dip into the 1m20s range until late in the session.

He crashed at Turn 1 on used tyres late on, remounting his Ducati to bring it into the pits.

By that point, Pramac Ducati's Jorge Martin, the championship leader, had taken the lead on a 1m20.584s, but this came on a fresh soft-soft set.

Marquez's time on his initial set was still good enough to leave him second, just 0.150s off.

Maverick Vinales completed the top three for Aprilia on a fresh medium-medium set, with Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Aprilia), Pedro Acosta (Tech3 Gas Gas) - who had a late Turn 13 crash - and Augusto Fernandez (Tech3 Gas Gas) behind Vinales, all likewise moving up courtesy of putting on new tyres.

Enea Bastianini in seventh was the second highest-placed rider who didn't go for a late tyre change, and was still nearly half a second down on Marquez.

MotoGP returnee Remy Gardner - standing in for Alex Rins - placed 22nd in the session, 2.4s off the pace and just over a second down on Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo.

Aleix Espargaro's German GP weekend predictably went no further than opening practice.

The Spaniard, who had suffered a metacarpal fracture on his right hand at Assen, had hoped the Sachsenring layout would give him an outside chance of completing the weekend - but called it off after just three laps, including a single flyer double-digit seconds off the pace.

"I had a lot of pain before coming here," he told MotoGP.com. "I decided at the very last moment to come. Obviously the doctors told me 'you will not be able to ride' but I didn't want to stay at home. I came here, tried my best.

"But it's impossible, and I'm in a lot of pain. Every time I turn into a right corner I can't control the throttle so it's also dangerous for the others. So I'm forced to stop."

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