until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


What went down in rain-hit opening German GP MotoGP practice

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Johann Zarco led the way in a rain-disrupted opening MotoGP practice session of the German Grand Prix weekend at the Sachsenring.

Key moments:

> Rain doesn’t prevent qualifying sims

> Zarco heads Sachsenring star Marquez

> Espargaro third despite crash

> Works Yamahas go down in final minutes

Rain flags had come out for some precipitation around the 18-minute mark, and it intensified just enough to leave the track virtually empty – save for a couple of ‘sighter’ runs – for the next 20 minutes.

But the surface was dry enough to set up a qualifying simulation in the final minutes, shuffling the top 10 hugely and allowing Zarco to lift himself up into the top spot, previously occupied by his Pramac Ducati team-mate Jorge Martin.

Zarco’s 1m20.702s left him a tenth and a half clear of Sachsenring master Marc Marquez, with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro another half a tenth down in third.

Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez and Martin made it three Ducatis in the top five.

Only three of the Sachsenring’s 13 official corners are right-handers, but all three crashes in the session took place at right-handers. Espargaro had fallen off early at Turn 1, limping away from the site of the fall as he continues to recover from what has been diagnosed as a double fracture in his heel following his phone-distracted bicycle crash at Mugello.

The two works Yamahas then fell in the closing minutes, Franco Morbidelli down at the Ralf Waldmann corner and Fabio Quartararo off at Turn 1, albeit Quartararo had before managed that to set a laptime that ultimately proved good enough for sixth.

KTM’s Brad Binder made it so that all five marques were represented in the top seven, followed by the Ducati trio of works rider Pecco Bagnaia, Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio and VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi.

LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, who has a Kalex chassis available to him this weekend due to the absence of works Honda rider Joan Mir, was 0.068s outside the top 10 in 11th.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Team Bike Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Johann Zarco Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1m20.702s
2 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.152s +0.152s 1m20.854s
3 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia +0.043s +0.195s 1m20.897s
4 Alex Marquez Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +0.058s +0.253s 1m20.955s
5 Jorge Martin Prima Pramac Racing Ducati +0.077s +0.33s 1m21.032s
6 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +0.022s +0.352s 1m21.054s
7 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.045s +0.397s 1m21.099s
8 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.018s +0.415s 1m21.117s
9 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +0.093s +0.508s 1m21.21s
10 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +0.003s +0.511s 1m21.213s
11 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +0.068s +0.579s 1m21.281s
12 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +0.054s +0.633s 1m21.335s
13 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia +0.034s +0.667s 1m21.369s
14 Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.029s +0.696s 1m21.398s
15 Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia +0.037s +0.733s 1m21.435s
16 Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia +0.239s +0.972s 1m21.674s
17 Enea Bastianini Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.056s +1.028s 1m21.73s
18 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +0.346s +1.374s 1m22.076s
19 Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM +0.096s +1.47s 1m22.172s
20 Jonas Folger GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM +0.646s +2.116s 1m22.818s
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