Aleix Espargaro Tops German GP Friday Practice
Photography by Gold & Goose
Aleix Espargaro experimented with a different chassis in Friday’s FP2 session, but in the end he went back to the factory Yamaha frame on his NGM Forward Racing Yamaha and, using the Open team soft option tire, clocked the fastest time of the session at the German round of the MotoGP World Championship at the Sachsenring. The excellent session continues the mid-season hot streak by Espargaro, who is coming off a pole at Assen and matching a career-best of fourth in the race.
The technical Sachsenring did catch a few riders out Friday. Marc Marquez and Bradley Smith crashed in the morning session. Smith actually fell twice slightly injuring his pinky finger. Dani Pedrosa suffered a high-speed get off in FP2. He looked to be giving attention to his right hand, but was able to resume practice.
Marquez led the first stint of FP2 with a 1:22.158 on his Repsol Honda. He was followed by Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.
There were a few spits of rain in the starting with about 25 minutes to go in the session. Then with 20 minutes to go the rain flags flew. That brought most of the riders into the pits. Bradley Smith and Stefan Bradl and Broc Parkes were the only riders circulating on the track that never really got wet. Then when the rain stopped with about 15 minutes to go riders began returning to the track.
Aleix Espargaro tested the Forward Racing frame during the session versus the Yamaha frame he normally races with.
Michael Laverty crashed with about eight minutes to go. He was up and OK.
In the closing minute it was Assen pole winner Aleix Espargaro, having switched back to the Yamaha frame on his NGM Forward Racing Yamaha, to clock the fastest time of the weekend with a 1:22.041.
So the softer compound tire Espargaro is allowed to use as an Open team entry gave him enough to set yet another fast session time. Marquez dropped to second with his earlier time of 1:22.158 and Lorenzo with a 1:22.368.
As they’ve done in several sessions this season the Americans Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards ran together in 18th and 19th respectively.
MotoGP Free Practice 2 from the Sachsenring – July 11, 2014
1. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 22.041s [Lap 18/18] 282km/h (Top Speed)
2. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 22.158s +0.117s [6/20] 290km/h
3. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 22.368s +0.327s [22/23] 289km/h
4. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1m 22.430s +0.389s [17/22] 291km/h
5. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1m 22.440s +0.399s [17/23] 291km/h
6. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 1m 22.565s +0.524s [15/23] 289km/h
7. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 22.569s +0.528s [16/21] 290km/h
8. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 22.576s +0.535s [17/23] 292km/h
9. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 22.589s +0.548s [3/18] 291km/h
10. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 22.619s +0.578s [21/21] 289km/h
11. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 22.719s +0.678s [18/23] 289km/h
12. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 1m 22.724s +0.683s [12/18] 288km/h
13. Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 1m 22.757s +0.716s [19/21] 288km/h
14. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 1m 22.928s +0.887s [16/19] 276km/h
15. Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R) 1m 22.933s +0.892s [16/17] 276km/h
16. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 1m 22.961s +0.920s [23/23] 282km/h
17. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 1m 23.049s +1.008s [17/18] 280km/h
18. Nicky Hayden USA Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 1m 23.204s +1.163s [20/22] 277km/h
19. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 1m 23.327s +1.286s [20/21] 283km/h
20. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) 1m 23.393s +1.352s [11/18] 276km/h
21. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia) 1m 23.858s +1.817s [14/21] 276km/h
22. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) 1m 23.912s +1.871s [15/22] 271km/h
23. Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 1m 24.158s +2.117s [17/17] 277km/h