Marquez, Oliveira lead Friday in Germany

Image Credits: Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez and Miguel Oliveira have lead FP1 and FP2 respectively, as MotoGP returns to Germany.

It was time for MotoGP to head out for their first practice session of the weekend. It was the first time since 2019 that the circus has made the trek to the Sachsenring, thanks to COVD-19. Marc Marquez is the master around this place, and he would be hoping his injury has recovered enough to continue his streak.

The Sachsenring circuit is known for its very long left section, going from turn 3 to turn 11, the famous waterfall section, with an elevation change comparable to Spa’s Eau Rouge. Title leader Fabio Quartararo would hope to redeem his form after a disastrous Catalan Grand Prix after a zipper issue dropped him down to sixth and slashed his title lead to 14 points.

Alex Rins was back after missing Barcelona after a cycling crash, but aside from that there were no changes in the lineup.

The track went green, and a pile of riders went out to get to know the track, with the surface likely having changed after 24 months of aging. With five minutes gone it was no surprise who was on top – Marquez.

Meanwhile, both Jorge Martin and Pol Espargaro went down. Both were unhurt, Martin hit the deck at turn 12, while Espargaro low-sided at turn 3. Then title leader Quartararo went down, and looked to be in a bit of pain, but gave the thumbs up to the marshalls.

By halfway, it was still Marquez on top, with Takaaki Nakagami second, and Quartararo third. The session remained reasonably tame. By the end, it was still Marquez on top, but this time Quartararo overtook Nakagami for second. That too, was how the session finished. Fourth place was Espargaro, with brother Aleix in fifth.

The top five from FP1 are as follows:

1M. MarquezRepsol Honda1.21.660
2F. QuartararoMonster Yamaha+0.168
3T. NakagamiLCR Honda+0.276
4P. EspargaroRepsol Honda+0.350
5A. EspargaroAprilia Gresini+0.380

Before we knew it, the lunch break was over, and MotoGP were out for their second practice session. The track surface was even hotter than in the morning, meaning the riders would have some hot, hard work practicing.

The session went green then, and riders went out to feel the changed conditions, which would be closer to that of the race on Sunday. Luca Marini fell foul of the conditions, falling at the final corner, but he was unhurt. Pol Espargaro crashed too, for the second time today. He lowsided at turn 3, but was also unhurt.

In the early part of the session, it was Miguel Oliveira and Marquez trading fastest times. The Barcelona winner was on fire, and it’s a very difficult feat to beat Marquez in Germany. At the halfway stage Marini put a heck of a lap in to go P2. Not bad considering he’s both a rookie and crashed early in the session.

Valentino Rossi crashed, lowsiding at turn 1. He was unhurt, but its becoming more and more likely the Doctor would hang up the helmet at the close of the season.

Then it was happy hour. Riders trying very hard to get a Friday banker in just in case FP3 is impeded. Quartararo went top, then Vinales, then Oliveira put the first 1.20 of the weekend in to go top, and there he stayed.

The full top 5 are as follows:

1M. OliveiraRed Bull KTM1.20.690
2F. QuartararoMonster Yamaha+0.220
3M. VinalesMonster Yamaha+0.333
4A. RinsSuzuki+0.387
5P. EspargaroRepsol Honda+0.418
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