Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi had a solid start to the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland race weekend despite slightly threatening weather conditions.
Both riders were quick to find their rhythm at the challenging German circuit during the morning free practice session. Topping the standings multiple times throughout the session, Jorge Lorenzo finished as leading factory bike in second place, only 0.253 from first. Teammate Valentino Rossi was not far behind in third place, 0.296 seconds from the front.
Lorenzo continued his form during FP2. The afternoon session was shortly interrupted by spots of rain, but the rack was quick to dry with action resuming. The Spaniard was soon back out on the track and managed to keep his times consistent within the 1’22’s, to eventually finish third in the combined times, 0.327 from the front.
Rossi used the second session to find a set-up that suits the harder front tyres. He was not able to improve on his time from the morning session and ended the first day of practice in sixth position overall, 0.425 from first.
Jorge Lorenzo – 3rd / 1’22.368 / 23 laps
“It went quite well today. We were always within the top three. Today the bike is working well. It’s more stable than it was in Montmeló and in Assen, so in pace I’m quite good and also the braking is good. We just need to improve some small details to fight for first row tomorrow. Also, physically I am better than ever, so I feel strong.”
Valentino Rossi Valentino Rossi – 6th/ 1’22.466 / 21 laps
“It’s a shame that I couldn’t improve on my time from this morning, because this morning was a good practice for me. I was in the third position and I felt very good with the bike, but this afternoon with the higher temperature we had to use the harder tyre on the front and we don’t have the right setting to use it. The bike was more difficult to turn and had understeer. I suffered a lot and I wasn’t fast enough. I’m a little bit worried, especially because for tomorrow morning we have to improve and understand the problem. Tomorrow will be an important day, especially in the afternoon. We have to try to stay in the top position. We have to work with the team and improve the setting for the harder tyres. Also, this weekend I have the new exhaust with two pipes. I like it, it’s not a big difference but from the bottom it’s more smooth so we can work on the pipe and try to improve.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
“It’s impressive to see Jorge’s strength and focus back to its inspiring normal state. After a difficult weekend in Assen he is here totally focused and fast. He rode two impressive sessions today, very fast and consistent and he looks very promising for the weekend. Vale was also impressive this morning, they then made a very small change to the setting for the afternoon session and it was clear to see that with the harder front tyre the bike behaves very differently. We were not able to find a solution in time to improve the lap time today but will of course work on this tonight and also in general to improve Jorge’s set up and be ready for FP3 tomorrow morning.”
Tech3 duo commence Sachsenring GP positively
Pol Espargaro kick started the Sachsenring race weekend in an encouraging manner by collecting a solid 8th place in the combined standings today. The young Spanish rider delivered a strong performance in the morning practice session to finish in 4th place before continuing his positive momentum into the afternoon, where the session remained overly dry despite a few drops falling just beyond the midpoint of the 2nd practice. Espargaro guided his Yamaha YZR-M1 around the tight, meandering 3671 metre Sachsenring circuit to complete the FP2 session with a best time of 1.22,569, which was only just two tenths from the first row as he also clocked fastest speed of the Yamaha YZR-M1’s with 290.0 kmh. His performance today leaves the premier class rookie poised to achieve a promising qualifying performance tomorrow for round 9 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Germany.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Bradley Smith pulled off a determined display in the afternoon practice after enduring a challenging opening session which saw him fall twice without sustaining any major injury, to finish in 12th. The 23 year old remained resolute and bravely remounted to set a best time of 1.22,719, seizing 11th place in the combined standings at the end of the day and just over three tenths of a second from 3rd position. Smith remains confident for tomorrow and is convinced of bouncing back strongly to qualify within the two front rows after what was an intensely competitive opening day in Germany with the top 13 riders all within seven tenths of a second.
Pol Espargaro – 8th / 1’22.560 / 41 laps
“All in all, I am pretty happy with today’s result. The Sachsenring track is a very special one as it’s really narrow so it takes quite a bit of time to learn. My feeling wasn’t too bad from the word go this morning and we were even able to continue improving during the day. In the morning session we lost time in the first two sectors however, it seems we fixed this problem in the afternoon session but then lost time in the opposite ones. Also during my best lap I made a few small mistakes and could have been faster still, yet my pace on used tyres was nearly identical to my quickest lap time. Now we will analyse the data this afternoon and find a setup solution which combines the positives of all of the modifications that we tried today. My feeling on the bike during the second day usually improves a lot so I am already feeling confident even if the qualifying will be a really tight one and I intend to battle for a top position that counts.”
Bradley Smith – 11th /1’22.719 / 30 laps
“Obviously, I am lucky to be walking away more or less unscathed from one very big crash, as well as another fall this morning. The only trouble I had was that I re-injured my finger a bit which I originally hurt at Mugello last year, however nothing major overall. Today was a bit tricky for us, we are certainly riding faster than we did last year however I don’t feel completely comfortable on the bike due to the balance not being perfect for the moment. In addition, my confidence at maximum lean angle can still improved. Considering the difficulties which we had to face today, the gap to the front is not enormous and this is really promising because this track is a challenging one due to all of the left hand corners, so it always takes a while to get comfortable. I am convinced that we can progress significantly and take home a strong qualifying position tomorrow.”
Provisional pole position for Aleix Espargaro at Sachsenring
It was a great start for the NGM Forward Racing Team in Germany with Aleix Espargaro setting the fastest time in both free practice sessions.
It was a very productive day for the Spanish rider who tested for the first time in a race weekend the Forward chassis. The comparison test between the two bikes equipped one with the Yamaha chassis and one with the Forward chassis was very positive and tomorrow Aleix will continue to work in this direction.
Teammate Colin Edwards worked on the set up of the bike in order to find the best compromise for the German racetrack, characterized by tight corners and a short straight (700 mt). Tomorrow Colin will continue to work to improve his feeling with the front, which remains the main issue that prevents him to ride as he would like.
“We continue our positive momentum. With Barcelona and Assen, this is the third race that we are constantly improving and today I’m satisfied because in the FP2 we tested the Forward chassis and it worked really well. We set the third fastest time with a tyre that had 22 laps on and the feeling was very positive. Sachsenring is a very special track for its layout and we will need to test it also on other circuits, but the feeling was really good. Tomorrow we will continue to work in this direction and if everything works well I want to use it also for the qualifying. I have also enjoyed riding here at Sachsenring. I’m confident because we have a good race pace and tomorrow we can make another step forward.”
“I cannot be happy with my final position, but the feeling with the bike is ok. The issue is that I have no front feeling. I need to figure out what the young generation does in terms of riding style to use all the potential of the bike.”
2014 MotoGP Germany
1 Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha ESP 1’22.041
2 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’22.158
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’22.368
4 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 1’22.430
5 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’22.440
6 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’22.466
7 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’22.565
8 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 1’22.569
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’22.576
10 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’22.589
11 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’22.719
12 Yonny Hernandez Ducati COL 1’22.724
13 Cal Crutchlow Ducati GBR 1’22.757
14 Michael Laverty PBM GBR 1’22.928
15 Scott Redding Honda GBR 1’22.933
19 Colin Edwards Forward Yamaha USA 1’23.327
(Daniel Pedrosa, 1-1-2011)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Casey Stoner, 13-7-2008)
Last Years Winner: