The Italian sets the pace in a fiercely dramatic P2 session in Germany which saw Marc Marquez take out Zarco in the closing stages
Two red flags, a massive save, a dramatic Turn 1 crash and a late flurry of times – they’re just a few notes from MotoGP™ Practice 2 at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland that don’t tell the whole story.
When talking times it’s Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) who ends Friday fastest with a 1:20.271 as the Italian is chased close by Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), but plenty of the headlines will go the way of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) after he was at the heart of the talking points.
The calm before the storm
Despite wet weather making its presence known in the Moto3™ and Moto2™ Practice 2 sessions, the premier class ventured straight out on slick tyres for their one-hour Friday afternoon stint. Some early time improvers were Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) as the Portuguese rider rose to P3, with Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) climbing to 1.062s off top spot.
There were just over 20 minutes left on the clock and that’s when we saw some fresh soft rear rubber being laid on the Sachsenring. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) popped up to P2 to get the Practice 2 time attack ball rolling, as Aleix Espargaro quickly returned to P3.
A whirlwind end to P2
While pushing for an improvement, Marc Marquez had a huge moment when flicking his RC213V onto the right-hand side of the tyre at Turn 11. The eight-time World Champion did very well to stay on board – and in the aftermath, the #93 made his feelings towards the moment clear.
Marquez vents fury at RC213V after massive, massive moment
In the meantime, Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) were chipping away at their personal best times, before Augusto Fernandez propelled himself to P4 with 11 minutes to go. But in the blink of an eye that was soon P9 as the rapid times started to be slung in, with Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) going P1 ahead of former teammate Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing).
Then, huge drama unfolded at Turn 1. First, Viñales was down but ok. Then, moments later, Marc Marquez’s front end washed away at the start of a hot lap at Turn 1 as Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) was coming out the pitlane. Subsequently, Marquez’s stricken Honda clattered into Zarco’s Ducati in a huge crash that brought out the red flags. Thankfully, both riders were able to walk away and get back out on track once the session was restarted.
RED FLAG: Huge crash between Marquez and Zarco sees stoppage
Marquez wasn’t able to get out in time to complete a lap and that saw him finish outside the top 10, but that wasn’t the case for Aleix Espargaro as the wounded Aprilia star went P1. Bezzecchi produced some late magic to pinch top spot away from the Spaniard though, as Martin also beat Espargaro’s effort to slot into second place.
Wow. Talk about drama. At the end of a breathless final 10 minutes, it’s Bagnaia who claims P4 behind the fastest trio, with Miller completing the top five. Quartararo will be into Q2 for the first time since the Americas GP, the Frenchman bagged P6, as Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team), Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Zarco pocket automatic Q2 spots.
That means 11-time Sachsenring winner Marc Marquez faces Q1 in Germany – not something we thought we’d be saying. Title-chasing Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) is another big name missing out on the Q2 cut as we catch our breath and get set for qualifying (10:50) and the Tissot Sprint (15:00) on Saturday.
Combined top 10:
1. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) – 1:20.271
2. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.040
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 0.081
4. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.100
5. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.149
6. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 0.352
7. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.368
8. Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.386
9. Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) + 0.400
10. Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.431