Marquez Leads Smith on Day One in Germany

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Marc Marquez built on his improved form from the Dutch TT by topping Friday practice ahead of the German Grand Prix. The world champion was quickest in both sessions at the Sachsenring but times were close with just 0.719s covering the top ten on the shortest circuit of the year.

Marquez left it late to edge out Valentino Rossi in the morning session before dominating for much of the afternoon before Bradley Smith closed in and the Repsol Honda is mindful that the Yamahas will be an increasing threat as the weekend unfolds.

“I think that today has been a positive day. We felt good, and that’s the important thing. It’s true that there was a strong wind that made things tough for everyone. We followed a good working plan but we still have things to improve. I don’t feel completely comfortable, but we can reflect positively on today. The important thing for the moment is that we are going well, but I am aware that tomorrow everyone will get better.”

Smith used the slipstream offered by Andrea Iannone’s Ducati to snatch second, 0.119s behind, with Iannone having to make do with third overall. Jorge Lorenzo, still searching for his first ever victory at the Sachsenring, was fourth fastest ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaro while Valentino Rossi slipped to seventh after setting his best time on old tyres.

Under-pressure Scott Redding enjoyed one of his best days of the season so far, setting the third quickest time this morning on his way to eighth overall but Cal Crutchlow has work to do in FP3 tomorrow after ending day one in twelfth, the final two top ten spots occupied by Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Dovizioso.



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