Brad Binder tops Friday practice at Sachsenring

by Ryan Lilly

South African Brad Binder has ended the opening day of Moto2 action fastest at The Sachsenring ahead of Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona who are matched on time.

The KTM rider has continued to take steps with the new and improved chassis, topping the second Free Practice session in Germany – backing up the podium finish at Assen just five days ago. The 2018 German Grand Prix winner looked comfy throughout the opening day as he heads into Saturday with a +0.380 second advantage over Vierge.

The opening practice of the day saw local hero – and MotoGP podium finisher – Jonas Folger head to the top of the timesheets as he once again is replacing the injured Khairul Idham Pawi onboard the Petronas Sprinta Kalex. The opening practice never failed to disappoint with second placeman Marcel Schrotter pulling off a stunning save at the top of the “waterfall”, the German later crashed at turn three and got up unhurt.

With his Free Practice one session-topping time, Folger ended the day in fourth position with Schrotter and Assen winner Augusto Fernandez close on the hometown hero’s tail. Title contender, Alex Marquez, had a difficult start to proceedings and lingers down in seventh overall after the opening day of the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, despite a crash that left his Marc VDS Kalex in flames.

Completing the top eight was another title contender after winning three of the opening four races, Lorenzo Baldassarri, who ended the day +0.489 seconds clear of Tetsuta Nagashima and a further +0.072 ahead of SKY VR46’s Luca Marini.

Tom Luthi just missed out on a spot inside the top ten but ended the day in eleventh ahead of Speed Up‘s Fabio Di Giannantonio and the second Red Bull KTM of 2018 Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin.

Going into the third and final practice session, Jorge Navarro is the final man to make it directly into Qualifying two, but that can change during tomorrow’s 40-minute Free Practice three session.

Sam Lowes just missed out on a spot in Q2 +0.018 seconds whilst fellow Briton Jake Dixon completed the day in Twenty Seventh, +1.550 off the top spot after two sessions of the Sachsenring circuit.

That’s how the Moto2 field looks ahead of the third free practice session of the weekend where times will surely tumble. Free Practice 3 goes green at 09:55 am (BST) before Qualifying at 14:05 pm (BST)

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