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MotoGP German GP

MotoGP German GP: Zarco leads Marquez in rain-hit FP1, Quartararo crashes

Pramac’s Johann Zarco topped a rain-hit opening practice for the MotoGP German Grand Prix from Marc Marquez, as Fabio Quartararo crashed late on.

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

MotoGP’s return to German comes as part two of a triple-header prior to the summer shutdown, which began last week with the Italian GP at Mugello.

Unsettled weather forecasts for the Sachsenring weekend proved correct on Friday morning as light rain midway through FP1 interrupted proceedings.

While it called a brief pause to the action, the weather didn’t spoil an enthralling end to the session as lap times tumbled with the field putting in fresh soft rubber for a time attack.

Zarco emerged fastest of all from this phase with a 1m20.702s set with just a minute left on the clock.

A frantic opening five minutes of FP1 saw Zarco set the initial pace on his Pramac Ducati with a 1m22.458s.

He was quickly deposed by Nakagami with a 1m21.800s, before the Japanese rider improved to a 1m21.636s.

Jorge Martin took to the top of the times for the first time with around 37 minutes left on the clock, as he posted a 1m21.596s on his Ducati.

That was beaten by Marc Marquez on a 1m21.574s, though the eight-time world champion clearly wasn’t settle on his Honda after a big scare rounding Turn 7 in the opening stages.

As Marquez went to the top of the timesheets, Aprilia’s injured Aleix Espargaro – who is carrying a double fracture in his foot after a cycling accident in Mugello – slid off his RS-GP braking for Turn 1.

Espargaro was unharmed in the incident as he trudged away and re-joined the session later on.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Martin re-established himself at the top of the standings with a 1m21.453s 10 minutes into the session, before the rain came shortly after.

This led to the track emptying, with only Maverick Vinales and Jack Miller venturing out for a look at the conditions over the next 10 minutes.

The rain did ease, however, and with just over seven minutes remaining lap times started to improve again.

Despite his crash, Espargaro on fresh soft rubber found a 1m21.431s to go fastest of all, before Gresini Ducati’s Fabio Di Giannantonio edged ahead with a 1m21.278s.

Marquez would return to the top of the order with a 1m20.854s, but it wouldn’t be enough to stop Zarco as the Frenchman lit up the timing screens with his 1m20.702s to see out FP1 0.152s clear of the field.

Marquez was the only Honda inside the top 10 at the chequered flag in second, as Nakagami slid down to 11th, while Aleix Espargaro completed the top three.

Alex Marquez on the Gresini Ducati was fourth ahead of Martin and Quartararo, who crashed at Turn 1 in the dying moments of FP1.

Quartararo moments before had been on a lap that threatened to put him top, but was forced to roll out of it when Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli slid off his M1 at Turn 11.

Brad Binder was seventh on the only KTM inside the top 10 ahead of reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia on the factory Ducati, Di Giannantonio and VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi.

MotoGP German GP: FP1 results

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'20.702  
2 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 1'20.854 0.152
3 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'20.897 0.195
4 Spain Alex Marquez Ducati 1'20.955 0.253
5 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'21.032 0.330
6 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'21.054 0.352
7 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1'21.099 0.397
8 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'21.117 0.415
9 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 1'21.210 0.508
10 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 1'21.213 0.511
11 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'21.281 0.579
12 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'21.335 0.633
13 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1'21.369 0.667
14 Australia Jack Miller KTM 1'21.398 0.696
15 Portugal Miguel Oliveira Aprilia 1'21.435 0.733
16 Spain Raúl Fernández Aprilia 1'21.674 0.972
17 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'21.730 1.028
18 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'22.076 1.374
19 Spain Augusto Fernandez KTM 1'22.172 1.470
20 Germany Jonas Folger KTM 1'22.818 2.116

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