MotoGP German GP: Miller heads Ducati 1-2 in opening practice

Jack Miller kicked off the MotoGP German Grand Prix weekend with the fastest time of FP1 as the KTM-bound Australian led a Ducati 1-2.

MotoGP German GP: Miller heads Ducati 1-2 in opening practice

For the first time since he made his MotoGP debut in 2013, a rider other than Marc Marquez will win at the Sachsenring this weekend as the six-time world champion continues his recovery from a fourth right arm surgery.

Pramac’s Johann Zarco, who ended Marquez's pole run at the German GP last year, set the early pace on his Ducati in FP1.

The French rider removed Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli from the top of the timesheets with a 1m22.081s just over five minutes into the 45-minute FP1, before improving to a 1m21.791s.

Zarco then found a 1m21.719s before Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro took over with a 1m21.699s – though it was a brief stint leading the field, as Zarco edged ahead a moment later with a 1m21.655s.

With just under half an hour to go, Miller on the factory team Ducati went fastest with a 1m21.479s.

Miller comes into the Germany weekend having announced a two-year deal with KTM starting next year, with the Australian revealing on Thursday that he has been assured by Ducati that he will continue to receive bike updates in 2022.

Miller’s lap time remained the benchmark as a fairly uneventful FP1 ticked away, though three riders suffered crashes.

Andrea Dovizioso, RNF MotoGP Racing

Andrea Dovizioso, RNF MotoGP Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

RNF Racing’s Andrea Dovizioso fell from his Yamaha at Turn 1 with 21 minutes remaining, before Honda’s Pol Espargaro followed him in a few minutes later.

Just moments after that, Suzuki’s Alex Rins had an identical front-end crash at Turn 1. Having fractured his wrist in the controversial Turn 1 collision at Barcelona with Takaaki Nakagami, Rins parked it after his FP1 spill.

Pol Espargaro would suffer a second crash at Turn 1 with just under 10 minutes to go, the rear-end of his Honda letting go under braking and flicking him into a highside he took a few minutes to recover from.

Miller’s 1m21.479s went unchallenged through to the chequered flag as most didn’t switch to fresh tyres across FP1.

Ducati team-mate Francesco Bagnaia shadowed him by 0.015 seconds, with reigning world champion and current points leader Fabio Quartararo completing the top three on his Yamaha.

Zarco slid to fourth in the end ahead of Nakagami, with Aleix Espargaro sixth on his Aprilia ahead of VR46’s Luca Marini – who did run fresh rubber late on in FP1 – and Dovizioso.

Jorge Martin, who underwent wrist surgery after the Barcelona race, was 0.256s off the pace in ninth on the second of the Pramac Ducatis ahead of LCR Honda’s Alex Marquez.

Maverick Vinales was 11th on an Aprilia carrying a new aero fairing on the side of the RS-GP, with Pol Espargaro 12th after his double crash ahead of Suzuki’s Joan Mir and Morbidelli.

Brad Binder was KTM’s top runner in 15th ahead of Gresini duo Enea Bastianini and Fabio Di Giannantonio, while Rins was 19th after his crash.

FP2 for the 2022 MotoGP German GP is at 2:10pm local time (1:10pm BST).

Results

Cla Rider Bike Laps Time Gap
1 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 22 1'21.479  
2 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 22 1'21.494 0.015
3 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 25 1'21.557 0.078
4 France Johann Zarco Ducati 23 1'21.655 0.176
5 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 22 1'21.660 0.181
6 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 22 1'21.665 0.186
7 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 21 1'21.671 0.192
8 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 18 1'21.730 0.251
9 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 23 1'21.735 0.256
10 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 24 1'21.772 0.293
11 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 23 1'21.813 0.334
12 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 15 1'21.822 0.343
13 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 23 1'21.845 0.366
14 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 27 1'21.939 0.460
15 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 23 1'21.944 0.465
16 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 23 1'22.057 0.578
17 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 23 1'22.152 0.673
18 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 24 1'22.237 0.758
19 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 13 1'22.251 0.772
20 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 26 1'22.475 0.996
21 Australia Remy Gardner KTM 22 1'22.598 1.119
22 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 23 1'22.547 1.068
23 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM 22 1'22.807 1.328
24 South Africa Darryn Binder Yamaha 24 1'22.996 1.517
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