It was Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo on top to start MotoGP’s German Grand Prix round at Sachsenring on Friday.
The Spaniard finished eighth in the morning practice with a time of 1m22.422s, but improved on well to not only top the afternoon session but also the combined times from Friday with a best lap of 1m20.885s.
Lorenzo was able to comfortably beat Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone’s pace-setting FP1 time of 1m21.442s with the Italian also improving in FP2 to finish third with a 1m21.204s behind Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci (1m21.142s).
The Italian was sixth in the opening practice. In fact, Lorenzo was the only rider to dip into the 1m20s bracket. Behind the Top 3, it was Lorenzo’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso (1m21.309s) as he beat Honda’s Marc Marquez by 0.049s.
The Spaniard did have some moments in FP2 but kept his bike on the track in one piece. Meanwhile, Maverick Vinales (1m21.384s) in sixth was the best Yamaha rider by miles after teammate Valentino Rossi found himself in 17th only.
The Italian was third in FP1 with a 1m21.984s laptime but could only manage a 1m21.784s time in FP2 where others showed much better improvement, which meant he was just 17th in the order.
LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami (1m21.447s) showed solid pace to end up in seventh as Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller (1m21.497s) found himself in a LCR sandwich with Cal Crutchlow (1m21.540s) behind the Australian.
The Top 10 was rounded out by Angel Nieto Team Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista (1m21.568s). The Spaniard coming on well in FP2 after his crash in FP1 in Turn 1 when he was passing teammate Karel Abraham.
Another rider to crash in FP1, Suzuki’s Alex Rins (1m21.616s) came back good to be 11th overall – the Spaniard had a fall in Turn 3. The Espargaro brothers were next up as KTM’s Pol (1m21.680s) led Aprilia’s Alexis (1m21.718s) for 12th position.
The other KTM of Bradley Smith (1m21.743s) was 14th in a good run, but wildcard entrant Mika Kallio had a nasty crash in FP2 in Turn 8 for which he was taken to the medical center. Next up was Avintia Ducati’s Tito Rabat in 15th.
The Spaniard was the third rider to crash in FP1 in Turn 12. Meanwhile, the leading Tech 3 Yamaha of Hafiz Syrahin (1m21.777s) was 16th ahead of Rossi with Johann Zarco (1m21.787s) right behind him – in a difficult session for the three Yamaha riders.
Even though Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (1m22.305s) announced his retirement from MotoGP on Thursday, but on-track his difficult run continued on this season as he was only 20th behind Aprilia’s Scott Redding (1m22.003s).
The returning Stefan Bradl (1m22.457s) in the Marc VDS Honda finished 21st as he filled in as a last-minute replacement for Franco Morbidelli after the Italian pulled out of the rest of the weekend with discomfort during FP1.
Morbidelli was 22nd in the order in FP1 with a time of 1m23.379s. Behind Bradl was Angel Nieto’s Abraham (1m22.555s) in 22nd leading Marc VDS Honda’s Thomas Luthi (1m22.767s).
Before the crash KTM’s Kallio registered a 1m23.194s laptime to be 24th with Avintia Ducati’s Xavier Simeon (1m23.437s) rounding out the riders – the latter also had a crash in the second session.
UPDATE: Following the checks in MotoGP’s medical center, Kallio has been transferred to the local hospital with a knee trauma.