There was almost nowhere to hide as the sun beat down at the Sachsenring circuit, the German summer in full effect as the eighth round of the 2021 World Championship season began on Friday. At the ambient temperature continued creeping above 30°C, the track temperature quickly found itself above 50°C for the second session of the day.
With 10 straight-wins at the German circuit from his ten previous visits, all eyes were on Marc Marquez as the field headed out for FP1. They didn’t have to wait long as on just his fourth lap Marquez went fastest with a 1’21.660 – a time which would see him go unchallenged for the entirety of the first session. Marquez was looking equally strong in Free Practice 2, holding his position in the upper echelon of the timing tower until a flurry of late laps moved him down the order as he opted not to fit a new tyre. Ending the day in 12th overall, Marquez is pleased with what he and the Repsol Honda Team have managed to learn today as they keep their focus on the future.
Pol Espargaro was eager to try the Honda RC213V around the Sachsenring, the Honda machine having classically gone well around the German circuit. From FP1, Espargaro was immediately on the pace and ended the morning session in fourth, only 0.350s from his team-mate. Finding a further 0.9s in Free Practice 2, Espargaro kept his position in the top five to end the day fifth overall. Turn 3 proved to be a problematic corner for Pol Espargaro, falling once in Free Practice 1 and again early in Free Practice 2 at the downhill right-hand bend. Both times he walked away unharmed.
With conditions predicted to be similar on Saturday morning, it’s looking set to be another intense battle for the top ten. Free Practice 3 starts at 09:55 Local Time.
Pol Espargaro - 5th - 1'21.108
"Crashing was not part of the plan, but I am trying to find the limit now, rather than in the race. We are figuring it out but Turn 3 is causing some problems at the moment and this is why I fell there. Over one lap we are quite good, but the crashes meant we couldn’t really do as long a run today as we had hoped. It was a bit of a messy day honestly, but we have the speed here. Tomorrow we need a smoother day, less crashes and more in control. The bike is working well here this weekend"
Marc Marquez - 12th - 1'21.291
"Here I feel less physical limitations, honestly I was expecting zero problems but I still don’t think I am riding at my best. I can manage it and we have a good pace at the moment but for sure a focus for tomorrow is working on riding style. I didn’t put a new tyre at the end, I spoke with the team as I didn’t feel like I had the energy to do it. We are working to understand many things with the bike when it’s working well here. Our pace is looking good but it’s not the best on track at the moment."