Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo took charge of the Friday MotoGP timesheets at the Sachsenring this afternoon, setting a 1’20.885 with Michelin’s soft tyres all round to be the only rider under the 1’21 mark while auld enemy Valentino Rossi couldn’t find any one-lap pace and finds himself down in 17th place.
Lorenzo was a quarter of a second faster than Danilo Petrucci in second with Andrea Iannone 0.062s further back in third but reigning champion Marc Marquez did not put himself in the mix, instead, preferring to set a 1’21.349 with a mediums all round - still enough for fifth - before working on his race pace and switching to a hard front.
Andrea Dovizoso was just in front of his title rival last year, putting in a 1’21.309 with his penultimate lap while Maverick Vinales is the only Yamaha in the top 15. The Movistar man set a 1’21.384 with a medium/soft combination on his last lap.
Taka Nakagami outpaced LCR Honda team-mate Cal Crutchlow to take seventh and Jack Miller was also quicker than the British rider but only by 0.043s. Alvaro Bautista claimed tenth place after being in third with four minutes left to run and is 0.683 off the pace.
Alex Rins took 11th with the Espargaros next along, Pol quicker than Aleix. Bradley Smith, who is auditioning for the second Petronas Yamaha ride, was 14th with Tito Rabat bouncing back from a crash this morning for 15th.
Hafizh Syahrin was 0.007s ahead of Rossi in 16th with Johann Zarco in 18th. Dani Pedrosa’s misery continues in 20th while Stefan Bradl, who is now standing in for the injured Franky Morbidelli, ending in 21st and only 1.6s off the pace.