The Italian lowers the record for the Sachsenring circuit again and will start ahead of Fabio Quartararo, with Aleix Espargaró fourth
MotoGP landed in the middle of the week at the Sachsenring circuit, a scenario over which the powerful shadow of Marc Márquez, the great absentee, hovered. In the place where since 2013 only one driver had been able to win, showing an insulting superiority, it was impossible not to analyze things with a thought of the type 'yes, this has happened although, of course, Márquez is not there.'
To erase this feeling, the current contenders on the grid have not thought of anything other than breaking the records of the Spanish champion, who held the track record since the official training session in 2019. The one who has won the most times, the one with the most poles hoards, the fastest one lap on a motorcycle. On Friday, Pecco Bagnaia showed his intentions, completing two laps in the second free practice that improved what Márquez had set. Luca Marini, also on a Ducati, added to this achievement.
Everything was taken a little further yesterday. In the third free practice the first eight lapped below that time of 2019, the first five for the first time in history below one minute and twenty seconds. Led, once again, by Bagnaia, the same one who had confessed after the first day that he had soaked up videos of Márquez at the Sachsenring to understand what makes Cervera different on the Saxon track. “I am very happy with how the weekend has started”, he pointed out with pole position in his pocket and aware that, indeed, this is only the beginning in the absence of the determining factor, the race.
«From FP1 I started to feel very good with the bike and everything was already in place. I didn't change anything at the setting level. When everything suits you this well it's easier to focus on the tires and race pace. Today both FP4 and Q2 have not been easy because it was very hot and the wind bothered me, but I am very happy for the pole, because this was a circuit that resisted us last year", analyzed Bagnaia, who has signed three of the last five poles, in an ascending line that begins to resemble that of the end of 2021, when he achieved it in five of the last six grand prix.
The Italian now needs to transform this into good results in the race, because despite the speed he shows, he sees the leader, Fabio Quartararo, at a great distance, who continues to manage to fight from you to you surrounded as he is by so many Italian motorcycles (Ducati, in one day in which seven of its eight prototypes slipped into Q2, with the only absence of Enea Bastianini, the one who has won the most this year with the Borgo Panigale prototype, and Aprilia, who put his two bikes there).
"We are already used to seeing so many Italian motorcycles in the first three rows," acknowledged the Frenchman, second only 76 thousandths behind Bagnaia, with the only non-Alpine prototype among the top nine. Quartararo keeps the author of the pole to 66 points in the general, with Aleix Espargaró as the closest pursuer of him, to 22.
"Fabio has improved a lot today and it won't be easy, but it would be interesting to cut some points from him before the summer break and I'm going to try everything, but I repeat that it won't be easy", accepted Espargaró, who will start fourth after a day with some more complications than at the inaugural The one from Granollers has somewhat lowered the previously confessed objective of going out to win: «I think I had it a little more affordable in Barcelona, here I am not far in terms of speed, but it will be necessary to understand, because I am not very clear, no I just saw who has the better pace in the last ten laps. Because although the race distance in kilometers is always the same, thirty laps here are very long because the rear tire on the left side is very hot for a long time with a very high spin, so those eight or ten final laps It will not be a question of who will be the fastest. They are the ones that make me have some doubts.
These doubts will increase with the rise in temperature that is expected for a race with a very high demand. The riders will face the tough test of the rattling Sachsenring circuit, which will meet a different winner nine years after Marc Márquez's ever-present first win.