Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez, the winner of the last four 125cc Grand Prix races, continues to show himself to be in incredible form at Sachsenring for Round 8 of the MotoGP Championship.
Having won the Catalunya Grand Prix two weekends ago, followed by being the fastest in the tests programmed for last week at the Motorland Aragón track, the young Repsol rider is back with a vengeance at this next meeting of the 2010 calendar, at which he has dominated the first free practice session from start to finish.
Márquez positioned himself at the top of the timesheets almost from the start of the session and, without relinquishing that position to the end, completed the sixty minutes. With Terol – one of the 125cc title contenders – in the garage, unable to go out following the injury he sustained during the last Grand Prix in Catalunya, the first free practice session was a monologue for the Repsol rider who, along with his team, dedicated the track time to working on the set up of his Derbi.
Just ten laps were enough to get the feel of the small German track, very technical and slow through the first half and faster in the last two sections. Márquez concentrated on adjustments to suspension configuration, both front and rear and managed to maintain a pace way above the rest of the pack.
In his last outing, the Repsol rider rode a number of consecutive laps under the 1 minute 28 seconds, finishing on 1 minute, 27 seconds and 435 milliseconds, half a second off the circuit record, in place since the 2007 season, and more than eight tenths from his most immediate rival, fellow countryman Pol Espagaró.
Marc Marquez says: “The first practice went well. I think we have done a good job, both me and the team, especially as, at the beginning, in the first two laps, it was difficult to get comfortable. But the team did a great job and, as always, we improved a lot. There is quite some distance to the second rider but tomorrow I’m sure they´ll get better and we´ll have to stay strong to try to fight at least for the first row.”
“It´s a short circuit; it’s important here for the bike to turn well and have good traction for the first section of the circuit because you exit from quite slow turns. We´ve found quite a good configuration but I think we can improve a bit with a view to tomorrow. We´ll have to keep an eye on the weather because they say it might rain.”
MotoGP 125 Class Free Practice 1 Report
The 125cc World Championship leader, Marc Márquez’s dominance of the series continued without respite at Sachsenring as the 17 year-old set the fastest lap of the session by some distance with a 1’27.435.
That made Márquez the only rider under 1’28” in the session, and placed him a substantial 0.833s clear at the top of the timesheet.
Next up was Tuenti Racing’s Pol Espargaró, who is just a single point behind Márquez in the standings, and the young Catalan rider had a few nervy moments during the session.
After 18 minutes he controlled his Derbi machine well in a run-off at turn eight, and towards the end of the session avoided a collision with wildcard rider Marvin Fritz. Nevertheless his intentions of challenging Márquez this weekend were made clear with a time of 1’28.268.
Completing an all-Derbi top three was Espargaró’s team-mate Efrén Vázquez (+1.190s on Márquez), with German duo Jonas Folger (Team Ongetta) and Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo) clearly well motivated for their home event as they both timed within a tenth of the second of Vázquez. Tomoyoshi Koyama (Racing Team Germany), Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX) and Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar) completed the top eight in the hour-long session.
A notable absence from the practice was Bancaja Aspar rider Nico Terol, who is currently third in the Championship. The Spaniard, who suffered a bruised lung and two fractured vertebra in a last-lap crash at Catalunya almost two weeks ago, was given the medical all-clear to ride this weekend but after an uncomfortable Thursday night decided to leave a final decision on whether he will ride until Saturday morning.