Though one of the slowest tracks on the 18-round 2016 MotoGP Championship, Sachsenring presents some of the most technical challenges due to its tight, 2.28-mile layout.And turn 11 of 13 – only one of three right handers – once again presented the most challenges to the 21-rider grid during the opening free practice Friday at the German Grand Prix.
Under gray skies, three riders quickly succumbed to turn 11 – the man who finished third two weeks ago at a wet Assen MotoGP, Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati’s Scott Redding; Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo; and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Stefan Bradl.All riders walked away, but Lorenzo was taken to the Clinca Mobile where doctors checked his left hand, finding no fractures. This is the same track where Lorenzo crashed in 2013, bending the plate in his collarbone inserted just two weeks before from and Assen MotoGP crash.This was all within 20 minutes at the circuit that puts extreme pressure on the left side of the Michelin tires. Around the 20-minute mark of the 45-minute free practice one, rain began, cutting many of the riders time short. With only 20 minutes of dry time, no one was able to improve on their times.Earning the top time with a 1:23.702 – nearly 3.5 seconds of the Best Lap set by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez in 2015 – was Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone. “Maniac Joe” was the only rider to post under the 1:24 mark.Finishing 0.414 of a second was Marquez, who has dominated the past three years at Sachsenring MotoGP, earning all three wins from pole and setting the fastest laps. Finishing a mere 0.041 of a second behind Marquez was Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci.Fourth quickest was nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who last claimed a victory in Germany in 2009, which was also the last year for a non-Honda to win. Rossi finished 0.577 of a second behind Iannone, and 0.073 ahead of the other factory Ducati GP16 Desmosedeci pilot, Andrea Dovizioso.Rounding out the top 10 were Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Yonny Hernandez (Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team).MotoGP reports that Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was the first to leave pit lane after the rain came with rain tires; he finished 14th overall, 1.686 seconds behind Iannone.The riders return to Sachsenring for Free Practice 2 at 2:05 p.m. – rain is once again expected to plague the practice.Save