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German MotoGP, Sachsenring P2 | Bezzecchi fastest after Zarco, Marquez red flag smash

Gold and Goose
Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing, Ducati GP23, 2023 MotoGP, German MotoGP, Sachsenring, action [credit - Gold and Goose]

Marco Bezzecchi left it late to make his mark on proceedings during Friday Practice for the 2023 German MotoGP at the Sachsenring, the title contender shooting to the top of the timesheets in the final moments of P2.

The Italian set his time in the three minutes that were remaining on the clock following a late red flag to clear up debris that had been scattered in a heart-stopping collision between Marc Marquez and Johann Zarco [<<<CLICK to watch].

Triggered by Marquez losing the front-end of his Repsol Honda under braking for Turn 1, the RC213V speared into the side of Zarco's Pramac Ducati as it was exiting the pit-lane at slow speed.


However, despite a sickening impact that ripped the Ducati GP23 in half and flung Zarco from his bike, neither he nor Marquez were hurt in the incident, the pair even getting back to the pit-lane in time to get back out on track when the session resumed.

It wasn't enough for Marquez to earn a reprieve though, the Spaniard - considered King of the Ring by virtue of his record 11 wins at the Saxony venue - left with no chance to improve on his lowly 14th, consigning him to Q1 on Saturday morning. Zarco, who had set the pace in P1, sneaked through in tenth.

Despite a dramatic end to its day, it was an otherwise positive start to the weekend for Ducati with seven of its eight bikes making it to Q2 directly, Bezzecchi being chased by Jorge Martin, the Spaniard just four hundredths shy of the top spot.

A late bounce by Aleix Espargaro saw him climb into the top three, the Aprilia rider gritting his teeth through the pain off damaged ankle, which has consigned him to crutches between the rounds.

Championship leader Pecco Bagnaia safely booked his place in Q2, ahead of top KTM rider Jack Miller in fifth and Fabio Quartararo in sixth, the Yamaha rider looking more competitive this weekend as he reached Q2 for for the first time since Texas.

Ducati trio Luca Marini, Enea Bastianini and Alex Marquez - despite a crash for the latter - consolidated the Italian manufacturer's strength in numbers in seventh, eighth and ninth, with the lucky Zarco rounding out the leading positions.

Outside the top ten, Brad Binder was among the riders required to come through Q1 to secure a spot on the front four rows, as was Marquez, the Spaniard clearly frustrated with the balance of his Repsol Honda as he flipped it the bird in reaction to another out-of-the-seat moment.

Between Binder and Marquez sat Fabio di Giannantonio, the Italian enjoying his most competitive Friday of the year to very nearly make it eight Ducatis in the top ten only to fall late on, and Augusto Fernandez in 13th.

Elsewhere, it was a frustrating session for RNF Aprilia with both Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira ending their sessions early due to crashes, while Takaaki Nakagami caused an early red flag when he dropped the LCR Honda at the Waterfall in a crash that destroyed his new Kalex chassis.

German MotoGP, Sachsenring | Combined Practice Results [P1 + P2]

Friday | Conditions - Overcast, dry [P1 + P2]
2023 German MotoGP | Sachsenring, Germany | Combined Friday Practice Results | Round 7 of 20
1Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 20.271
2Jorge MartinESPPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 20.311
3Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 20.352
4Pecco BagnaiaITADucati Leonovo TeamDucati GP231m 20.371
5Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 20.420
6Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 20.623
7Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 20.639
8Enea BastianiniITADucati Leonovo TeamDucati GP231m 20.657
9Alex MarquezESPGresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 20.671
10Johann ZarcoFRAPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 20.702
11Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 20.765
12Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 20.799
13Augusto FernandezESPGasGas Factory Tech 3KTM RC161m 20.818
14Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 20.854
15Miguel OliveiraPORCryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 20.862
16Maverick VinalesESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 20.885
17Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 21.122
18Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 21.281
19Raul FernandezESPCryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 21.674
20Jonas FolgerGERGasGas Factory Tech 3KTM RC161m 22.818

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