#GermanGP Sachsenring, Saturday roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News


Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) is becoming a Tissot Sprint master in 2023, making it two wins in the last three on a Saturday afternoon after more glory at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. The Spaniard beat World Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) by 2.4s and in doing so, Martin moves up to second overall, with Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completing the rostrum.

A barnstorming start
Miller got a rocket ship launch on the KTM RC16 once again, he had the inside line for Turn 1 but Bagnaia hung it around the outside to hit the front at Turn 2. Miller tried to make a move stick at Turn 8 but that didn’t work, and Martin then made his way through on Miller down at Turn 12.

On Lap 2 at Turn 1 though, Bagnaia and Martin were wide and that allowed Miller to move back through to the lead. Then it tightened up again, with lead group of five formed as Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) joined the party.

Meanwhile, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) wasn’t enjoying his early Sprint laps, the King of the Ring down to P9 on Lap 5, and that despite having made a good start.

Back at the front, it had become a top seven as Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) and Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) joined the breathless action, and Martin was on the move back into the lead too as he grabbed P1 with a beautiful double overtake down the Waterfall as the two ahead shuffled.

Pin pulled
Lap 6 ticked by and Martin was asking big questions – a 1:20.990 saw the Spaniard sit eight tenths clear of Bagnaia, who had also now overtaken Miller. Another fastest lap of the Sprint came in from Martin with nine laps to go, and the gap was up to 1.1s. A lap later it was 1.3s. it seemed Bagnaia didn’t have an answer and barring any drama, the top three looked like they were set for the Sprint: Martin led Bagnaia by 1.4s, and the latter 0.8s clear of Miller.

The Aussie was, in turn, 1.4s ahead of Marini, but the battle for P4 was alive and kicking as Marini had Binder and Zarco right on his coattails. The three-way tussle was fascinating as twice Binder tried to find a way through on Marini at Turn 1, but both times the South African was slightly wide.

As Martin crossed the line for another stunning Sprint win and Bagnaia and Miller secured their visits to the rostrum, the battle was hotting up. At Turn 11, the rapid right-hander, Zarco pounced on Binder and the South African was sent wide, losing some ground as the Frenchman disappeared up the road to take that fifth place. It was investigated but no further action taken…

Marini held onto P4 ahead of Zarco and Binder as Bezzecchi, Alex Marquez(Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) completed the points scorers in P7, P8 and P9. Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) rounded out the top 10, with Marc Marquez dropping from P7 to P11 in a disappointing Sprint on a circuit he’s been unbeatable at. He said after the race that risk vs reward saw him roll off.

Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) crashed unhurt at Turn 1, with Jonas Folger(GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) retiring from his home GP Sprint.


Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) secured his first pole of 2023 at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, and by 0.269s as the Spaniard heads title rival and points leader Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team. Jake Dixon(Polarcube GASGAS Aspar Team) completes the front row, taking third by thousandths as the Mugello podium finishers remained ahead of the game on Saturday at the Sachsenring.

Acosta’s best time was a 1:23.858 while he was directly behind Arbolino’s teammate, Sam Lowes… and he was the only rider to set a time in the 1:23s. After the first run, the number 37 found himself down in 11th but pulled out some fast laps at the end of the session to sear back to the top for pole. Arbolino was 0.269s behind Acosta, but Dixon was only a further 0.031s off.

Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) went from Q1 to the second row as he took fourth, with the Spaniard missing out on a front row start by just 0.046s. Alonso Lopez (MB Conveyors SpeedUp) will line up alongside him, while Lowes completes the second row after posting a 1:24.269.

Another rider who shone in Q2 after coming through Q1 was Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) as he grabbed seventh place, only 0.001s behind Lowes’ best time. Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors SpeedUp) took eighth with Albert Arenas (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completing the first three rows. Rookie Sergio Garcia (Pons Wegow Los40) completes the top ten.


As qualifying laps go, that was unbelievably special from Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP). The Japanese star smashed the Moto3™ Sachsenring lap record by setting a 1:25.130 to beat second place Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by a staggering 1.092s. Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) rounds out the front row, the Spaniard 1.1s adrift of polesitter Sasaki in qualifying at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.

Sasaki stuns, Holgado to start on Row 3
In contrasting conditions to what they endured in Practice 3, Sasaki set the initial benchmark and then got down to a 1:26.181 on his second flyer to sit 0.3s clear of Öncü. Sasaki then found the first 1:25s lap time of the session to go over half a second clear of the field after the first set of runs.

Pushing hard, Öncü closed Sasaki’s advantage to 0.2s as the session entered the final three minutes – with the majority of the field sat in pitlane. As it so often does in Moto3™, the last flying lap saw changes aplenty but the top two remained unchanged in terms of position. However, Sasaki unleashed a lap from the gods to take pole position by 1.092s! Simply sublime from the Japanese rider.

The grid
Sasaki managed to help get rookie teammate Collin Veijer up to P4 in an impressive session for the Dutchman too, with David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) fifth fastest ahead of title-chasing Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing). However, Muñoz was subsequently given a Long Lap and back of the grid penalty for riding slow on the line, so Masia is bumped up to P5 and World Championship leader Daniel Holgado(Red Bull KTM Tech3) now launches from the outside of Row 2.

Kaito Toba (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) now head up Row 3 ahead of Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team).


Source: motogp.com


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