While Marc Marquez was the huge favourite to win this weekend at the Sachsenring in Germany, a big crash has cast a slight, slight shadow of doubt on that.
Marquez crashed in Turn 2 during the first practice session; reports say he wasn’t going terribly fast, but as you can see from the photos (from his Twitter feed), he landed hard on his head. After the crash, he was able to get back on the track, and his best time put him in sixth place in that session. Improved times in the second session left him second overall for the day.
“I was fortunate not to get injured, but the impact was hard,” Marquez said. “The crash was a little strange, but when we looked at the telemetry later on we understood why it happened. It’s a long left turn in second gear on the throttle the whole time, and I accidentally touched the gear shift lever with the toe of my boot. This engaged another gear and as I was leant so far over – and had the gas open – the rear wheel slid out and I was thrown off.”
Meanwhile, Dani Pedrosa, the other rider with high expectations this weekend due to past successes, has also crashed. He did well in the first session (first overall), but a crash in the second session has slowed him down enough that he’s now in tenth, looking at combined times. He did rejoin the session on a new bike, so it’s not as if he’s ruled out.
So far, Aleix Espargaro is in first, aboard the NGM Forward Racing Yamaha.