Bezzecchi tops drama filled Practice 2 in Germany
By Kyle White
Saturday 17th June, 2023 - 7:54am
Marco Bezzecchi headed the times in an incident-filled second practice at the Sachsenring in Germany on Friday.
The VR46 Ducati rider shot up the leaderboard on his final lap, jumping from 16th to first as he edged out Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) by 0.040s, with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro in third, only 0.081s off Bezzecchi’s best time of 1:20.271s.
Marc Marquez was caught up in more drama after the Repsol Honda rider wiped out Johann Zarco as the session was nearing an end.
Marquez appeared to lose the front of his Repsol Honda going into Turn 1 and took out the Pramac Ducati rider, who was exiting pit lane.
The session, which had been delayed by 10 minutes, was red-flagged as a result.
It was the second stoppage in the hour-long FP2 after a red flag was deployed earlier to allow debris to be removed from the track when Takaaki Nakagami had a big crash at Turn 11. The LCR Honda rider looked to have hurt his hand as he struggled to his feet and walked away from his mangled machine.
After a short delay following the Marquez-Zarco incident, the action resumed for the final few minutes, with Bezzecchi’s rapid charge giving him the fastest time overall on Friday.
Italian Francesco Bagnaia, seeking a third successive victory this weekend, was fourth fastest on the factory Ducati – a tenth down on Bezzecchi – while Australia’s Jack Miller improved significantly from FP1 on the Red Bull KTM to claim fifth.
Fabio Quartararo maintained his promising start to the weekend on the Monster Energy Yamaha, rounding out the top six, with Luca Marini (VR46 Ducati) and Enea Bastianini (Lenovo Ducati) next.
Alex Marquez (Gresini Ducati) and Miller’s KTM team-mate Brad Binder completed the top ten.
Zarco ended the afternoon session down in 14thwith Sachsenring specialist Marquez in 18th spot and 14th on the combined times after his fastest FP1 lap.
Marquez, who has won 11 times in 11 appearances at the German circuit, will now have to ride in Q1 on Saturday.
The 30-year-old had earlier survived a big moment when he lost the rear of his Honda into Turn 11.
Miguel Oliveira, who had held sway at the top on the RNF Aprilia earlier in the session, was 13th on the time sheets after a crash at Turn 10.
His team-mate, Raul Fernandez, was involved in a nasty fall just after the challenging waterfall corner at Turn 11 and was 17th.
Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Factory) was caught out at Turn 1 in the final moments of the session before the drama unfolded involving Marquez and the luckless Zarco, resulting in another stoppage, with Zarco’s Ducati wrecked in the incident.
Although the track was dry enough for slicks when the session began in the wake of some rain in the afternoon, a number of riders opted to bide their time – including Marquez and Yamaha’s Quartararo – before venturing onto the track.