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Top-Ten for Morbidelli on GermanGP Opening Day

Top-Ten for Morbidelli on GermanGP Opening Day

Franco Morbidelli tenth and Valentino Rossi 21st on first day of Sachsenring return.

The opening day of the GermanGP, which saw PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s MotoGP riders on track at Sachsenring for the first time since 2019, ended with Franco Morbidelli tenth and Valentino Rossi 21st.

Taking time to get back up to speed around the Sachsenring track, Morbidelli had a steady start to FP1. He ended the session 14th with a time of 1min 22.381secs, after having his final flying lap deleted for exceeding track limits. Further improvements for Franco came in the hot conditions of FP2, where track temperatures almost reached 53C. The Italian was able to round out the session, and the day, just inside the top-ten with a 1min 21.228secs lap.

Team-mate Rossi also used FP1 to reacquaint himself with the German circuit, but steadily improved throughout the session. Posting a 1min 22.691secs lap, he ended the session 20th on the timing screens. The second half of the Italian’s FP2 session was briefly interrupted by a Turn 1 crash, but he was able to get back out on track moments later. Using his second bike to record a 1min 21.968secs lap, Valentino ended both the session and the day 21st.

Tomorrow’s FP3 session for Morbidelli and Rossi will get underway at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT), with the first of the two MotoGP Qualifying sessions due to begin at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).

Franco Morbidelli

"It has been a good first day and we managed to get into the top-ten, which is an important thing. Although I think the lap time will need to be a bit faster to get into Q2. Today we were fast enough to do it and I felt good with the bike, we didn’t have any problems, so I’m happy about that. Of course there are things that could be better here and there, which we will do our best to try to improve, but it’s only the first day here. We are looking at some combinations of settings at the moment, to give ourselves the best bike setup that we possibly can. Let’s see what happens tomorrow."

Valentino Rossi

"It’s been difficult today because it’s been very hot. In FP2 this afternoon we also tried the harder tyre to try to understand what it’s like. My second run was not too bad because my pace was quite good but in the end I unfortunately had a small crash, and it made me lose some confidence. This also meant that I had to change bike for the time attack, so my fast lap was not fantastic – plus I also made a mistake in the fourth sector. I am losing some time in sector three, so we need to look at this to find the best setting for tomorrow. It’s difficult to predict what will happen this weekend, as it is only Friday, but we will try our best."