#GermanGP - July 5, 2024

The Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland action kicked off on Friday at the good old Sachsenring, as Red Bull GASGAS Tech3’s Pedro Acosta and Augusto Fernandez both aimed to conclude the first half of 2024 on a good note. The summer vibe looked quite different in Germany, with a grey sky, wind and average temperatures, and the rain from overnight left the track still a bit tricky this morning with some damp patches over the 3.671 meters layout. After an hectic Practice this afternoon, Pedro Acosta made his way to the top 10 and successfully secured himself a Q2 ticket, finishing 8th of Practice, while Augusto Fernandez took P15, with a very small gap to the leaders.

If Assen was rather bittersweet after the rookie’s late crash in Sunday’s race, coming to Sachsenring felt much more like home for MotoGP™'s sensation Pedro Acosta, who holds two wins in three Grand Prix participations. As Free Practice 1 kicked off chapter 9 of the 2024 MotoGP™ World Championship, we saw Pedro Acosta competitive from the first laps, as he progressively gained ground on his rivals. A late 1’21.151 meant that he finished fifth of the opening session, 0.576 seconds off the fastest rider, 2023 winner Jorge Martin. In the one hour practice, Acosta meant business, as we quickly saw him lapping a 1’20.953, as he became the provisional leader of the timesheets. Times went down for others too, but the young Shark remained competitive and provisionally in the top 3 behind the Factory Ducati duo, until the red flag caused by Fabio Di Giannantonio’s crash. Shortly after the action resumed, Acosta crashed for the second time of the day, in T1 this time, but he was able to get back on track quickly as twenty minutes remained on the clock. Shortly after that, he clocked in a 1’20.589 moving him back up within the provisional top 5. Then, as ten minutes remained, seats had moved quite a lot, with Acosta out of the top 10, but one last push and an improvement to 1’20.142 secured the rookie his Q2 ticket, as he finished 8th, 0.520 seconds from the fastest lap. He also registered the new top speed at the Sachsenring today, reaching 306.8 km/h with his GASGAS!

Disappointed from his Dutch campaign at one of his favorite tracks, the TT Circuit Assen, Augusto Fernandez was another one to give an ever bigger push to show more competitiveness on his RC16. Friday morning started very well for the #37 on the left hand-sided circuit, as he closed FP1 with the sixth fastest time, in 1’21.151, the exact same lap time as his teammate. Half an hour within a tight Practice, there were fourteen riders less than one second from each other, and Augusto Fernandez was just in P15, 1.040 seconds off the top. Unfortunately, he was also one to crash in the afternoon as we saw him losing the front in sector 2. Once the bike was ready to go again, Fernandez returned to the fight for top 10, and an improved lap time in 1’20.613 saw him getting back in the game, provisionally just outside of the top 10. As times went down in an ultimate time attack session, Augusto Fernandez was retrograted to P15 in the end, and he will have to go through qualifying 1 on Saturday morning. The action will be back tomorrow with Free Practice 2 at 10:10 local time (GMT+2).

Position: 8th
Time: 1'20.142
Laps: 28
"I felt better today in 40 laps than the full weekend in Assen, so the least we can say is that it was a positive day for us. We crashed two times, two stupid crashes from my perspective, but I am happy with the steps made between Free Practice 1 and Practice. The pace was coming quite easy, we were constantly fast. We tried the time attacks with different tyres options, but once we found the right one, we were feeling very well. More than happy to be qualified in Q2 directly!"

Position: 15th
Time: 1'20.613
Laps: 26
"It was a good Friday for us, finally, probably the best of the season so far. We saw some light, we were a bit more competitive, closer to guys, and I think that it was possible to finish in the top 10 today. Unfortunately, I was not able to improve my lap times in the second time attack, so I finished P15, but it was a really positive day for us, we know the direction that we need to take for tomorrow, and hopefully we can make a step to fight for Q2.


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