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Chilly and windy conditions on the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland Friday made for a difficult start to the race weekend. Fabio Quartararo was pushing in the Practice time attack but in the end found himself in 14h place in the timesheets. Remy Gardner booked progress on his first day on the YZR-M1. He finished in 20th place and will join Quartararo in tomorrow’s Q1 session.
Chemnitz (Germany), 5th July 2024
The chilly Friday at the Sachsenring was an eventful opening to the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland weekend. Multiple crashers and a red-flag break showed how much all the MotoGP riders had to be on the limit. Fabio Quartararo's best time was 0.785s from the top, but it was not enough for a top-10 placement. It left him in 14th position and on the Q1 entry list. Remy Gardner was up for the challenge to try his hand at riding the YZR-M1, despite the tricky conditions. A crash in Turn 13 at the end of the Practice had him end the session in 20th place.

Quartararo had done solid work in FP1, so he was ready to push to the limit on the Friday afternoon. An eventful first 22 minutes of the Practice, ending with a red flag, served as a warning that the conditions were challenging: the colder temperatures meant that the few right-handers at the Sachsenring had to be carefully dealt with. Pit lane reopened at 15:35 local track time. In the final 20 minutes, Quartararo attempted multiple time attacks, but he was unable to reach the top 10. He wrapped up the Practice with a 1'20.407s, set on lap 29/30, which put him in 14th place, 0.785s from first.

Gardner used the 45 minutes of the morning session to get acquainted with the YZR-M1. The goal for the Australian this weekend is to gather as much data as possible for the Factory Yamaha team. So he set out to complete as many laps as he could and finished FP1 in 22nd place with a 1'22.969s best lap. The number-87 rider used the afternoon to shave off time. The track conditions remained tricky all session, and they caught Gardner out in the final stages when he took a fall in Turn 13. He was unhurt, but it did end his time attack prematurely. Still, the replacement rider had found a significant time improvement compared to Friday morning. He clocked a 1'21.405s on lap 23/27, which left him 1.783s off the best time and put him in 20th place in the timesheets.

The teammates will be back in action for FP2, held tomorrow from 10:10 - 10:40 (GMT +2). The qualifying sessions will follow from 10:50 - 11:30, and the 15-lap Sprint will start at 15:00.
Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

The conditions were tricky at the Sachsenring today. It was quite cold and windy, and this track is notorious for having predominantly left-handers, so it's difficult to get heat into the right side of the tyre and keep it at the right temperature. That's why we saw so many crashes today. We had hoped for a top-10 spot, and Fabio put in a good attempt, but the times were all very close together. We are still missing something, so we have to keep working, because even just a few tenths can make the difference on short tracks like this. As for Remy, he did a good job, apart from maybe the crash at the end. It's not easy to fill in for a MotoGP rider on such short notice. Gigs like this come with a lot of pressure, but he handled it well. He's new to our team and to riding the M1, but he already did good lap times on the first day, and we're impressed. We're glad his crash at the end was not more serious, and we're looking forward to continue our work with him tomorrow, gathering as much data as possible.
Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

It was really windy. I think this was one of the reasons why there were so many crashes: the wind was pushing so much on the front. But today's temperature is not related to the difficulties we're having. I expected to be struggling here, but we seem to be struggling in different areas than I thought we would. I had expected better in some places. So, it's difficult. In the end, we are one tenth from Q2, and that's a bit frustrating. To be fair, this is a short track, so one tenth is still quite a lot. I did have the chance to ride behind some other riders and draw a comparison. This is great information for Yamaha. We will try to make the best of what we have, and then we'll see.
Remy Gardner

Remy Gardner

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Replacement Rider

Obviously, I struggled a little bit in FP2 adapting to the Michelins and the bike. Before the Practice session we did a little work on the riding by checking data and readjusting the electronics and, actually, it was not going half bad. I think the gap is not too bad for having spent just two hours on the bike, it's not horrible. Maybe we could have done a 1'20.9s, or something like that, if I hadn't gone down at the end and would have managed to put the whole lap together, which I think is respectable. On that last lap, I went into Turn 13 a bit hot, and with the slipstream I locked the front tyre and went down pretty early on braking. I didn't expect it. Unfortunately, my little pinky got caught under the handlebar for a split second there, and I lost a bit of skin, but I'll be alright. I think a points finish may be a bit much to ask this weekend. If I can battle with other riders and have a good fight in the Race and enjoy myself, in the end, that's the most important.