German MotoGP: Lowly eighth for Bradley Smith

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Bradley Smith had to settle for a lowly eighth place on the timesheets after the opening 125GP practice session at a scorching hot Sachsenring today.

Fresh from his best result of the campaign at the last round in Catalunya when he claimed a hard fought second, the 19-year-old was left over 1.5s off the best pace in Germany this afternoon.

The Aspar Aprilia rider clocked a best time of 1.29.119 to finish less than a tenth off the top six. But he was well away from contending for top spot as dominant Marc Marquez continued his glorious run of form.

Smith’s time was 1.684s away from the Spaniard who looked in ominous form again on the Derbi machine.

Marquez has surged to the top of the world championship standings with a record-breaking four successive wins and his bid to make it five in a row started in impressive fashion.

Home favourite Sandro Cortese was leading the way with just over 20 minutes of the session remaining when Marquez kicked off his stunning charge.

A lap of 1.28.354 moved him over 0.4s clear of Cortese and on his next lap he stretched his advantage to 0.636s with a time of 1.28.124.

Title rival and fellow Spaniard Pol Espargaro reduced the deficit to 0.144s with 12 minutes remaining but he was powerless to stop Marquez from streaking away in the final ten minutes.

Eight minutes were left when a lap of 1.27.779 opened up a 0.489s gap on Espargaro in second. Marquez lapped a tenth faster on his next lap but saved his best for last when a 1.27.435 put him 0.833s clear.

Espargaro was the only rider to lap inside of a second of Marquez. Espargaro, who trails Marquez by a single point going into Sunday’s eighth race of the 2010 campaign, clocked a best time of 1.28.268.

That was just ahead of compatriot Efren Vazquez who is chasing a first podium finish since the opening race in Qatar this weekend.

Completing the top four was German Jonas Folger. His best time of 1.28.672 was 1.237s slower than Marquez but boosted his hopes of a maiden top six finish this season.

Danny Webb found himself in the top ten again with a best time of 1.29.333. The Kent rider is bidding for his sixth straight top ten finish in Sunday’s 27-lap race in an impressive campaign.

With 39-points scored so far in the opening seven races, Webb has already scored more points than his previous best for an entire season.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt