In a weekend where Honda are missing ‘King of the Ring’ Marc Marquez and therefore likely to have their incredible MotoGP record at Sachsenring halted, Espargaro’ attempts at leading the team to a good result took a major setback. 

A big reason for that was the disastrous start Espargaro suffered in FP1. After crashing at turn one, a corner that was proving difficult for everyone as Alex Rins and Andrea Dovizioso also crashed at said turn - Aleix Espargaro and Enea Bastianini both had trips through the gravel too - the former KTM rider went down again but this time in a much more dramatic way.

Espargaro, who tucked the front on entry to the corner during his first crash, then highsided over the top of his Honda machine, hitting the ground very hard on his left side.

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Clearly in pain, Espargaro was slow getting back to his feet before marshals set about recovering his wrecked RC213V. 

While the Repsol Honda rider managed to take part in FP2, Espargaro was unable to find the performance needed in order to claim a top ten, instead finishing 14th - eight tenths down on Francesco Bagnaia.

“Today was a tough day. The first crash wasn’t bad but the second one really caught me by surprise and I came down quite hard,” said Espargaro. 

“My wrist and elbow hurt a bit but the biggest pain at the moment is on my left ribs. It’s hard to take a deep breath and especially with all the left corners here, it’s quite painful. 

“We need to rest tonight and take some anti-inflammatories. Even like this we were able to be faster than last year, but the pace is really high this weekend and we will have to work tomorrow for QP2. Today I was the limit, there’s still some margin inside of me.”

Despite his big accident in Barcelona just two weeks ago, an incident that saw Takaaki Nakagami suffer a big hit to the head, the Japanese rider bounced back to end day-one as the fastest Honda.

After finishing an impressive fifth in FP1, the Japanese rider narrowly missed out on the top ten by +0.046s.