July 2019

2019 Donington World Superbike FP1 Result: Sykes Leads Razgatlioglu

In an unpredictable morning's session, Tom Sykes was the only rider with a 1'27 lap, leading Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alex Lowes. The championship front runners did not have a good morning, with Alvaro Bautista the quickest Ducati in eleventh place, two places behind BMW replacement rider Peter Hickman. Michael van der Mark was declared fit after qualifying but Eugene Laverty will have to wait until after Free Practice two.

Results:

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2019 Sachsenring MotoE FP1 Result: Raffin Tops First Official Practice Session

MotoE finally joins the MotoGP circus at the Sachsenring and Jesko Raffin steals the first headline for Dynavolt Intact GP, after leading the way for most of the session from Niki Tuuli. Alex de Angelis completed the top three, with Hector Garzo, race simulation winner Eric Granado, Xavier Simeon and Bradley Smith all finishing within a second of the leader.

Results:

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2019 Sachsenring Moto2 FP1 Result: Folger Thrives On Home Ground

The perhaps unexpected championship lead gave a little boost to Tom Luthi, who set an early benchmark before the intermediate class went for a bit of a shootout due to very slight concerns about the weather on Saturday. A hint of sun was casting shadows on track for the attack in the final ten minutes and the third session of the day brought some joy to the local crowds as Jonas Folger continued his comeback by leading the way in FP1.

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2019 Sachsenring MotoGP FP1 Result: Quartararo Nagging Marquez

A bit grey and a bit gloomy but the weekend in Germany started in predictable fashion at the top of the timesheets. Sachsenking Marc Marquez found over half a second on the competition from his very first outing and went unchallenged until the very last minute of the session, when Fabio Quartararo swapped to fresh tyres for one flying lap to steal the headlines. Marquez reverted to his standard strategy and focused on finding a steady pace of low to mid 1:22s on used rubber (and new chassis) as he settled for second by only seven hundredths of a second.

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2019 Sachsenring Moto3 FP1 Result: Rookie In the Spotlight

After barely a couple days’ rest, the show was back on track at a grey Sachsenring. The warmth of Assen was gone and a dusty surface welcomed the lightweight class but pace picked up drastically by the end of the day’s first session. John McPhee picked up the lead on lap four, after harshly picking up Niccolo Antonelli and the Petronas Sprinta rider spent most of his morning at the top of the timesheets, until fresh tyres hit the track and times came tumbling.

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Sachsenring MotoGP Preview: Who Can Prevent A Marquez Perfect Ten?

There are two things which any motorcycle racing fan needs to know about the Sachsenring circuit in the east of Germany. The first is that the track has an awful lot of left-hand corners, which all flow together into one long turn, the bike spending a lot of time on its side. The second is that Marc Márquez has started from pole position and won the race since 2010, nine years in a row, in 125s, Moto2, and MotoGP. These two facts are probably not unconnected. Marc Márquez loves turning left, his win rate at anticlockwise circuits hovering around 70%. If a track goes left, there is a more than two in three chances that Márquez will come out victorious.

Márquez is especially good at the Sachsenring. The reigning champion starts every race as the man to beat, but the German Grand Prix is different. Here, riders speak of how close they hope to finish to him, rather than how they are going to beat him. His name is penciled in on the winner's trophy, the race almost, but not quite, a formality.

Even though the race is something of a foregone conclusion, the track itself is a fascinating circuit. On paper, it seems far too short and far too tight to be a MotoGP track, the bikes barely cracking sixth gear, and spending little time at full throttle. But that doesn't mean the track isn't a challenge.

Up and down, round and round

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Danilo Petrucci Confirmed With Ducati For 2020 Season

The possible permutations in MotoGP rider line up for 2020 are limited, with almost everyone already under contract for next season. At the Sachsenring, Danilo Petrucci was added to the ranks of confirmed riders, with Ducati extending his contract in the factory team for 2020.

A contract extension for Petrucci had been on the cards for some while, the Italian's victory at Mugello making it an inevitability. Ducati are very pleased with Petrucci's performance, and the way that he and Andrea Dovizioso have worked together.

Petrucci is also something of a bargain. Word around the paddock is that Petrucci is being paid somewhere in the region of €700,000, though he had been hoping for over €1 million after winning at Mugello. After two seasons of Jorge Lorenzo commanding in the region of €12.5 million a year, Ducati's budget is getting a breather.

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Nicolas Goubert On Rebuilding MotoE After The Fire, And Lessons Learned: Part 2 - Looking To The Future

Coming weekend, history will be made. For the first time, Grand Prix racing will welcome vehicles not powered by internal combustion engines, as the MotoE series makes its debut at the Sachsenring. It is the very first step on the long path toward a future where batteries replace burning hydrocarbons.

But the series got off to a rocky start, even before the first race. At the second test of the electric bike racing series, a fire started in the special tent containing all of the bikes, batteries, and chargers, destroying everything and wiping out the entire series in one fell swoop.

Since March, Nicolas Goubert, director of the MotoE series for Dorna, Energica, who build the spec electric bikes to be raced in the series, and Enel, who supply the charging technology to maintain the bikes, have worked at double speed to rebuild everything needed for the series, and get it ready for the inaugural race at the Sachsenring.

In Le Mans, I spoke at length to Goubert about the progress made in preparing the series, the challenges they had faced, and the lessons learned from the fire in Jerez. The fire highlighted some of the difficulties of an electric bike series, but just staging the series raises logistical and technical issues which nobody had foreseen.

Here is part 2 of the interview. If you want to read part 1, catch it here.

Q: Any logistics things that you haven’t thought of? Apart from the power supply in the charger, which you already said.

Nicolas Goubert: Yeah. We will be in charge of all the logistics. We’re trying to make the series as easy as possible for them. So basically it will be plug and play for them. They will arrive - when I say “they,” the teams. They will arrive with the crew.

Q: They turn up, set the bike up, the rider gets on the bike and rides, and that’s it?

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Nicolas Goubert On Rebuilding MotoE After The Fire, And Lessons Learned: Part 1 - After The Fire

Coming weekend, history will be made. For the first time, Grand Prix racing will welcome vehicles not powered by internal combustion engines, as the MotoE series makes its debut at the Sachsenring. It is the very first step on the long path toward a future where batteries replace burning hydrocarbons.

But the series got off to a rocky start, even before the first race. At the second test of the electric bike racing series, a fire started in the special tent containing all of the bikes, batteries, and chargers, destroying everything and wiping out the entire series in one fell swoop.

Since March, Nicolas Goubert, director of the MotoE series for Dorna, Energica, who build the spec electric bikes to be raced in the series, and Enel, who supply the charging technology to maintain the bikes, have worked at double speed to rebuild everything needed for the series, and get it ready for the inaugural race at the Sachsenring.

In Le Mans, I spoke at length to Goubert about the progress made in preparing the series, the challenges they had faced, and the lessons learned from the fire in Jerez. The fire highlighted some of the difficulties of an electric bike series, but just staging the series raises logistical and technical issues which nobody had foreseen.

Here is part 1 of the interview. Part 2 will follow tomorrow:

Q: I want to ask obviously about the progress, because that’s important, but also just in general about because setting up a completely new series, you’re going to run into things that you never thought of. But first of all, do you know what caused the fire yet?

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