Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Brno:
Only a couple of hours after the downpour, the intermediate class did not need much persuading to switch to slick tyres and the surface was fully dry by the end of the session, prompting a classic FP3 time attack. As the only class standing a chance to change the hierarchy in the combined standings, riders really got to work for the final five minutes and some were more successful than others.
The sky was completely covered in deep grey clouds by the time the final session of the day got underway but a glimpse of sun shone metaphorically for the rookies of the intermediate class, starting with Fabio Di Giannantonio. The young Italian set camp at the top of the timesheets going into the final handful of minutes of the session and had no successful challengers until the checkered flag. Nicolo Bulega came really close though, the SKY rider three hundredths of a second off top spot and putting together some excellent auditions for prospective teams.
Holiday mood was definitely gone by the time the intermediate class took their turn to get back to work and clouds were getting darker in the background. Rain never became a concern but FP1 gave a bit of a shakeup to the usual hierarchy, with Tetsuta Nagashima putting his name at the top of the timesheets for the final part of the session. A more familiar sight was Brad Binder in second position, the Red Bull KTM rider putting his new chassis to good use straight away and coming six hundredths of a second short of the lead.
Few people are involved in as many different aspects of MotoGP as Razlan Razali.
The Malaysian is not only Principal of the Petronas-backed MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 teams, but CEO of the Sepang Circuit and helps with management duties for the likes of local star Hafizh Syahrin.
The following interview, conducted at Catalunya, was equally wide-ranging - Razali giving his views on the success of the newly-formed satellite Yamaha MotoGP team, the race-winning Moto3 project, rider replacements and future plans for Moto2, Syahrin's 2020 options, Sepang's future on the MotoGP calendar and more…
Q: What are your personal highlights of the season so far?
Razlan Razali: My personal highlight would be the 1-2 in qualifying at Jerez [This interview was done before Fabio Quartararo's poles and podiums at Barcelona and Assen - DE]. That was something quite unbelievable. So in some ways we are now starting to get used to the fact that we are there for qualifying, but now the next step is to capitalize on the qualifying position for good race results. That is something also we discussed internally and with Yamaha as well.
But, we want to give our riders time because racing is all about experience and improving every race. Of course, the Yamaha is a bit weak when it comes to racing. But I’m confident in the plans, about what Yamaha is going to do for the rest of the year. It will give time for our riders to gain that experience and hopefully then we can do better when it comes to racing.
Q: In general, what is it that is missing in the race that is there in qualifying?
Some things changed at this year's edition of the German Grand Prix, held at the Sachsenring. The race was organized by the ADAC, the German equivalent of the Automobile Association, instead of the former promoter, a local organization based at the circuit. The difference was immediately evident: the event appeared to run more smoothly and more efficiently, and some of the old peculiarities ("we've always done it that way") replaced with things that actually work. It felt like a much better Grand Prix, without losing any of the charm which had marked it out before.
Then there was the inaugural round of MotoE, the new electric bike racing class which joins the MotoGP series. History was made on Sunday morning, when eighteen Energica Ego Corsa motorcycles lined up for the first ever all-electric motorcycle race. The race was shortened from 8 to 7 laps after being declared wet, and then red flagged after 5 laps when Lorenzo Savadori crashed out at Turn 8 after being clipped by Eric Granado.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the German round at the Sachsenring:
Moto2 standings after the ninth race of the season at the Sachsenring:
Results and summary of the Moto2 race at the Sachsenring: