Press releases from the teams - all except LCR Honda and Cardion AB - previewing the German MotoGP round at the Sachsenring:
German Grand Prix up next for Rizla Suzuki
Publish Date: Monday, July 11, 2011
Rizla Suzuki will be at Sachsenring in eastern Germany for the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship with Álvaro Bautista looking to take the positives from Mugello last time out.
With his fitness back to 100%, Bautista is looking for a confidence-inspiring ride at the German circuit to propel him into the second half of the season. He was challenging for a top-six finish at the Italian Grand Prix before a huge front end slide put paid to his ambitions as he ran off the track and lost valuable time. Bautista completed almost 90-laps at Mugello in a post-race test and made some significant advances with the set-up, handling and electronics on the Suzuki GSV-R, all of which he hopes will assist him for the remainder of the season.
The historic Sachsenring track is situated near the town of Hohenstein-Ernstthal, about 80km from Dresden. The original street circuit was incorporated into a new purpose built track in the 1990's, but modifications and alterations to the layout have meant that no part of the original track is now used. The 3,671m configuration of 13 corners is certainly a circuit of two halves; the first part is as tight-and-twisty as anywhere on the calendar, before the anti-clockwise layout opens out to include a scary right-hand blind crest taken at over 200km/h on to a fast downhill section, some sweeping bends and 700m long finish straight.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP takes to the track on Friday for two 45-minute free practice sessions, followed by a further practice session on Saturday morning, with an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday's 30-lap race is scheduled to get underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
"I cannot wait for the race to come - it will not be soon enough for me! I made some really big steps at Mugello in both the race and the test. We now have all that info to use at Sachsenring and the rest of the tracks this season. I think we are capable of running with the top-six or seven at most tracks now and just need a little bit of something to get us there - I don't know if it's luck or what it is, but we will keep trying until we find it! I like the Sachsenring circuit and I've been on the podium there three times. It is not an easy track to get the bike set-up right for, but when you do it's great fun to ride at. It's about a lot of edge grip, so we will have to work on that and get the bike set-up as quickly as we can."
Yamaha Factory Racing Prepares for Sachsenring
With two consecutive Grand Prix wins under their belts, Yamaha Factory Racing are preparing for The Grand Prix of Germany at the Sachsenring circuit this weekend in confident mood. A superb victory at the Assen TT for Ben Spies followed by a flawless ride by Jorge Lorenzo to claim the chequered flag at Mugello has left the team and riders eager to get straight to business in Germany.
Sachsenring remains one of the few tracks on the GP calendar where Lorenzo has yet to win, taking second place on the podium in 2009 and again in 2010. Last year's race had been looking like another victory for the championship leader until a red flag changed the circumstances. The reigning World Champion will be looking to add the circuit to his list of vanquished tracks on Sunday.
Spies has unfinished business in Germany; the Texan was characteristically quick to learn the circuit on his first visit last year and had been on track for a strong grid position until an incident packed qualifying saw him relegated to 13th. Despite the setback the then MotoGP rookie put in a blistering performance and was at times one of the five fastest on track, eventually finishing in a hard fought eighth place.
The tight and twisty Sachsenring circuit which flows through the wooded hillsides of East Germany will be immediately followed by Laguna Seca in the USA. These will be the last of the back to back races before the MotoGP teams take a well earned summer break ahead of Brno in the Czech Republic on 12th August.
"I feel very good after our victory in Mugello; an amazing victory that we needed for our confidence. We'll take more power from it for future races, especially for the next two in a row. Now it's time for Germany; Sachsenring is a unique track which I've ridden since 2002 and still not won! I would like to do it, it's an interesting challenge in front my German fans. The team and I are ready to again try to reduce the gap to Casey, our aim is the podium, but we will try to push for the win."
"I'm really looking forward to the next two races. I got on pretty well at Sachsenring last year; the end result didn't reflect how good we were. I think if qualifying had not been so incident filled we would have started closer to the front. We are in pretty good shape right now with the team, the bike is feeling really good, I'm feeling confident on it and the results are showing it. Of course afterwards we head to my home race in the US and I get to run the red and white colours again!"
"I'm very much looking forward to the next two rounds after a great race in Mugello, coming back from a difficult period to win again. When we are able to deliver a great package like in Italy then Jorge is able to fight for victory. That is our target again in Sachsenring and Laguna. It is very important to make these next two rounds count before the holidays; we are only 19 points behind the lead with still half the season to go so anything can happen."
"We are going to Germany with some optimism, in the last few races we got good results and we would like to continue this. In the last three years Yamaha proved to have a good bike for the Sachsenring track and we have a good set up for both riders now. I don't know the circuit myself, it will be my first visit with the team but I am confident that we can perform well after looking at our history there."
Edwards and Crutchlow set for Sachsenring
The 2011 MotoGP World Championship reaches the halfway stage this weekend with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow determined to deliver strong performances at Germany's Sachsenring circuit.
Experienced American Edwards is looking to consolidate his place inside the top 10 in the overall rankings having scored points in six of the seven races he's started in 2011.
And he's determined to leave Europe full of confidence ahead of his crucial home round at the spectacular and challenging Laguna Seca track in California on July 24.
His best result at Sachsenring was fourth position in 2007 and he is confident the improving handling perf ormance from the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 this season will be a crucial advantage in dealing with the demands of the 2.281 miles track.
This weekend presents another big challenge for British rookie Crutchlow, who will be making his Sachsenring debut. The 25-year-old is concentrating all his efforts on bouncing back from difficult races in Assen and Mugello recently and is aiming for a welcome return to the top 10.
Sachsenring is the shortest track on the World Championship schedule but certainly one of the most challenging, the undulating layout made up of predominantly left-hand corners.
A tight and twisty first section is ended by one of the most jaw-dropping turns on the calendar. Turn 11 is taken flat-out in fifth gear with a blind entry that drops down to a left-hander at the bottom of the hill, which has become a favourite overtaking point.
Immediately after Sunday's 30-lap race, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team heads off to Laguna Seca for the first of two visits to America in the space of five weeks.
Colin Edwards, 9th - 53 points:
"The last two races haven't been that fantastic but we can point to a bad tyre choice in both for that. We've got to take some responsibility for that but sometimes you roll the dice and gamble but the result doesn't go your way. That's all behind me now and I'm just concentrating 100 per cent on getting a good result in Germany this weekend. This track is pretty special with so many left-hand turns but our chassis is much better than last year, so I'm sure the bike will be easier to ride in the tight and twisty sections. The break after Mugello has really helped my physical condition. I've been able to get some good rest and the muscle damage around the r ibs on the right side of my body isn't as painful as it was. I'll only understand how much of an improvement there's been on Friday when I get on the bike, but I'm expecting a lot less discomfort than in Mugello where it was quite tough. Aside from 2003 when I had the fireball at the bottom of the hill, I've really enjoyed my time at Sachsenring. The German fans are really knowledgeable and they love MotoGP, so hopefully we can put on a good show for them. I'll be looking for a good result to take some momentum into my home race at Laguna Seca, which is a huge weekend for me and one I'm already excited about."
Cal Crutchlow, 14th - 32 points:
"Like a lot of tracks so far in 2011, I haven't seen this one before but it looks really good on TV and I can't wait to get started on Friday. The track is obviously dominated by left-hand turns but I'm not worried that is going to be a big problem for me. The left collarbone I broke at Silverstone last month is fine and I'm happy with the progress it is making. After all the weather disruptions of the last few weeks, I'm just hoping for a dry weekend so I can learn the track quicker. And I'm also hoping for hot conditions because that will give me an opportunity to solve some of the front-end issues I've been experiencing lately. When the temperature is hot I've had some issues with front-end feeling, so hopefully some hot weather will give us the perfect opportunity to find a solution. I'm confident I can be running back inside the top ten and getting the results I know that the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is capable of."
Repsol Honda Team leading the way as season approaches halfway stage
This weekend, the Grand Prix of Germany marks the halfway point of the MotoGP World Championship, the ninth round of the calendar.
The Sachsenring circuit, the second shortest after Laguna Seca, is one of the most visited tracks in the world and the last European race before the summer break. The Repsol Honda Team will be aiming to capitalise on the improvements made to the RC212V at the test held in Mugello on July 4 and looking to fight victory.
Casey Stoner will seek to increase his gap of 19 points over Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP World Championship standings at a circuit where he clinched a podium last season and took the victory in 2008.
Andrea Dovizioso is in top form after achieving four podiums in the last five races that have consolidated him in third place overall. He will be looking to improve his Sachsenring record, where his best result in MotoGP has been fifth place.
Dani Pedrosa, who returned to competition in Italy after a month and a half off, has been training hard since Mugello to step up his fitness and prepare as best possible to face one of his strongest circuits: the Spaniard has four wins (two in MotoGP) and five podium finishes in Sachsenring where he won convincingly in 2010.
CASEY STONER – World Championship Position: 1st with 152 points
"I'm looking forward to going to Sachsenring, it's a circuit where we've enjoyed good results in the past few years. The track is very tight and technical so it demands a different style of riding and we also need to set the bike up in a different way. It's pretty tough on tyres as the majority of corners are long left handers so the wear on the left hand side of the tyre is quite significant. It takes a lot of work to get a good set up in order to have a good pace for the race distance. I really enjoy this race, the atmosphere is amazing and the countryside is beautiful. We've always been pretty fast there and I'm sure with the Honda we can be competitive".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – World Championship Position: 3rd with 119 points
"We arrive in Germany strong and competitive. The second place in front of the Italian crowd at Mugello gave us an extra boost to continue working and improving race after race. The post GP test at Mugello was an important occasion to fine tune the set up of the bike and try a new swing arm. We had good feedback so we arrive in Germany with a good base and I think we will use the new swing arm as the feeling was positive and lap times came easier. I enjoy going to Sachsenring, it has a good atmosphere and there are always a lot of spectators. However, as a circuit it is very different from Mugello, it's a quite short racetrack, with a very slow first section followed by a very fast second half. We will work hard from the first practice session, as we did in Mugello, this is very important to prepare the machine for the race. I'm very motivated, we are third in Championship and we want to continue gaining important points for the season".
DANI PEDROSA – World Championship Position: 7th with 69 points
"The last race in Mugello was good because after a long time without racing, I saw that I haven't lost the ability to go fast. I have to regain fitness and this week I have worked hard. I've always had very good races at Sachsenring and it's good to get to a track where you know you can do well. Contrary to Mugello, Germany is all almost left hand corners and this must help me. Last year, we had a great race there and hopefully we can do a good job again during practices, hope nothing goes wrong and come out with a good chance for the race".
Bridgestone MotoGP Preview - Round 9: Germany, Sachsenring
Tuesday 12 July 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
After a week's break since the Italian Grand Prix, MotoGP gets underway again in Germany on 17 July with the first of a back-to-back pairing of races that marks the end of the busiest period of the season with six races in eight weeks.
At the start of the year when tyre compound selections were first made, Bridgestone took the decision to bring softer rear slick tyres to the German Grand Prix this season, utilising the extra soft compound rubber developed at the end of last year in a bid to maximise warm-up performance.
The Sachsenring circuit has an anti-clockwise layout which means that for this race the left shoulders of the rear tyres need to be harder to cope with the temperature and wear, and it is the right shoulders that need to be softer.
The East German venue is a peculiar one for tyres however. It is a short lap, the second shortest of the season only 60metres longer than Laguna Seca, and the weather is unstable meaning it can become overcast and cool down quite quickly, but it is very severe on the left side of the tyres. The flowing nature means that corner speed is high, and on the abrasive tarmac front tyre wear can be high so for the first time since the opening round in Qatar, the extra hard compound front slicks have been selected. In fact, for the left side of the front tyres Sachsenring is the most severe test of the season. Front slick tyre compound options remained unchanged from last year.
Rear slicks are now available in medium and hard asymmetric compounds this season, one step softer than last year. Both options use the extra soft compound in the right shoulders, and are a special construction developed for Sachsenring and Philip Island specifically to cope with the high tyre temperature developed by a few corners. It is particularly the string of interlinked lefts from turn six to ten and the fast final two corners that generate the highest temperature.
Last year's German Grand Prix was run in two parts after a red flag caused by a crash involving Randy de Puniet, Aleix Espargaró and Álvaro Bautista. Dani Pedrosa took his second victory of the season, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner in third.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
"We saw a brilliant race last time out in Italy that was very exciting for the fans too, so I hope for a similar race in Germany! Dani, Valentino and Casey have each won in Germany in the last three years, each with a different manufacturer, so I hope this is a good sign that we may have a different winner again this year. Having spoken at length to the riders and teams recently we have confirmed that we will change our tyre allocation to bring softer spec tyres to four of the remaining races, but we had already decided at the start of the year to bring softer rears to Germany as part of our continuous assessment of compound selections, so I hope they are well received."
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"Sachsenring is a challenging balance for tyres because the circuit is very severe on the left side of the tyres, where we see some of the highest temperatures of the season, but by contrast the right shoulders of the tyres have a relatively easy time. This means that we need great heat and wear resistance from hard compounds on the left side with soft compounds in the right side for good warm-up. In fact, we have a special construction of slick tyre that we use just in Germany and at Philip Island to deal with tyre temperature. Having said this, this year we are bringing softer rear slicks to Germany as using our special construction we can achieve sufficient heat resistance whilst using a softer compounds than normal to maximise warm-up and tyre performance on what is otherwise quite a low ambient temperature race.
"Sachsenring starts with two slow right-hand corners but then opens into a series of very high speed long lefts that sweep onto the back straight and to the finish, generating a lot of temperature in the left shoulder of the tyres. The tarmac is abrasive too, and because of the loads on the left side of the front tyres we have selected our hard and extra hard compound options for good wear resistance and stability. If the bike, rider and tyre package is not working well, it is easy to overheat the left side of the tyres, particularly in the rear."
GERMANY MARKS HALFWAY POINT OF THE SEASON
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá ready to build on positive Italian showing
The MotoGP World Championship continues apace this weekend in Germany with the ninth round of the season and, as such, the halfway point. Over the next two weekends the riders will tackle two of the shortest circuits on the calendar - the first at Sachsenring and the second at Laguna Seca. Both tracks measure less than four kilometres in length and present a tight and twisty challenge before a well earned summer break. Jorge Lorenzo's victory last time out at Mugello has blown the championship open, making for an interesting prelude to the brief summer hiatus.
Héctor Barberá is looking forward to riding in Germany, where he produced one of his best performances of the season last year. The MAPFRE Aspar rider arrives on the back of a very positive seventh place last time out in Italy, in possibly his best MotoGP race yet. Héctor followed up with an even more impressive test on the Monday, when he set the fourth fastest time, and after gaining speed and confidence on his Ducati he is hopeful of continuing his form this weekend.
Héctor Barberá: "We put on a good show last year in Germany so I hope to at least equal that. Both the race in Italy and the test on the following day were very good for us and we have turned the difficult situation we were going through around. Now I go to Sachsenring with energy and enthusiasm - we are ready for the next Grand Prix. The track is quite well suited to my riding style and even though it is short is has some fast and flowing corners. I like the track and tend to be quite fast there so now we have gone back to a setting that works everything comes easier, so I hope that continues this weekend. Our objective as always is to be amongst the leading Ducatis."
SIMONCELLI TO USE MUGELLO RESULT AS SACHSENRING LAUNCHPAD
Marco Simoncelli is looking on his fifth place result at Mugello last time out as a launchpad for his upcoming weekend in Germany. A positive if not entirely satisfactory result at his home Grand Prix has given the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider fresh confidence after the debacles of Silverstone and Assen and now "Super Sic" is sure he can confirm his potential as a MotoGP frontrunner. Simoncelli confirmed his good form with the second fastest time of a post race test at Mugello, when he lapped just 0.096 seconds shy of Casey Stoner – a promising sign ahead of the next race at a circuit where Simoncelli celebrated 250cc victory in 2008 and 2009, whilst last year during his rookie season he finished a creditable sixth. Hiroshi Aoyama returned to the team at Mugello following his brief excursion on the factory Repsol Honda Team RC212V at Assen and whilst he endured a tough weekend as he continued to recover from injuries sustained in a crash in Holland he enjoyed a positive test and is looking forward to Sachsenring.
Marco Simoncelli "Mugello was definitely a positive weekend with a positive end result although I wasn't completely satisfied. It was important to get to the end of the race without any dramas and put the misadventures of Silverstone and Assen behind me. The test on Monday was also positive – we tried some solutions that could help us overcome the problems we had in the race at Mugello, where I seemed to struggle more than the others with a loss of grip due to the increased track temperature. Overall the visit to Mugello has given me confidence and motivation for the next round in Germany. Sachsenring is a circuit I like a lot, I have always been fast there in 125 and in 250, in fact I won the 250 races there in 2008 and 2009. Last year I had a good race in MotoGP, battling for fifth place. My objective is to do my best along with the team and try to improve on the result from Mugello."
Hiroshi Aoyama "After the experience at Assen on the factory Repsol Honda Team RC212V I struggled a little bit to get a feel for my Team San Carlo Honda Gresini machine at Mugello. To complicate matters I was still in a lot of discomfort from my crash in Holland but I gradually got back on the pace and with the help and dedication of all the guys on the team we came out with a satisfactory result. The test on the following day was much more positive with a view to Sachsenring. I actually missed the race there last year through injury so I have to go back to my 250 days for my last experience there. I was on the podium in 2005 and won the race in 2007 but the difference between 250 and MotoGP is too big to predict what kind of feeling I will have for the track with this bike."
Fausto Gresini "Simoncelli had to finish at Mugello and thankfully he did. The result wasn't quite what we hoped for the night before after seeing what he had been capable of in practice on Friday and Saturday but the most important thing for him was to finish the race. Unfortunately the high track temperatures meant there was less grip and Marco was unable to push as hard as he would have liked, but to finish was a crucial boost of confidence for him. We all know Marco's true potential and he showed it once again in the test when he was second only to Stoner by just 0.096 seconds. It was a constructive test with some positive feedback, which will be useful for the next race at Sachsenring. Marco likes the track and his motivation is really high, which indicates that he could be able to improve on the result from Mugello. Aoyama got his confidence back with our bike in Italy and even though he didn't get much out of the race he did a great job in the test that he will be able to capitalise on in the upcoming Grand Prix."
CAPIREX AND DE PUNIET READY FOR SACHSENRING
After Loris Capirossi's double absence at Assen and Mugello, the Pramac Racing Team is once again complete for the ninth round of the world championship, at the Sachsenring circuit. The Italian has undergone physical therapy in recent days to recover the strength necessary to take part in the German round. It will also be an interesting race for Randy De Puniet, who last year had a hard crash at the circuit, fracturing his tibia and fibula. The venue, which is located approximately 100 kilometers from Dresden, is the second-shortest track in the MotoGP series after Laguna Seca and, because of its many twisty corners and continuous changes of direction, is also among the slowest.
Fabiano Sterlacchini – Pramac Racing Technical Director
"Capirex's return to the track is definitely the most important aspect of this grand prix. Obviously, Loris won't be at 100%, but he has worked a lot these days in order to be able to ride the bike adequately. In the past he has competed even when in very bad physical condition, so I hope he can do so again. Randy seemed very focused during the Mugello test. He has had a very difficult start to the season, between crashes and other problems, so I hope that he can start fresh at the Sachsenring. The German track is very technical and difficult, with a pretty short straightaway, and I think that this could reward the characteristics of our Ducati in some ways."
Loris Capirossi - Pramac Racing Team rider
"I'm still not completely well, but I have a couple more days of physical therapy to recover a little more. Getting back on track will be positive, but my goal is to be back to 100% for Laguna Seca. Missing the race at Mugello was very difficult for me, and it affected me a lot. Now I want to turn the page and return to the track. Only I ride my Desmosedici."
Randy De Puniet - Pramac Racing Team rider
"I like the Sachsenring circuit, despite the fact that I still have a bad memory from last year, when I fractured my tibia and fibula. I think that the track's characteristics might match well with those of our bike, so I'm confident that I can do well. We worked hard at last week's test. I hope that the results will be positive."
MOTOGP SERIES HITS HALFWAY POINT IN GERMANY
The MotoGP World Championship prepares to hold its ninth round this weekend at the Sachsenring, which represents the midway point of the 18 race series. The 3.761 kilometer German track is the second-shortest of the season after Laguna Seca, and it is distinguished by a preponderance of left-hand corners, in addition to a narrow, technical layout.
It's a particular track in some ways, but one that's popular with Valentino Rossi, who has won there five times in his career. Along with this team, he'll continue to work on settings for the GP11.1, which debuted two races ago. Nicky Hayden, who tends to like counterclockwise tracks, is also fond of the German circuit, where he has climbed the podium on four occasions.
VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Team
"At Mugello we started working with the setup in a direction that we had never tried before. We used it Sunday in the warm-up, so we weren't able to spend much time on it. The bike worked better in the race than it had in practice, but we still need to do more experiments with these settings, so at the Sachsenring we'll see if they might be a good starting point. The track is tricky in some spots, but it's a circuit that I like. Last year I returned to racing in Germany after the injury to my leg, and it was a nice race. We hope the weather and temperature will be good because we need to work on the setup as much as possible before the race."
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team
"Sachsenring is a tight, scrappy little track, but it's one I quite like. It's got the shortest lap time the whole year apart from Laguna, but it's a long race, and we're on the left side of the tire for much of the time. There are a lot of big left-handers, which I always enjoy, and I've had some good results there. The thing that sticks out for me is that it's almost two parts: the first bit is really tight and slow, and then the last bit is really fast and open, especially with what they call the Waterfall corner, which is fifth-gear, downhill and blind. That's about as good as it gets, and I'm not sure there's a better corner on the entire calendar."
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
"The Sachsenring is very different from Mugello, and it will be interesting to learn whether the latest changes to the setup that we tried on the GP11.1 during the Italian GP will be a good starting point. We'll see if those settings can also adapt to features like those of the German track, which is narrow and winding. Vale has won there on many occasions, and last year he rode well on his return from injury. Nicky has also made the podium there a number of times. We hope it will be nice for the entire weekend so that we can finally do all the practice sessions and the race with the same weather conditions."