Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at the Sachsenring:
Positive first day in Sachsenring for Pedrosa and Marquez
Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez have enjoyed a productive first day at the GP of Germany. Track conditions weren't very good in this morning's cold FP1 session - only 15ºC with a track temperature of 21ºC, both Dani and Marc opted to use the soft compound front and rear Bridgestone tyres. On his last exit, Marc used a hard front tyre and improved his time slightly.
In the afternoon the sun appeared and the ambient temperature rose to 21ºC and the track to 37ºC, and both riders chose to run the whole session with the hard front tyre. Dani spent some laps with the hard rear tyre but unsurprisingly posted his fastest time on the soft option with 1'22.239 on his final lap of 25. Marc, visiting Sachsenring for the first time on a MotoGP machine, remained on the soft rear for the whole session and was just 0.012 off Dani with 1'22.251 on lap 19 of 23.
Dani Pedrosa 2nd 1'22.239
"Today we focused on tyres, in order to find out what the ideal choice will be for Sunday's race and lately we have had some problems with the compounds being a little harder than normal. I had time to test all the options and in general things went well. However, tomorrow we have to find a slightly better setup for cornering. As for Jorge, let's see how his condition is before commenting -we still don't know details. At the moment it doesn't look good for him, so I wish him well"
Marc Marquez 3rd 1'22.251
"The day has been very positive and I'm very happy with how practice has gone so far, as I have been slowly improving. From the start I felt very comfortable - with it being a smaller circuit, the speed isn't so different compared to when you're riding a Moto2 bike. Of course, you reach your braking markers quicker and you have to use new references, but it isn't that different to other circuits. This helps me to adapt a little more quickly. We have been working hard, but there are still some places on the track where I have to improve, be more consistent and find a good setup. Tomorrow we will try to continue in the same way, just as focused. I am sorry to see Jorge suffer another big crash, we wait to hear news and I send him my best wishes"
LOCAL FAVORITE STEFAN BRADL LED THE WAY ON DAY ONE AT SACHSENRING
Sachsenring, 12 July: LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl has high expectations heaped on him by an excited home crowd and in today’s first day of practices at Sachsenring circuit the German talent gave to his local fans something to celebrate for as he topped the timesheets ahead Pedrosa and Marquez (1’22.030). The Bavarian rider made full use of his Honda RC213V at the 3.671Km race track where last year he finished a strong fifth.
“Obviously it’s a great feeling to be the first in the timesheets on Friday and this the best way to start your home Grand Prix. Actually I immediately felt comfortable with the bike this morning and, with a few adjustments, it has been even better in the afternoon. I am fast with both bikes (with short or long swing-arm regulations) and we are pretty convinced about the tyres we are going to use. So the overall package is good, I am in a good form and it’s nice to feel the support of your local fans”.
Difficult start to Sachsenring weekend for Crutchlow and Smith
The start of the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland today proved to be a difficult one for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, with Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith unable to break into the top 10 on an incident-packed opening day of practice.
Smith found the tight and twisty Sachsenring layout, which is dominated by left-hand corners, a tough physical challenge for his recovering left wrist injury.
The scaphoid bone he damaged in a crash last month in Mugello is still not back to 100% strength and it was tested to the limit today, with the extra stress placed on the left side of his body only adding to the challenge of getting accustomed to the German venue on his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine.
Gradually building up his pace and confidence in cool and cloudy conditions this morning, Smith was able to lap almost 0.7s faster in warmer weather for FP2 and climb from 15th to 11th in the rankings.
The 22-year-old’s impressive pace of 1.23.040 was just over 0.1s away from the top 10 and less than 0.5s outside of the top six and on combined times he finished in an encouraging 12th position.
Crutchlow’s bid to secure a fourth podium of 2013 got off to a tough start, the on form British rider suffering two fast crashes today.
This morning’s FP1 had only a few seconds to run when Crutchlow crashed heavily at the first corner while he was attempting to improve on sixth position.
Shaken but not stirred in that incident, the 27-year-old then fell again in FP2 at the Sachsenring’s famous Turn 11, which is a super-fast left-hander with a downhill blind entry taken flat-out in fourth gear.
Crutchlow was able to walk away from the high-speed crash but he underwent checks on a suspected left arm injury before X-rays confirmed he had escaped any serious damage. He did suffer numerous cuts and abrasions to his hands and arms in the second crash but nothing that will prevent him from participating in tomorrow’s action.
His best time of 1.22.469 in FP1 was still fast enough to keep him inside the top six after both practice sessions.
Bradley Smith 11th 1.23.040 - 24 laps :
“It was a positive day. The Sachsenring is a very physical track, especially for the left side of the body, but it is not giving me too much of a problem. That is great because it proves all the hard work with my physiotherapist back in the UK has paid off with my wrist. It is not at 100% but it is much better than in Assen and I can ride with less discomfort and pain. I’m a bit disappointed not to be inside the top 10 but I felt I didn’t quite put the best lap together today, so I am sure we can improve for tomorrow. We have a clear direction to improve the setting I have no doubt my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew will improve our package for tomorrow. I am feeling confident and excited to improve tomorrow.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager :
“Obviously today was a very difficult one for Cal, but fortunately after two very big crashes he didn’t suffer any serious injury. He has no broken bones but in the second crash when he was sliding down the track, several pieces of gravel became trapped inside his right glove. They had to be removed by the medical staff at the Clinica Mobile and the wounds cleaned up. Cal’s forearm also suffered some friction burns and while it is nothing serious it is still very painful and uncomfortable. He is going to rest now but we are sure that he is going to be fine to ride tomorrow. Cal has incredible mental strength and he is a true fighter, so I have no doubt that he will bounce back from today and still put in a strong performance for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team over the rest of the weekend."
Complicated opening day at Sachsenring for Ducati Team
As was the case for many of the MotoGP riders on the event-filled first day of the German Grand Prix, Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso both suffered falls on their way to seventh and ninth places, respectively, in the combined times of the first two free-practice sessions.
The Italian’s fall came early during FP1 in the fast turn 11, damaging the one example of the updated frame that he had at his disposal and thus forcing him to revert to the standard version. Hayden’s FP2 fall, which occurred in the slower turn 3, was much less costly, and the American is generally pleased with his pace. Both riders are optimistic that with adjustments to their Desmosedici GP13 race bikes, they’ll be able to improve upon their lap times tomorrow.
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 7th (1:22.572)
“I’ve had a pretty good pace today, especially compared to Assen. For my fast lap, a half-second from the front is a lot on this short track, but my ideal time is a couple of tenths better. When it’s difficult to put heat in the front tyre, turn 11 is tough for everybody, especially us. We’ve made a couple of little improvements during the day, but we need to sort out a few more things with the bike. In particular, I’ve had a couple of big moments when the rear to let go too aggressively. I also had a small crash in the slow turn 3, where the front folded with no warning. Anyway, our pace is certainly better than it has been, and we’ll see what we can come up with for tomorrow.”
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th (1:22.850)
“We’d have liked to do some tests with the new frame, but unfortunately, it was bent in my crash—and there were many of those here today. That means we can’t use it, and instead we have to run the one we’ve used all season. It’s tough here, as this track is always strange. You have to be really smooth, and the bike needs to be able to change direction easily, which is difficult for us. We’re a bit closer to the front, and I think we can improve a bit, although not a lot because we can’t take wide lines like the others and pick the bike up on the exits. Still, if we respect our bike’s characteristics and take tight lines, maybe we can improve by a couple of tenths, and here, a couple of tenths makes a difference over thirty laps.”
POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR FIND EARLY DIRECTION AT SACHSENRING
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Espargaró places eighth, six-tenths off the best time of the day. De Puniet finishes day one in thirteenth, working hard on front end issues
The equality present in MotoGP this season was once again demonstrated on Friday at the Sachsenring. In theory a Honda circuit, it was Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo who set the pace in the opening session of the German GP. He aimed to do the same in FP2 as well, but a highside on his fourth lap brought out the red flag and left him unable to continue. It was Turn 11 that claimed the most riders today, as the first right hander following a series of lefts took out Iannone, Dovizioso and Crutchlow, amongst others. Lorenzo’s crash there was the most costly, causing further damage to his collarbone and ruling him out of action on Sunday. On track, Stefan Bradl recorded the fastest time of the day at his home track.
The advantage of being in a state of grace is that everything just seems to work out, as POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider has been finding out. Whilst Sachsenring is not amongst his favorite circuits, today he continued to work hard to turn the situation around. Seventh in both of the practice sessions on Friday in Germany, Espargaró was eighth in the combined standings and was just six-tenths off the top time.
Teammate Randy De Puniet also concluded the opening day in Germany with a good feeling, thanks to form carried over from the Netherlands. He was the second quickest CRT on track today, five-tenths behind Espargaró. The Frenchman continued to have problems with the front end of his machine, but is looking to improve his confidence in order to go faster on the first and second sectors.
8th Aleix Espargaró 1.22.641 (42 laps): “I am very happy with my feeling on this opening day. I was a little cautious about this round, because it is the track that I like the least and where things didn’t go well last year. I was also excited to be back here, because this entire year is going well so far and I want to wash away the memory of last season’s race. It is another challenge, to get a good result at the Sachsenring. We’ve begun well, finishing each session less than eight-tenths off the top and placing in the top ten twice. With this being such a twisty track, we’ve decided to shorten the base of the bike. The changes are working perfectly so far. I hope to continue improving tomorrow.”
13th Randy De Puniet 1.23.131 (46 laps): "Today I had a good feeling riding, both in the morning and the afternoon. We still have to improve the performance of the bike at the heavy braking points, because it's hard to stop the bike and keep the momentum up when cornering. As I lack a little confidence I need to stop the bike completely to turn in, and that makes me lose time. This is happening most on the first and last two corners, as the rest of the circuit doesn’t really pose a problem. It is the same situation that has plagued us in recent tests, with a lack of belief in the front end, but we’re working on a solution. We have some ideas that we are going to put into practice tomorrow, and I hope that they are productive. Besides that, I am happy with the performance of the bike.”
BAUTISTA LOOKING FOR CONFIDENCE AT SACHSENRING
Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista will be looking to make up time and positions tomorrow after struggling for rear-end feel at the Sachsenring today. After two dry sessions here the team have plent y of data and no shortage of ideas of how to improve before qualifying takes place in the afternoon. Bryan Staring was one of many riders to crash today as he tried to get to grips with the demanding Sachsenring layout on his first day here.
Alvaro Bautista (9th 1’ 22” 976) “We had a few problems with the rear of the bike today because we were struggling for grip throughout the morning session and then didn't make the progress that we hoped for in the afternoon despite trying two different solutions. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow, when we will be trying to make up for the time and positions we lost today.”
Bryan Staring (22nd 1’ 24” 862) “I like the circuit and despite everything I have to say that I think I adapted quite quickly to it. Unfortunately we had a crash this afternoon and it was a shame because I think otherwise we could have made some more improvements before the end of the day. We'll try to make up for it tomorrow and hopefully improve the feeling with the bike even more.”
Fausto Gresini “We're struggling a bit here unfortunately and trying to come up with some solutions. We are the last of the Hondas and that's not a situation we like to be in. So we have to work hard to improve and achieve the results that the RC213V is capable of here. It is not a good moment for us because we know we can do better and we have to work out how.”
Challenging start for MotoGP at Sachsenring
Day one of the MotoGP World Championship’s eighth round, hosted by the Sachsenring circuit, was marred by a large number of crashes.
Just a few minutes from the end of FP2, Andrea Iannone clocked his best time of 1:23.008, less than a second from first-place Stefan Bradl, after he himself was a victim of a spectacular fall just after the start of FP1. The incident took place in the fast turn eleven, where the Italian’s bike tumbled before coming to a stop in the gravel.
This is Iannone’s first race aboard the ‘lab’ version of the Desmosedici GP13, which the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team worked hard to repair during the break between the two sessions.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“This morning was quite difficult, as I fell when I didn’t expect it. It’s not an easy circuit with the tyres, as there are many consecutive left-hand corners and then a very fast right, after the right side of the tyre has cooled. Anyway, I tried to stay calm and confident this afternoon; I started to push pretty early, and I saw some results. I’m pleased because I immediately felt the changes we made to the bike today, which is quite positive. Now we’ll see what else we can do for tomorrow, but it will certainly be important to be able to repeat the time I did today and then improve upon it. A big thank-you to the team for the great work they did to get the bike ready for the second free practice.”
Challenging start for MotoGP at Sachsenring
Day one of the MotoGP World Championship’s eighth round, hosted by the Sachsenring circuit, was marred by a large number of crashes.
It was an unsatisfying day for Michele Pirro. Just as the Italian was regaining a good feeling with his bike, he suffered a fall after changing a tyre a few minutes from the end of FP2. This ruined his efforts to further reduce his gap to the top ten, who were all within a second of one another.
Inside the Ignite Pramac Racing Team garage, work continues to find a more consistent grip throughout the duration of the race, as well as better stability on the relatively bumpy circuit.
Michele Pirro – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
The bike this afternoon was not bad, I had a good feeling, and I immediately saw a few improvements in my time compared to this morning. I started with used tyres, and, seven minutes before the end of the session we put in the new ones. I returned to the track but on my first lap I crashed at the second left-hand turn without being able to take advantage of the new rubber, and I'm really disappointed about that. It seems in any case that we are all more or less aligned on times. However, compared to the morning session, we made a big improvement and we hope to do even better tomorrow.”
Hometown hero Bradl leads Friday practice at Sachsenring
Round 8: Germany MotoGP™ - Free Practice One & Two
Sachsenring, Friday 12 July 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 16-17°C; Track 21-24°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 21-24°C; Track 36-41°C (Bridgestone measurement)
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl delighted his legion of German fans at Sachsenring by topping Friday practice with a benchmark lap time of 1’22.030 in this afternoon’s Free Practice 2 session.
Bradl set the best time of the day on the combination of the softer rear and harder front slick to narrowly beat Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo’s – who set his best time in the morning FP1 session - by 0.017 seconds. Third quickest today was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who stopped the clocks with a 1’22.221 to finish within two-tenths of Bradl. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro again set the pace among the CRT pack, finishing eighth overall with a time of 1’22.641.
Ambient temperatures varied greatly today as cloud cover in the morning kept track temperatures low in FP1 before the sun emerged for FP2 to boost track temperatures to a peak of 41°C. The cool temperatures in the morning resulted in all riders using the softer rear slick options and only two riders evaluating the harder front slick option. As track temperatures increased for FP2, riders were able to evaluate both the harder front and rear slick options, although no clear picture on tyre choice for the race has emerged at this stage.
Warm and mainly fine conditions are expected tomorrow, though there is a slight chance of rain. The next MotoGP session is scheduled to start at 0955 local time tomorrow (GMT +2).
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s weather conditions were typical for this circuit, with early cloud cover keeping temperatures low before the sun came out in the afternoon. The cool track in FP1 meant most riders used softer slicks front and rear, before many riders switched to the harder front option when track temperatures increased in FP2. Today’s practice sessions showed how the layout of this circuit is so challenging as a few riders got caught out at turn eleven which is the first right-hand corner after a long sequence of left-hand turns. The chain of left-handed corners means the right shoulder of the tyres cool down substantially before the entry of turn eleven, which necessitates a precise approach by the riders. The lap times today were quite good – even in the cold FP1 session - with many riders lapping close to race lap record pace. If the weather stays dry, I think as teams refine their setup and track conditions improve we will see a very quick pace in qualifying tomorrow.”
Yamaha Factory Racing Welcomes NH Hoteles Partnership
Sachsenring (Germany), 12th July 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing is pleased to announce a new partnership with one of Europe’s premier hotel chains, NH Hoteles.
NH Hoteles is now Premium Suppliers of Yamaha Factory Racing and will enjoy the associated benefits for the remainder of the 2013 MotoGP season.
The benefits of the partnership will include visibility of the brand on Yamaha Factory Racing team trucks, in the pit garage of both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi and in the Yamaha Factory Racing hospitality area.
NH's hotel "nhow Milan" proved to be the perfect location for Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing and José Maria Basterrechea, CEO of NH Italia S.p.A. (NH Hoteles) to shake hands, sealing the agreement and kick-starting the partnership.
NH Hoteles is Europe's third-ranked business hotel chain, operating close to 400 hotels with almost 60,000 rooms across Europe, the Americas and Africa, including top destinations such as Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Rome, Bogota, Mexico City and New York. In addition to its 3, 4 and 5 stars urban hotels, which are the core business of the company, NH Hoteles has developed a new generation of hotels: the unconventional and modern nhow Milan and nhow Berlin; the Collection line, consisting on hotels located in historic buildings: old convents, stately homes and mansions; and also the wonderful Resorts.
Yamaha Factory Racing Lin Jarvis
Yamaha Motor Racing, Managing Director
“We are very happy to be able to announce this new agreement with NH Noteles as our premium partner, taking care of our accommodation needs as we travel throughout the world. NH Hoteles has an excellent reputation for quality, for style and providing excellent services for an affordable price. We look forward to sharing our successes throughout the season and to developing the relationship between Yamaha and NH Hoteles as business partners.”
Yamaha Factory Racing José Maria Basterrechea
NH Italia S.p.A., CEO
“Motivation, excellence and teamwork are three of the values that define our business spirit and are in common with the world of sport. For this reason it’s an outstanding opportunity to be Premium Suppliers of Yamaha Factory Racing and to share those values with one of the top teams in MotoGP. We are proud of this agreement and we look forward to maintaining and enhancing the relationship with Yamaha.”