Press releases from some of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams, as well as Dunlop, ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix:
Jordi Torres returns to the scene of maiden Grand Prix win
MAPFRE Aspar rider excited to return to Sachsenring as team-mate Nico Terol targets positive finish to first half of season
With a huge ferris wheel perched on top of the hill overlooking Sachsenring, the circuit itself could easily be mistaken for a roller coaster as it twists its way through the valley below and the Moto2 riders must be ready to take on all the thrills and spills of the ride this weekend. The German circuit is the shortest on the calendar but every inch of it favours the brave, with a series of blind, fast corners that flow around its 4km anti-clockwise layout. A wet race last time out in Holland threw up a few welcome surprises on the podium and the riders will once again have one eye on the equally unpredictable German skies this weekend as they aim to sign off for the summer break on a high.
Jordi Torres smiles at the mere mention of Sachsenring and it's no wonder as it was the scene of the Spaniard's first ever Grand Prix victory last season. The MAPFRE Aspar man has made strong progress in recent weeks and knows that he will be among the list of podium favourites on Sunday if he can stay on an upward curve throughout the weekend. His team-mate Nico Terol also made steps forward in Holland despite going backwards in a strange race but the MAPFRE Aspar Team rider is taking the positives and feeling confident of a strong result before the holiday period kicks in.
Jordi Torres: “In Germany we will be looking to continue with the progress we have made in the last few races. Even though the results haven't happened my feeling on the bike is getting better every week and we are becoming more and more competitive. I am really happy that the next race is at Sachsenring, where we had such a great result last season. I think it's important for us to have a good race before the summer break and we know we have the bike to do it this weekend, so everything is in our favour. Sachsenring has some long corners that all link together, with not many straights, which tends to suit my riding style and that's why I like it there. We'll be giving it everything.”
Nico Terol: “I quite like Sachsenring. We did a good job there last season but suffered a mechanical problem but usually I get into a good flow around this track so I am looking forward to this weekend. Obviously we have struggled to get a feeling with the bike this season but we know that we could have come away with a good result from Assen if we had made the right tyre choice. That was a shame but the fact we were so competitive in the wet gives me confidence and motivation to get a good result in Germany before the summer break. It will be important to make a strong start from the first session and make sure we qualify in a good position on the grid. Sachsenring is tight and twisty so last week I did some special supermoto training at a karting track to try and replicate the conditions we will have to be ready for in Germany."
Guevara determined to sign off for summer on a high
MAPFRE Aspar rider convinced he can turn around recent bad luck and finish first half of season with a good result
The German Grand Prix marks the halfway point of the season this weekend as the riders head to Sachsenring before taking a well-earned summer break. The shortest circuit on the calendar is riddled with secrets around its 3.671km layout, with some technical elevation changes and a series of blind entries to many of its thirteen corners. With just three of them being right-handers there is the extra difficulty of reduced grip on the right side of the tyre – a factor that often leads to crashes and adds to the technical nature of this tricky and twisty circuit. The Moto3 World Championship remains the closest current Grand Prix category, with five riders separated by just fifteen points at the top of the standings.
After a race that saw him fighting hard for the points right to the final corner, only to be taken out by another rider with the finish line in sight at Assen, Juanfran Guevara can't wait to get back on two wheels this weekend. The MAPFRE Aspar youngster knows that the work done over the course of the weekend in Holland was positive and Sachsenring is a circuit he likes, so he travels to Germany feeling confident that this weekend he can pick up the result he was denied a fortnight ago.
Juanfran Guevara: “Sachsenring is a track that I enjoyed riding last season. You have to be really careful through the right-handers because there are only three of them and the right side of the tyre is cool when you go through them so you can get caught out. We found a good set-up at Assen that allowed me to ride with confidence all weekend so we are pretty clear about our situation going into this round in Germany. We will try to make a strong start to the weekend, push hard from the first free practice and be consistently up at the front all weekend. We found a positive setting at Assen so we will try not to change anything too drastic and get lost.”
SIMEON AND BALDASSARRI READY FOR THE SMALLEST TRACK OF THE SEASON, THE SACHSENRING
The Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 and Xavier Siméon will be back on track this weekend for the German Grand Prix: the venue of the ninth round of the 2014 Moto2 World Championship is the Sachsenring circuit, the shortest on the calendar with just 3671 meters in length.
The German track is a standout on the calendar both because of its anti-clockwise layout with many left-hand turns and also the large number of close races we have enjoyed here over the years: Siméon, who has spent a few days in Italy training with Dirt Track and Supermoto, feels very comfortable at the Sachsenring, where last year he also claimed the pole position, therefore he expects to show some serious speed starting from Friday practice.
This weekend, Lorenzo Baldassarri’s Team Gresini Moto2 Suter machine will wear the colours of Agrimola, main sponsor for the event which marks the halfway point of the season: the main goal of the 17-year-old Italian rider, who comes from the excellent ninth place claimed in Assen, is first of all to improve his performance during practice and qualifying, in order to start in a more advanced position on the grid.
XAVIER SIMEON “Regardless of the race result, during the practice sessions of the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen we showed a good level of competitiveness, so I am convinced that from now on we can be fast almost everywhere. Last year at Sachsenring I also set the pole position, therefore it’s a track that I like, even though it’s very demanding both for the tyres and for the body, because of its layout with many left-hand turns. We want to get a good result and for this reason it will be important to stay focused”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI “Last year I had been very strong at Sachsenring with the Moto3: I remember my eighth fastest time in the second free practice session, and during the race I had been fighting for a top ten finish before falling due to a contact with another rider. This is a very small circuit which reflects my riding style, so I hope I can continue to score points, as happened in the last two races. The goal is to take as soon as possible the right references, trying to avoid to make too many set-up adjustments to the bike in order to be strong already during practice and especially in qualifying, where lately we have struggled a bit. However, the top ten finish in Assen gives us a lot of motivation ahead of this Grand Prix!”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “We are through an unlucky period in which we are not collecting the results that we were used to in the first races of the season; Siméon, however, is determined and has a great desire to show his potential, so hopefully we can fight back and return to a high level of competitiveness already in this Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. Baldassarri has scored points in the last two races, claiming his best result of the season on his first wet Moto2 race at Assen; this means that Lorenzo has definitely taken a step forward, and this is important for the rest of the season, in which we hope he can grow further”.
JUNIOR TEAM GO&FUN MOTO3 BOYS TAKE ON THE 'RING
The Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 pair of Niccolò Antonelli and Enea Bastianini face with confidence and great motivation the race that marks the mid-point of the Championship, the German Grand Prix at the twisty Sachsenring circuit.
Fresh from the fifth place finish in Assen, achieved thanks to a clever race, Niccolò Antonelli is willing to follow up the successful streak opened in the Netherlands with another important result; however, the 18-year-old rider will face the race weekend without setting any goal, but with the sole objective to make another step forward, without making mistakes.
Youngster Enea Bastianini is instead determined to forget as soon as possible the fall on the first lap of the Dutch TT: despite the recent whitdrawal, the 16-year-old rider from Rimini - who has raced at the Sachsenring last year with the MotoGP Rookies Cup - can count on 45 points in the standings and will aim to increase his tally with another solid performance.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI “We head to Germany after the nice fifth place finish at Assen, which gives us a great motivation: already during the Aragon test the last 19th and 20th of June I had regained the right feeling with the bike, but it was crucial to convert the great work done so far with a good placement. In the Netherlands we did it, so now we look at this race with a lot of confidence; the Sachsenring is a very demanding track, definitely not easy, but also very beautiful: we will face the race weekend with the same attitude we had in Assen, keeping a cool head and with no particular goals, trying to avoid mistakes. The only goal is to take another step forward and gain even more confidence to push more and more in the future and thus getting even more close to the fastest riders”.
ENEA BASTIANINI “The Sachsenring is another track that I had the opportunity to know last year, racing in the MotoGP Rookies Cup: I hope that this can be an advantage, as happened in Assen, where I managed to change my references very quickly, having been fast already in the second free practice session. Last year I didn’t get a great result in the Rookies Cup, but I’m convinced that this time it will go better and I hope also to be able to fight back after the disappointment of Assen, where unfortunately my race finished already on the first lap. We will therefore try our best to stay ahead”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “In Assen Antonelli was finally able to complete a Grand Prix, and he did it by getting a good result, so Niccolò is looking at this race with a great confidence and motivation: we hope he can confirm this new positive trend with another good performance. Bastianini already showed in more than one occasion that he’s capable to fight with the fastest riders of the Championship, so it will be interesting to see if he can confirm his potential even on a track very technical, twisty and certainly not easy for a rookie”.
Mika Kallio: “Hard is hard…”
Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany – 8 July 2014: The Sachsenring, venue for round nine of the Moto2 World Championship, is a track with some unique characteristics. Not only is it the shortest track on the calendar, and one of the slowest, but it’s also one of the most demanding on tyres.
The Sachsenring features ten left corners and only three right corners within its 3.671km or 2.281 mile length. The abundance of left hand turns works the left hand side of the rear tyre particularly hard, resulting in tyre temperatures regularly exceeding 140°C. This is around 35°C higher than in other races, with the exception of Phillip Island where the temperature tends to be slightly higher, due mainly to the last two corners on the track.
To counter the extreme temperature build up at the Sachsenring, Dunlop will make available the same hard plus rear tyre they supplied to teams in Catalunya, with the alternative being the normal hard compound rear.
It’s not the news that the Marc VDS Racing Team’s Mika Kallio wanted to hear.
Kallio, who currently lies second in the championship standings, has a love hate relationship with the Dunlop tyres used in Moto2. While he loves the softer options offered by the Anglo-Japanese tyre company, his feelings about the harder option rear tyres are slightly less positive.
“It’s no secret that we have an issue whenever Dunlop allocate the harder option rear tyres for a race," explains Kallio. “It’s been the same since last year; whenever we’re forced to go hard on the rear we struggle to find a good compromise between grip and tyre endurance with the set up of the bike. For us, hard is hard.
“If we set the bike up to improve rear grip then the tyre is pretty much done in less than ten laps. If we go the other way and set the bike up so that it doesn’t work the rear tyre so hard then there’s no rear grip. The main problem is that there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground with the set up at all, we either have rear grip and destroy the tyre or we conserve the tyre and have no rear grip.
“Nobody else seems to have the same issues with the harder option rear, so we know it’s not the tyre, but more a combination of my riding style and my preferred set up on the bike.
“We worked hard during preseason testing to fix the issue but, when the harder rear tyre was allocated for both the Mugello and Catalunya races, it was immediately obvious that, while we’d made some small improvements, the problem remained. It was only during the one-day post race test at both circuits that we found a reasonable compromise with the set up of the bike, but by then it was too late.
“Hopefully the changes we made to the bike during the test in Catalunya will work this weekend at the Sachsenring. If they do, then that’s great. If they don’t then we maybe need to take more risks with changes to the bike during practice. In Mugello and Catalunya we found the necessary improvements one day too late. In Germany we need to find these improvements ahead of qualifying, even if by doing so we initially risk going in the wrong direction with the set up.”
“I like the Sachsenring, it’s one of my favourite tracks, and I’ve gone well there in the past. If we can get on top of the tyre situation in free practice then I hope we can challenge for the podium again, just as we did in 2012.”
One dark cloud on the horizon that may well prove to have a silver lining for Kallio is the weather forecast for this weekend’s German Grand Prix. While Friday looks as if it will remain dry, the forecast for both Saturday and Sunday is for rain.
“The opening laps of the race in Assen was the first time this year we’ve ridden in fully wet conditions and, unfortunately, we were lacking rear grip until the track started to dry,” explains Kallio. “This is the downside to the rear suspension set up we’re running on the bike now, as both the feeling and the grip in the wet were much better last year. The good thing is that if it’s wet for Saturday and Sunday at the Sachsenring then we can go back to the wet settings from last year, which we know work well and which weren’t an option given the changeable conditions in Assen.”
The German Grand Prix, which marks the halfway point in the 2014 season, gets underway on Friday 11th July with free practice for all three classes.
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia arrives at Sachsenring for the last round before the summer break
Matteo Ferrari and Andrea Locatelli aim at continuity in the results
The Eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland which takes place this weekend at the Sachsenring circuit, is the ninth round of the season, the last one before the summer break that will see the under-28 talents going back in action only next August at Indianapolis. After finishing in the points in the last two races, San Carlo Team Italia aim to confirm their growing trend concentrating their efforts on optimising their actual technical package, in order to allow Matteo Ferrari and Andrea Locatelli to close the first half of championship in a crescendo.
After finishing in 13th place in the last round at Assen, Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O # 3) is highly motivated to give his best in Germany, firmly convinced as he is that the work he is carrying out with the whole team is going in the right direction.
Andrea Locatelli (Mahindra MGP3O # 55) shares the same opinion after finishing a fraction away from the points at Assen. The Moto3 CIV Champion is steadily improving and will make the most of the time available on the opening day to learn the best lines of the German track before focusing on the setup of his Mahindra.
Virginio Ferrari (Riders Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"The Sachsenring Grand Prix represents a major opportunity for us to take stock of the first part of the season. At the end of the weekend we will take stock of what has been done so far, analysing in detail what needs to be done to further improve. Our riders have professionally grown during the first eight races; they approach every Grand Prix in the right way and this have already produced the first results. As a team we have to put them in a position to realize their full potential: we still have a technical disadvantage from the front-runners quantifiable in 1.2s, so we have to work on engine mapping and electronics to fill this gap. I am convinced that Matteo and Andrea would fight in the top-5 if they could count on technical conditions they were comfortable with. It may sound a pretentious valuation on my part but getting to know them race-by-race I could find in them all the hallmarks of talent. I can see how they work in the garage, how they fight on track, how they make the best of the technical package they have at their disposal and I think they have such skills that can not go unnoticed. As a team we must help them in this process of growth which is, by the way, the main target of our project".
Red Bull KTM Ajo out to extend Moto3 lead
Jack Miller will try to leave season’s halfway point in Germany on top of the Moto3 standings, after missing out on points in Assen. Karel Hanika looks to continue learning process at Sachsenring -a circuit he knows well.
07/09/2014 - Sachsenring Circuit, Germany
Just before the summer break, Germany hosts the ninth round of the Moto3 World Championship. Arriving at the midway point of the season, Jack Miller will seek to increase his lead in the overall standings, whilst teammate Karel Hanika will try to continue learning about running at the front in Grand Prix racing at Sachsenring –a circuit where he has already competed over the past two years in the Red Bull Rookies Cup.
The objective in the German Grand Prix for Jack Miller is to get back to points-scoring ways. After performing excellently in practice at Assen, on the Saturday race a crash prevented him from fighting for a victory for which he was a favourite. This weekend, the Australian rider visits a special track, where he made his first World Championship appearance as a wildcard and where he took his best result before this year of 4th in 2012. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will attempt to increase 7-point lead at the German track.
Karel Hanika will make his first Grand Prix appearance at Sachsenring, but the Czech rider knows the track well. Last year he got a win there in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, and this season he is out to take points after a great performance at Assen –where unfortunately he crashed out when fighting for fourth.
The German Grand Prix will follow the standard European schedule, with practice starting on Friday from 9am, the qualifying session on Saturday at 12:35pm and the race on Sunday at 11:00am local time. This will be the last race before the summer break.
8 JACK MILLER
"I had visited the Sachsenring circuit a couple of years before entering the World Championship. It was the first place where I participated as a wildcard, so it's a special track for me. I really enjoy it there because it's a track that I like. During the race weekend in Assen I felt good in practice, so we hope that at this Grand Prix we can maintain this form and carry it over to the race. It will not be easy, because the Assen and Sachsenring circuits are very different. Assen is much faster and more flowing, whilst in Germany you have to take plenty of care over the tyres.
I'm delighted with the work we at the Red Bull KTM Ajo team are doing, and we must remain focused on the fight for the World Championship. We must get back on the podium."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"I really like the Sachsenring circuit. It’s a different track from the last race at Assen, but for me it's one of my two favourite tracks and it suits me very well. I believe we can have as good a weekend as in the Netherlands, i.e. having a good race and fighting with the front group. I have fond memories of this track, because last year I won the second race in the Red Bull Rookies Cup –although in the first race I was hit by another rider when at the front and crashed. Overall it is a track where I feel very comfortable. The sector that I like most is the last one before coming onto the home straight."
Niklas Ajo unfit for German GP
Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo does not recover in time for Sachsenring round and will be replaced by Gabriel Rodrigo. Danny Kent faces ninth race of the year after taking best performance to date at Assen.
07/09/2014 - Sachsenring Circuit, Germany
Despite trying until the last moment, Niklas Ajo will not be fit in time to contest the ninth round of the Moto3 season this weekend at Germany’s Sachsenring circuit, after undergoing surgery last week to his right ankle. Danny Kent will be at the German GP, where he hopes to consolidate his place in the first group race from Assen. The British Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider will share a garage this week with Spanish FIM CEV Repsol rider Gabriel Rodrigo, who replaces the injured Niklas Ajo.
Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider Niklas Ajo will have to wait until the Indianapolis Grand Prix to get back on his bike. With his right ankle recently operated on after a heavy crash at Assen, the Finn misses the race and is substituted by Gabriel Rodrigo. The Spanish rider will be entering his third Grand Prix race.
Meanwhile, Danny Kent wants to reaffirm his feeling from the last race. Despite being a rather different circuit to Assen, the Briton hopes to continue in the same way as the last Grand Prix, where he fought for fourth place right until the finish line. The best memory for the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider at this track is his front row qualifying performance in 2012 -his first year in Moto3.
The schedule for the German Grand Prix will be the traditional European one, with the first practice on Friday and the race at 11:00am on Sunday. This GP will mark the halfway point of the season and the last round before a three-week summer break.
52 DANNY KENT
"The Sachsenring is very different to all the other track at which we have competed so far. There are many corners and not too many straights between them. It's a track that will require a lot physically, but I really like it and hopefully will get a good result. In 2012 I got a second place in qualifying, but I could not finish the race because the weather conditions were very unfavourable. It is a track that I like, so we have to go there, work hard and improve on the weekend in the Netherlands. At Assen I had my best performance of the year, but it's not enough. The Sachsenring is not the circuit that best suits my riding style, but it’s also not the worst for me as there are some fast corners. I have to adapt to circuit, because it is different to most that we have faced this season."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"We knew it was very difficult and we tried until the last moment, but eventually it will not be possible to ride in Germany. It's a shame but this is the smart choice and the right one to continue the season in the best way possible. Now we should not think about Germany, but instead turn our focus to Indianapolis, looking to perform as we have done at recent races. Now I need to work on my rehabilitation and start the second part of the season as if nothing had happened. I wish good luck to Gabriel Rodrigo this weekend."
Hard Plus Tyres Make A Return For Sachsenring Moto2 Demands
Assen brought added interest in the form of changeable weather with the Dunlop wet proving itself in wet, intermediate and drying conditions, but in round nine of the FIM Moto2 and Moto3 championships it is the track itself that provides the challenge.
The 12th & 13th July sees the Sachsenring hosting the German Grand Prix, the track where the configuration of corners leads to very low heat generation on the right hand side of the tyres. Around two-thirds of the track is predominantly left handed corners before switching to the right and it is important to make sure that there is enough heat generated before the ‘right hand’ section. The emphasis on the left hand side of the tyre also brings high temperatures – the highest in the season after Phillip Island. A normal track such as Jerez sees temperatures in the order of 105°C but it is usual to see readings from the left hand side of Sachsenring tyres topping 140°C.
Moto2 has three new Dunlop tyres at the Sachsenring since the same race last year. The rear options are the same as at Catalunya with the ‘Hard+’ 067 and 067a compounds nominated as the best options for the track’s testing characteristics. For the front the regular pairing of 102 hard and 302 medium will provide the choice for the riders.
Tyre allocation and colour codes:
Fronts 120/75R17, 4 x 302 (medium - black Dunlop logo on silver background) and 4 x 102 (hard - yellow Dunlop on black)
Rears, 195/75R17, 5 x 067a (hard special - white on black) and 4 x 25-067b (hard special - blank)
Fronts: 95/75R17, 5 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver) and 3 x Soft (black Dunlop on yellow)
Rears: 115/75R17 , 6 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver)and 3 x Soft (black Dunlop on yellow)
The riders will have three sets of wet tyres with an additional set being permitted if all sessions are declared wet.
Race Stat: Close at the top?
In Moto2 28 different riders have scored points so far in the series compared to only 24 in Moto3 but the points tell a different story with just seven points separating the top Moto3 compared to 48 in Moto2.
Clinton Howe, Operations Manager Motorcycle Grand Prix
“We have had some fantastic racing this season so far and at the half-way point we still have plenty more to come. We expect the Moto2 riders to be opting for the harder options although there was a 50/50 split for both front and rear at the track last year so we will have to wait and see what happens in practice before we get a feel for preferences. We broke the race lap record last year and I can see that time being reduced again given the performances we have seen this season.”