Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone previewing this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring:
Ducati Team arrives at Sachsenring for the German Grand Prix
After the satisfaction of Assen, where Andrea Dovizioso picked up an excellent second place, the Ducati Team now arrives in Germany for the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship, which takes place this weekend at the Sachsenring circuit, near the town of Chemnitz in the former East Germany.
The Sachsenring is one of the shortest and slowest circuits on the calendar, but it is by no means an easy track. Its counter-clockwise layout contains several truly difficult curves, as well as a number of ups and downs. Dovizioso has obtained one podium in MotoGP with a third place in 2012, while Crutchlow finished runner-up in the race at the German track twelve months ago.
The German Grand Prix will also mark the half-way point in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04)
“The result at Assen was very important for me and the Ducati Team, but I don’t think we have the speed in dry conditions to be able to aim for the podium too much. As always however we must push 100% and improve over last year. In my opinion Sachsenring is too short and too tight for MotoGP, but I think the bike has improved from last year so we have to show the difference at every race, like we did at Assen".
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35)
“I’ve never ridden at the Sachsenring on the Ducati, but I like the track and went really well there last year, when I was second in qualifying and finished second in the race, which is one of my best results ever in MotoGP. Unfortunately because of the layout and the corners I think we will have a few problems with understeer on this track, but we will see and as always I’ll try my best to be competitive".
The Sachsenring Circuit
Like Assen, Sachsenring is another circuit with a great motorsport tradition: racing on roads near the town of Chemnitz began in 1920 and continued there until 1990. In 1996 it was decided to build the new Sachsenring circuit about ten km away from the German town, and its first German GP took place there in 1998. Since then the circuit has undergone a series of improvements, including a radical change in the track layout in 2001. Its numerous tight curves make it one of the slowest circuits on the calendar, but these characteristics ensure that races at the Sachsenring are always exciting and hard-fought.
Repsol Honda Team head to Germany with momentum on their side
This weekend’s German GP marks the midway point of the 2014 season and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez is firmly in the driving seat, with teammate Dani Pedrosa third in the Championship but level on points with second place Valentino Rossi.
The German GP attracts some of the biggest crowds on the racing calendar. Originally the track weaved through the streets of nearby Hohenstein-Ernstthal – the first race taking place in 1927 – but when it became too dangerous, Sachsenring was constructed, 3.67km in length combining ten left turns and just three rights and has hosted the German GP since 1998.
Championship leader Marc has an exceptional record at this track having won here the last four years (2013 MotoGP, 2012 and 2011 Moto2, 2010 125cc). Teammate Dani, who unfortunately missed the race last year due to an injury sustained in Saturday’s FP3, also has an incredible history at this circuit with six victories (four in MotoGP), and a total of seven podiums.
Championship Standing: 1st - 200 points
"It was a tough and complicated weekend in Assen, but I was really happy to win a race under such tricky conditions. Now we have Sachsenring which is a nice circuit, but quite special as it’s so small! Last year I had a good race but we must remember that neither Dani or Jorge were able to race so this year I look forward to racing them, especially as Dani is so strong at this track! It seems the Honda is well suited to this circuit so we will look to make the most of this advantage”
Championship Standing: 3rd - 128 points
“It was a tricky weekend in Assen and in those kind of races, it’s easy to lose many points in the Championship, so I’m pleased with our podium finish. Now we’re heading to Germany where I had a disappointing weekend last year after being declared unfit to race due to my crash on Saturday. I always enjoy racing at Sachsenring and finding the right set up is critical - especially as you spend a lot of time on the left, but the fastest corner is to the right, so tyre performance will be key. I’m looking forward to getting there to make up for missing last year!”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Prepare for Sachsenring
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 9th July 2014
After a rainy weekend in the Netherlands two weeks ago, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP looks ahead to a new race weekend full of action in Germany for the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring circuit. The TT in Assen saw Valentino Rossi ride from the back of the field to an impressive fifth place while Jorge Lorenzo faced a tough challenge in uncertain conditions. Both riders are looking forward to a more orderly race this weekend during the German GP.
Though Rossi finds Sachsenring challenging he has won four MotoGP races at the circuit and has stood on the German rostrum ten times over his whole career. This year the Italian aims to finish on the podium for a second consecutive year, and create a gap between him and the man in third place, Dani Pedrosa. Both Rossi and Pedrosa are currently tied on 128 championship points.
Teammate Lorenzo missed the GP of Germany last year due to emergency surgery after a fall during FP2. This year the Spaniard hopes to change his fortunes as he shows the German public his Spartan spirit. Prior to 2013’s missed race Lorenzo has four consecutive second place finishes at Sachsenring but has yet to grace the top step of the podium.
Sachsenring has a long history of hosting motorsport events. The first race was held at this track in 1927, but due to safety issues it was decided that the circuit needed to be rebuilt in 1996. It wasn’t until 1998 that the Sachsenring track hosted its first MotoGP event, but even within these last 16 years the circuit has seen many improvements take place, including a drastic layout enhancement in 2001. The numerous tight corners and the 12m width of the tarmac make this circuit one of the slower tracks on the calendar where it’s hard to overtake, but there is still plenty of close racing action that keeps the fan coming back for more.
46 Valentino Rossi
“I am very happy to go to Sachsenring after the contract renewal with Yamaha for another 2 years. I’ve been saying that we are very close to signing for many races and finally we did it! For me it is really important, I am very happy! At Assen we did a good race but at the Sachsenring we'll try to do better. I like the track; it’s very difficult, very tricky and very small. In the last few years it was not so bad, especially with the Yamaha. It’s strange and something different, but it’s always good to ride MotoGP there. In Germany we can also have issues with the weather. It is always difficult, so we hope for good weather so we can make a good result.”
99 Jorge Lorenzo
“After a disappointing race at Assen where we expected much more I’m right now focused on the next race. Sachsenring is not one of my favorite circuits, especially after last year when I crashed again and I had a problem with the plate fixing my collarbone. After that crash I had to suffer another surgery and that issue changed it all. Despite this season where I don’t feel so lucky for so many different things, I’m looking forward to racing there and trying to revert the situation. The bike is working well and I can feel the support of all the team. I’m pretty optimistic as usual and I will never give up!”
“After a very unpredictable weekend in Assen we are all looking forward to getting to Germany and the Sachsenring circuit. Whilst the weather made Assen a very complicated race weekend, we were still able to show that we have a very competitive package in both wet and dry conditions. We do hope that this coming weekend we can finally experience one or the other to give us an opportunity to maximise this and get the results we know we are capable of.”
Hayden and Aoyama ready to return to points battle at Sachsenring
DRIVE M7 Aspar determined to go into summer break on a high after missing out on points last time out
With no Laguna Seca on the MotoGP World Championship calendar this season the dubious honour of being the shortest track goes to the Sachsenring circuit, venue for the ninth round of the campaign, which takes place before a welcome summer break. The 3.671km layout is riddled with fast, blind corners and elevation change that ensure that what Sachsenring lacks in length, it makes up for in difficulty and technicality. With just three right-handers and ten lefts the MotoGP bikes require special, dual compound tyres for this track but whatever the conditions it will take something extra special to end Marc Márquez's 100% winning streak for the season before he heads for a well-earned holiday.
The DRIVE M7 Aspar Team head to Germany on the back of a mixed weekend in Holland, where Hiroshi Aoyama experienced a step up in performance thanks largely to a new front suspension set-up whilst his team-mate Nicky Hayden struggled more than he expected to get on the pace. Either way, both riders showed competitive pace in the first half of the race at Assen, when the track conditions were damp, before losing positions as it dried and finishing up outside the points. Both riders know that the good handling characteristics of their bikes should suit this circuit well and they have the opportunity to head into the summer break on the back of a good result.
Nicky Hayden: “Germany is a very tight, twisty track with almost all the corners connected so there's no time to breath and you must stay so focused for the whole lap. With no more Laguna I think it must be the shortest lap time of any track we go to so every tenth of a second is precious and you have to really claw for every tenth. At the same time it also has some very fast corners that I like and normally I enjoy this track. The race is here is always very long with a lot of time spent on the left tyre edge so its important to find a setting to find good edge grip and make the tyre last on the left. On the other hand if the conditions are cool it's very important to get heat and keep heat on the right side, particularly on the front tyre with there being only three right hand corners. I know its not exactly my best moment right now but me and the team have to stay strong and keep pushing!”
Hiroshi Aoyama: “Sachsenring is a different circuit, peculiar and special. You won't find anything like it anywhere in the world. It is small but at the same time technical. The most positive thing for us is that with it being so small you don't need so much power and that evens things up a little in MotoGP. I am sure we can be competitive there after doing a good job last time out in Holland, where we had a strong first half of the race. Unfortunately the second half of the race wasn't so good but we will be working to follow up on the positives from Assen to try and be more competitive this weekend and more consistent over full race distance. I like the track and it should suit our bike well so I am sure we can have a good result this weekend.”
The NGM Forward Racing Team ready for the German GP
Following the incredible weekend at the Assen TT, the NGM Forward Racing Team look forward to the German GP at the Sachsenring circuit, ninth round of the 2014 championship.
Riders Alex Espargaro and Colin Edwards head to Germany with huge motivation. The Spaniard aims at repeating the strong performance he made in Holland, where he scored the pole position and fought hard with Dani Pedrosa for the podium. Team-mate Colin Edwards looks forward to Germany, where he is determined to make some big changes and get some feeling with his Forward Yamaha.
The German GP will be an important opportunity also for the Moto2 riders Simone Corsi and Mattia Pasini. Following the unlucky race at the Assen TT, where they showed to be very fast but couldn’t get the deserved results, the NGM Forward Racing riders look forward to Sachsenring. Second last year, Simone Corsi is determined to fight for the podium on the German track. Also Mattia Pasini has good memories at Sachsenring, where he won in 2006 in 125cc.
Located just outside Chemnitz, Sachsenring first hosted a MotoGP round in 1998 on the venue that used to host car and bike races on closed public road since the 1920s. Every year the German GP attracts many spectators and the ambience is warm and passionate.
“After Assen, I look forward to racing at Sachsenring. We need to get on the bike and figure something out, make some big changes in one direction or the other and get some feeling. I have a few memories at Sachsenring, of course 2003, when my machine went on fire”.
“I am very happy for the Holland race. Now it’s important to keep the momentum and ride my best to keep fighting with the front guys. At Assen we fought hard for the podium and finally finished 4th. We will try this week to repeat another strong performance at Sachsenring. It’s one of the slowest circuit on the MotoGP calendar and the layout with its tight corners should suits our machine, so I’m very confident for the race”.
HALFWAY MARK OF THE SEASON AT SACHSENRING BECKONS FOR TEAM GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI
The German Grand Prix, scheduled for this weekend at the Sachsenring circuit, marks the halfway point of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship: the German round, which is held on the shortest track on the calendar - just 3671 meters in length - is in fact the ninth of the 18 planned this season. The Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini, fresh from the two positive results by Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding in the exciting Assen 'flag-to-flag', aims to collect another good result in a traditionally lucky event. Last year Bautista has started with a fifth place finish in Germany a streak that has seen him placed in the top five in 8 of the following 10 races.
A very typical circuit combining a very slow and twisty start with a spectacularly fast second section, the Sachsenring has 10 left-hand turns and only 3 on the right. During his career, Alvaro Bautista scored there three podium finishes: a second place in the 125cc class in 2006 and two third places in the 250cc class in 2008 and 2009.
Aboard the Open Class Honda RCV1000R, Scott Redding heads to the Sachsenring with 28 points in the World Championship standings, which make him the first of the riders aboard the “Production Racer” machines; the English rookie will try to consolidate this leadership on a track that the paper is well suited to the characteristics of his bike.
ALVARO BAUTISTA “The Sachsenring is a slow track with some very twisty parts: given that recently we have been struggling to find a good compromise to be strong on the fast corners, we are confident that we can achieve a good feeling with the bike on this kind of track.. We’re coming from the Assen flag-to-flag race, where it was very easy to make mistakes, but nevertheless we managed to collect a good placement; in addition, last year in Germany we had a really good race, therefore we look forward to this Grand Prix with a great motivation. The Thursday before the race weekend some riders will test some changes to Turn 11 in order to increase the safaty; it will be interesting to see if these changes will actually be adopted for the future, although this year we will run with the same layout as last year”.
SCOTT REDDING “Assen was my first wet race in MotoGP and we got a good result, thanks to which we arrive now at the Sachsenring with one point of advantage in the standings on our rivals aboard the other Open Class Hondas, and we want to try to maintain this leadership. Racing at Sachsenring will certainly be interesting, because the circuit is really small, and these bikes are so fast! I like the track, it has some ups and downs and lots of corners, with few straights. On paper, it also adapts well to our bike; I’ve always preferred right-hadn corners and on this track they are almost all on the left; in any case, it could be really funny to ride a MotoGP there, and we have to wait to see what we can get”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “Our goal for this race is clear: we want to return more competitive, trying to better exploit our potential; Alvaro has good memories of last year's race and we hope that this will allow him to take full advantage of both his technical package and his riding skills. This race marks a very important moment of the season and hopefully this will be a turning point, in order to be more consistent in performance in the second half of the Championship. Redding will ride for the first time a MotoGP bike on a very special circuit, technical and twisty; however, we are confident because on the paper the characteristics of this track should suit well the qualities of his bike, allowing him to be more competitive, also compared to the Factory spec machines”.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 ready for midseason battle
Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith will contest the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland this week at the famous Sachsenring circuit as they both anticipate a fierce battle to the finish line, yet remain confident of being able to obtain strong results aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1.
Sachsenring is a highly unique venue which the MotoGP paddock has visited again since 1998, located deep in the Saxony hills, eight kilometres west of Chemnitz. The historical German event which sees his roots reaching back until the 1920s, has always promised intense racing action also due to the tight nature of its modern layout which was originally built in 1996 . The 3671 metre anti clockwise circuit consists of 10 left and only 3 right corners including the legendary Omega and Waterfall ones and even if being the slowest circuit on the calendar it attracts a hugely enthusiastic crowd in what is always a memorable event for fans and riders alike.
After the eventful weekend in Assen Pol Espargaro will aim to further his positive drive forward and continue to close the gap to the factory MotoGP bikes, plus adding another top five finish to his impressive performances in his rookie season. On the other hand, British rider Bradley Smith will be seeking to build upon his best points scoring finish of 5thin Texas this year and continue his positive momentum from the Catalunya test to clinch honours as the leading satellite rider at round 9 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship.
Championship : 7th Points : 58
"Last race was my first experience in the wet aboard a MotoGP bike and despite the end result not being a true reflection of my potential on the bike, I still felt the best I have so far this year on the Yamaha which included topping the opening practice session. I feel really optimistic of a strong result this weekend, whatever the weather decides to do and last year I obtained a 3rd place podium finish on my way to the World Championship title in Moto2. With the track being very tight and with not much of a straight, there’s no rest therefore we are on it for the entire race, so for sure it will be a challenging one. I feel strong aboard the bike at the moment and I am convinced that I can at least challenge for, if not clinch, the position of the leading satellite bike in Germany."
Championship : 10th Points : 48
"After the conditions caused a bit of a strange race at Assen, I was still able to put together a really strong race pace when the track dried out which is really positive. At Sachsenring I hope to emulate this and scoop a top result. My joint best position of 6th was achieved here last year and with the nature of the circuit suiting the Yamaha I'm confident we can do even better this week. The tyres will be vital at this track as there are 10 left corners but only 3 right, plus it could rain, yet I remain certain of my ability aboard the Yamaha and I know we can do well this race for round 9 of the championship. I am primed and ready to gun for a top five this weekend, I look forward to putting on a great show plus riding the waterfall again!"
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager :
"This weekend we head to Germany for the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. It’s a one of a kind circuit that is very demanding, but features some fantastic corners aboard a MotoGP bike which will be breath-taking as always to watch and for Pol and Brad to ride. There is a chance of rain showers throughout the weekend so we will have to be prepared to ensure the boys are both ready for a potential wet race again. For Pol, we expect him to continue learning as this racetrack is slightly different to most due to short length and very twisty nature. However, we know his ability and that he will be aiming to be the leading satellite bike again. As for Brad, who was really strong in the latter part of the last race, he got a great result last year in his rookie year and we know he will be fired up and aiming to build on that with another top five if not higher. Last year on the whole was a great result for us, where we scored a 2nd placed finish and both riders finished inside the top six. We will be aiming for Pol and Brad to be in the top six again this year, the guys are riding well and we know they will succeed in doing their best."
Germany marks the halfway point of the season
Germany marks the halfway point of the season
Andrea Iannone and Yonny Hernandez arrive in Germany to face the race that will close the first half of the season, the ninth of the eighteen planned. The Sachsenring circuit is one of the shortest in the MotoGP championship, measuring just 3671m, only three of its thirteen curves are to the right.
After the exciting Dutch race, in which Andrea Iannone gained for the second time, his best finish in sixth position, the Pramac Team is again ready to get back into the game, and repeat the good performance achieved during the last race.
In these ten days without races, Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing) continued to train, in order to improve and face the German race in the best way possible. The Colombian rider, has made much progress since the beginning of the year and is ready to let the Dutch race behind.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"I'm very positive for this weekend because I got to try at Mugello. I'm glad to was able to try at Mugello. I hope to be fast from the start, in order to improve my pace and be fighting again with the top riders. We will keep working to figure out where and how to gain valuable time. "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I like this track a lot, is very different from the others and I am comfortable there. In the past I have achieved very important results. It will be the first time I race here on a Ducati, but I am convinced I will do well. Together with the team we will focus to achieve our goal that we missed in the Netherlands. "
BRADL AIMS FOR MORE AT HIS HOME RACE
Sachsenring, 10 July: the curtain comes down on the first half of the 2014 MotoGP season in Germany this weekend and the LCR racer Stefan Bradl, the only German in the premier class, is keen to race ahead his national crowd. The former Moto2 World Champion is having an up-and-down third season in the category of kings; the highlight so far a great fourth place at the Grand Prix of the Americas, where he also qualified on the front row of the grid. Bradl has twice celebrated a podium finish at his home race: second in the 125 Grand Prix in 2008 and second in the Moto2 race in 2011. His last two visits to the Sachsenring suggest he might be in the running for a return to the podium on Sunday. During his 2012 rookie MotoGP season Bradl finished fifth and last year he finished fourth.
Stefan: “It was a tough weekend in Assen and I was expecting a better result. The last few races have been pretty complicated for me, but I am looking forward to this weekend. Sachsenring is a short and difficult circuit with no major straight and lots of left-hand corners. Honestly, It’s not one of my favourite racetracks, but my family, friends and fans will be there to support me. It’s important for me to finish this ninth round of the championship with a productive result. in my last visits here on a MotoGP bike I finished 5th and 4th so let’s try to improve further although those guys in the front are very strong right now”.
Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview - Round 9: Sachsenring
Tuesday, July 8 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Round nine of the 2014 MotoGP™ season takes place at Germany’s Sachsenring; a technical circuit whose combination of abrasive tarmac and fast left-hand turns make it one the most punishing tracks for tyres.
The Sachsenring circuit is one of the shorter circuits on the MotoGP™ calendar, measuring just 3.671 kilometres in length. However, with ten left-hand turns compared to just three right-handers, the Sachsenring is extremely punishing on the left shoulder of the tyres, and the lack of right-hand turns means superior warm-up performance for the tyres is also a key requirement at this circuit.
The imbalance in the number of left and right-hand turns at this circuit means asymmetric rear slicks are supplied. However the large difference in temperatures generated on the shoulders of the tyres due to the many successive left-hand corners means the difference in compound hardness between the left and right shoulders of the rear slicks is greater than at other circuits. The rear slick options for the German Grand Prix are the soft and medium compound for the Open-class and Ducati entrants, and the medium and hard compound asymmetric rear slicks for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders.
The front slick tyre allocation for Sachsenring is the soft, medium and hard compound options to ensure excellent warm-up performance and safety in the case of cool conditions, as well as superior front-end stability. The main wet tyre for Sachsenring is the soft compound, however each rider can select up to two front and rear tyres of the alternative, hard compound wet tyre if they desire.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“The German Grand Prix at Sachsenring brings us to the halfway point of what has been an enthralling MotoGP season so far. Marc has been in imperious form having won all races so far, but this hasn’t prevented 2014 being one of the best championships of recent times, with so many exciting battles. Sachsenring is a short circuit but is very demanding on tyres due to its abrasive tarmac and unbalanced layout, so in terms of technical development it is one of the more challenging circuits for Bridgestone. The German Grand Prix is always a pleasure for everyone in the paddock as the huge crowd of fans that flock to the circuit every year create an amazing atmosphere.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“Sachsenring is a very demanding circuit for tyres as it features long-radius corners where the bikes stay at high lean angles for long periods. In particular, the high-speed left-hand corners that sweep onto the back and main straights generate a lot of temperature in the left shoulder of the rear tyre. To meet the demands of this circuit, asymmetric rear slicks with much harder rubber compounds on the left shoulder are provided, while the softer compounds on the right shoulder help retain tyre temperature for maximum safety in the slow right-handers. Our front tyre options will ensure good warm-up and grip for the cool morning sessions, and maximum front-end stability when the pace quickens. This is a short circuit with a relatively low average speed, but the stress placed on the tyres and high abrasion levels means that a good bike setup and a riding style that uses the tyres most effectively are crucial to getting a decent result here.”