Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix:
Repsol Honda Team look forward to season’s halfway mark at Sachsenring
The ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for this weekend at the Sachsenring circuit, marks the midway point in the 2016 season, with Marc Marquez leading the Championship classification and teammate Dani Pedrosa lying in fourth place.
The Sachsenring is one of the slower tracks on the calendar, and also the shortest at just 3.67km (2.28 miles), but it has often played host to hard-fought, close races. The actual circuit, a mix of 10 left turns and just three rights, has hosted the German GP since 1998, and it has proven to be one of the most successful rounds for the Repsol Honda Team and its riders.
Marc has won the last six consecutive years in Germany (2015, 2014 and 2013 in MotoGP, 2012 and 2011 in Moto2, and 2010 in125cc), meaning that every time he has made the podium at the Sachsenring, he finished first. Dani can also claim six victories (four in MotoGP in 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2007, and two in 250cc in 2005 and 2004), among a total of nine podium visits.
Championship Standing: 1st – 145 points
“We’re going to the German GP aiming for a podium position and of course possibly to fight for the win. The Sachsenring is normally a very good track for me that I like very much, maybe because it has so many left-hand corners, a bit like a dirt track! On the other hand, it’s another one on the calendar where the weather has sometimes played a crucial role in the past, so we’ll see how it goes there. We’ve learned from the past and we’re approaching this season race by race, trying to be ready and make the most of what we have and what the situation requires. In any case I’m happy we’ll be back in action shortly and I’ll do my best to get another positive result before the summer break.”
Championship Standing: 4th – 86 points
“I like the Sachsenring very much; it’s definitely one of my favourite tracks on the calendar. I have very good memories there, and together with my team, we’ll try to make the best use of what we’ve learned from the last races. It was a pity that we didn’t get a better result in Assen, where our strategy was perfect for the first part of the race, but the positive is that we know we’ve worked well in demanding conditions. We’ll try to do the same in Germany.”
Sachsenring according to Santi Hernandez and Ramon Aurin
Race engineers for Marquez and Pedrosa explain the keys to the next Grand Prix venue –a track at which Repsol Honda riders have dominated since 2010.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Gear Up for German GP
After a three-week resting period between the Dutch and the German GP, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are eager to start the ninth round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship this weekend at the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.
Lorenzo arrives at Sachsenring with the objective to close down the 24-point gap to the championship leader by delivering a top result before the summer break starts. The Mallorcan is familiar with the German rostrum; he produced an impressive premier class podium streak from 2009 until 2012, securing four consecutive second places and a third place in the MotoGP class in 2014.
Feeling in great shape after enjoying some rest over the last few weeks, he made it his goal this year to conquer first place at Sachsenring for the first time in his career.
Teammate Rossi is more focused than ever on gaining some points in the championship standings and has made it his mission to finish ahead of his closest rivals. Having shown a competitive pace throughout the season, he is feeling confident that he will be able to produce a strong race this weekend. Despite the Sachsenring circuit being quite narrow, he likes the track and his fondness shows in his previous results.
The Doctor has scored four MotoGP race wins at the German circuit, as well as three second places and two third positions in the premier class, and hopes to add another victory this year.
Chemnitz hosted car and motorcycle races on the roads around the town in the 1920s before Sachsenring was built in 1996 for safety reasons. Just two years later the track hosted its first MotoGP event and has continuously been updated since. The just 12m wide asphalt and a majority of slow left corners make this circuit one of the slowest tracks on the calendar, but there will still be plenty of action at the twisty circuit.
"After a three-week break between the race in Assen and Sachsenring we've all had a chance to recharge our batteries for the upcoming weekend and we can't wait to get started. Both Vale and Jorge have been able to get some rest, but after such a long period off the track they look forward to stepping onboard their bikes again this weekend for the last race before the summer break. This track is not one of the most suitable circuits on the MotoGP calendar for our bike, but as always we will put in a 100% effort and we'll try to get our first win here since 2009. Our riders are focused and motivated, so we intend to hit the ground running on Friday and look forward to putting on a great show."
Championship: 2nd, 121 points
"We are facing the last round of the first part of the season and we are eager to have a great result before summer holiday. I didn't expect such a difficult race in Assen but ultimately we were able to get some valuable points for the championship. Now we are visiting Sachsenring, a circuit where I've never won. It's always a challenging track for both me and the YZR-M1, but this year - with different electronics and tyres - you never know. Every race is a question mark so let's see if this time we can be more competitive in Germany!"
Championship: 3rd, 103 points
"I really want to get back on track. Over these last few days I've rested at home, but now I want to leave for the race at Sachsenring. In Assen we worked well throughout the weekend and we were really fast, both in wet and dry conditions, but the race was not very lucky for us. At the Sachsenring circuit we will have to work well as we have been doing during all weekends this season. We are fast and I'm comfortable with the YZR-M1 and with the Michelin tyres. I like this track and Sunday I will do my best to make it a good race."
Ducati Team arrives at Sachsenring for German GP
Following Assen, the Ducati Team stays in the northern part of Europe for the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship in Germany, which marks the half-way point of the 2016 season. The race is scheduled for this weekend at the Sachsenring circuit, close to the town of Chemnitz in what was the former East Germany.
The Sachsenring is one of the shortest and slowest tracks on the calendar, but is actually one of the most difficult. Its anti-clockwise layout includes numerous unique corners, almost all left-handers, as well as various ups and downs.
Dovizioso, who notched up his 150th GP in the premier class at Assen, scored a third-place podium finish in MotoGP in 2012, but last year was unable to finish the race following a crash. In 2015 Iannone, who was fifth at the end of the opening lap, maintained that position until the chequered flag.
The weekend timetable gets underway on Friday morning with the first Free Practice session at 09.55 CET, while the 30-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 8° (52 points)
“The Sachsenring circuit hasn’t been particularly kind to us over the last few years, but hopefully we will improve this year because the bike is much better. In the past we also had a bit of difficulty on the Assen track, but this year we were competitive all through the weekend, so I’m sure we can do a good race in Germany.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 11° (43 points)
“I think the layout of the Sachsenring track is not ideal for the characteristics of our Desmosedici GP bike, because it has a lot of long left-hander corners where you have to keep the throttle partially open and our bike is not yet perfect in these conditions. In any case you never know until first practice because it might be better with the different tyre this year. It could be like Assen in the dry, where we were very competitive.”
The Sachsenring Circuit
The Sachsenring is a circuit with a great motorsport tradition, because 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.
Circuit Record: Marquez (Honda), 1’20.336 (164.5 km/h) – 2015
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 1’21.530 (162.0 km/h) – 2015
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda), 1’20.336 (164.5 km/h) – 2015
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati), 298.2 km/h – 2015
Circuit Length: 3.7 km
Race Distance: 30 laps (110.1 km)
Curves: 13 (10 left, 3 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR READY FOR THE GERMAN MotoGP™
Team Suzuki Press Office – July 13
After the two-week break that followed the GP of Assen, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is heading to Germany for the ninth round of the MotoGP™ season this weekend, on the same Sachsenring circuit that last year saw Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró race with a special livery dedicated to the GSX-R’s 30th Anniversary.
The German circuit is a very unique one, with many corners on the left that will require a special attention to the set-up, and for a wise management of the tyres. Last year’s race was a fun one for the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders; the two GSX-RRs fought with each other in a spectacular duel until the very end of the race, finally scoring 10th and 11th places.
The history of the Sachsenring circuit is a recent one; initially born as a natural evolution of an open-road race track, it was completely renewed in 2001 to be capable to host bigger events. With a total length of 3.7 km (2.28 miles) and a 700 metre-long straight it is one of the slowest tracks of the championship, comprising only three right-hand corners and 10 left-hand corners.
“The race in Assen was not so positive for us in terms of the result, but we took advantage from the lessons we’ve learned there. It was the first time for me and the GSX-RR in such a heavy rain and the experience we got will be very useful for us in case of another rainy race. This is the positive we can take out of it. The German round will be interesting as well; the Sachsenring is very peculiar, last year’s battle with Aleix was fierce and we had a lot of fun, but our global performance has improved a lot since 2015, therefore I expect to be more competitive than the 11th place of last year. This year we have already proved to be capable of fighting with the leaders, it’s not an easy thing, it never is, but it’s something achievable and we must find a better consistency to be always close to the top.”
“The German race will be very peculiar, the track layout will be very demanding for the tyres as it has many left corners and also the rider is required to be wise in order to manage the tyre performance in any conditions, and also on the few right corners. It’s a nice challenge, last year was emotional for the special livery we had and was fun because we had two Suzuki’s fighting with each other. Many things have changed since last year, we are performing better, although we still miss consistency. We need to work hard to find a better way to finalise the machine and be fast in any conditions, we are getting more and more into the machine’s workings, but I believe we still can do better and this is our primary objective.”
MOTOGP IN GERMANY AT THE SHORTEST CIRCUIT ON THE CALENDAR
ANOTHER EXAM FOR THE APRILIA RS-GP, BAUTISTA AND BRADL ARE HIGHLY MOTIVATED
The MotoGP Championship approaches its ninth round of the season on the shortest track of the calendar. In fact, it will be the 3,671 metres of the Sachsenring in Germany hosting the next round of the premier category. This will be the umpteenth important exam for the Aprilia RS-GP on a very peculiar circuit. With only 3 right-handers and no less than 10 left-handers, the German track demands great efforts from technicians and riders alike to find the right setup.
The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders arrive in Germany highly motivated, albeit for different reasons. Stefan Bradl is on his home pitch, keen to do well in front of his fans and improve his feeling compared to Assen, a race where he struggled, despite achieving a solid eighth place finish. One of the protagonists in the Netherlands, Alvaro Bautista saw an excellent result for himself and for Aprilia go up in smoke just a few turns from the chequered flag. The bitter finale, however, does not cancel out the excellent progress shown by the Spanish rider, determined to confirm his growth on the Sachsenring.
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"The Sachsenring is a decidedly peculiar track, where engine performance has little impact on the overall result. Just imagine that maximum power is used for about 10-15% of the lap, whereas the electronics setup and the chassis features are fundamental. What is needed most of all is handling and the ability to find the right line on the turns, both in acceleration and without the throttle. Another delicate aspect concerns the first right-hander after a long section with the bike leaned to the left, a crucial point of the track that must be managed very carefully. As for our development path, in Germany we will be bringing a new swingarm, significantly lighter and with different stiffness parameters, and some components on the intake side of the engine that should guarantee a step forward in terms of torque at medium rpm".
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"We are coming from a couple of positive races and we would like to continue this trend in Germany as well so we can finish out this first half of the season well before the summer break. On paper, the Sachsenring could be a favourable track for the RS-GP. Up to now we have done some significant work on the bike, which is obviously ongoing, constantly striving to be more competitive. On such a winding track, where top speed is relatively not so important, it will be important to find a good compromise for the setup and we are confident that we will be able to do just that. We are, therefore, arriving in Germany confident that we can battle for a good placement with both of our riders".
"The break gave me a chance to release the tension from Assen. It was not easy, but now I am motivated and ready for battle. The Sachsenring is a slow, narrow track with a lot of left-handers, very difficult. As always, we are starting from zero, so we'll have to begin working well from Friday morning on the bike setup. We are doing a good job. It would be nice for me to start the summer break with a good race, battling in the top ten as we have in the last rounds".
"It will be a special weekend for me. Many of my fans and friends will be at the Sachsenring to support me. Despite the track not being my favourite, the excitement of racing at home is always very strong. Especially this year, since in 2015 I missed the race in Germany before beginning my adventure with Aprilia. I hope that my RS-GP adapts well to this track. A good result is within our potential and, all things considered, it would be particularly satisfying for me".
Pull&Bear Aspar Team in strong shape for German Grand Prix
Monday, 11 July 2016 14:35
Eugene Laverty and Yonny Hernández return to action after taking leading roles in the Dutch TT
The MotoGP World Championship reaches the point of no return this weekend as the German Grand Prix marks the halfway point of the eighteen-round season. Marc Márquez heads to round nine with a healthy championship lead after taking advantage of a difficult Dutch TT for his rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi last time out. Márquez is unbeaten at Sachsenring in MotoGP since his debut there in 2013; in fact you have to go back to 2009 for the last time the Spaniard did not take victory at a German Grand Prix, having also done so in 125cc and Moto2. Sachsenring is one of the tightest and shortest circuits on the calendar, with thirty laps of its 3.7km layout ahead for the MotoGP riders on Sunday.
It promises to be a special weekend for the Aspar Team. Eugene Laverty and Yonny Hernández are hoping to show good performances at Sachsenring. The Irishman has only raced the circuit three times previously, including a points-scoring finish during his 250cc days, but he travels on the back of a seventh-place finish last time out at Assen that moved him back up into the championship top ten. Yonny Hernández has good memories of this circuit, including a sixth-place finish in Moto2, and the experience of leading a MotoGP race for the first time at Assen, when he spent nine laps at the front, has given the Colombian extra motivation to score another good result in Germany.
Eugene Laverty: "I have only ridden at Sachsenring a little bit. It is a track with so much turning and that is an area we are always working to improve with this bike so Sachsenring is an important place for us to improve because there are so many long corners there. We learnt a lot at Assen about how we can improve in the long corners so we can take that information to Germany now and hopefully make it count.”
Yonny Hernández: “Sachsenring is one of my favourite circuits and I have had some good results there in both Moto2 and MotoGP. Hopefully it is just as good to us again this year so that we can have a good weekend. I am feeling motivated, especially after the last Grand Prix when I proved that I can run at the front, so I want to give it everything, work hard and get the most out of the bike and the set-up. It is a physical circuit so we have a long race ahead, thirty laps, but we are ready for it.”
Tech3 pair ready for twisting Sachsenring challenge
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith confidently eye up the forthcoming GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland where they will aim to seize two top tier results aboard their Yamaha YZR-M1 bikes. The round nine battle marks the mid-point of the 2016 season and both riders intend to complete the race as close as possible to the factory bikes in order to conclude the first half of the year positively.
Pol Espargaro will seek to follow up his 4th place at Assen, which equalled his best performance in the premier class, with another impressive finish in Germany. The consistent 25-year-old is currently 6th in the World Championship standings and will look to get straight up to speed at the tight and meandering Saxony circuit.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith optimistically has his sights set on fighting to a top placement ahead of the summer break after what has been a tricky 2016 campaign so far. The young British rider suffered ill fortunate at the soaking wet Dutch GP after falling whilst pursuing a notable result, however, he remains resolute and fully intends to undertake a strong performance in Germany.
Championship: 6th, 72 points
"As usual, I am looking forward to racing this weekend and I am positive about the team and I doing a good job in Germany. The track is certainly unique and when I ride, it feels a little bit like karting on a MotoGP bike! It is really tight and twisty, plus as there is no long straight, we don't get much of a rest so it's very physically demanding. Having said that, we are upbeat because the nature of the Sachsenring suits the Yamaha so I think we can push for a strong showing again. However, I believe that we may see some unexpected results but I'll try hard to be one of those who have a notable performance. We are ready and prepared so I am sure that we can tick off part one of the season in a positive fashion before I fly to Japan to compete in the Suzuka 8 Hours race for the Yamaha Factory Racing Team."
Championship: 15th, 32 points
"The next stop for us is the German Grand Prix, which is definitely a special one, due to the location of the circuit. This racetrack stands alone because of its tight corners like the Omega and also because we do not really open the throttle fully until the waterfall, which I must say is awesome to ride. Last year I managed to get 6th, and honestly, I feel that we have a solid chance of obtaining a good result again with the capabilities of the YZR-M1. After Assen, I went to the legendary Spa - Francorchamps circuit with the Tech3 team and Guy Coulon to ride a two-stroke 500cc Yamaha. I really enjoyed the experience and I have to say thanks to the guys for making it happen. Yet, this weekend we are back our usual business with the goal being to score the top independent position."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager:
“Sachsenring is a thrilling race for the fans and one that we look forward to because of the great crowd. In addition, all the riders are extra motivated for this GP as want to sign off the first part of the year with a good result. Both of our guys are highly determined and ambitious for this event and we expect them to be fighting as close as possible to the factory MotoGP bikes. Pol has done a great job so far in 2016 and he equalled his best finish in the premier class at the memorable race in the Netherlands. The outcome there will fire him up for another successful battle in Saxony and we hope he can finish as the leading independent rider once more before he heads to Japan for the Suzuka 8 Hours race. As for Brad, he was unlucky at Assen, but he has made some really encouraging steps forward in the past few GP’s, and we know that he is more than capable of dicing with his teammate for the best satellite position on Sunday afternoon. We will do everything that we can to get the guys ready for their last adventure before the summer break and we are excited for the challenge.”
Loris Baz set for return at the Sachsenring
Avintia Racing heads to Sachsenring this weekend for the ninth round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship with Loris Baz joining Hector Barbera after missing the last two races. Baz has been working hard to make his return in Germany, and although he still has some pain in his right foot, he’s looking forward to ride his Ducati and get his feeling back before the summer break.
Hector Barbera heads to Sachsenring eager to complete the first half of the season with a good result. Avintia Racing’s Spanish rider is one of the three riders that scored points in all the races so far; he is seventh in the point standings and first Ducati rider. Barbera and Baz head to the German round in high spirits, after celebrating the World Ducati Week together with more than 80,000 ‘Ducatisti’ from all over the world. During three days all Ducati riders met at the Misano circuit for this amazing event.
“This race will mark the middle of the season and, although we did score some decent results, I feel that we can get even further and Germany is a good place to reach our goals. Sachsenring is a track I like and I think that with the right work on the set up, it is also a good track for my bike. During the last two weeks I’ve been able to train hard and I confront this race with a lot of physical and mental strength. After Assen, I went to Misano for the WDW. I enjoyed it a lot and it was great to see the passion of thousands of Ducatisti and to feel their support”.
“I’m really happy about coming back after my injury. My foot is much better now, it’s not at 100% and still painful, but I can’t wait any more to jump back on my bike. My aim for this weekend is to get the feeling back and then to try to ride the best possible race on Sunday. I don’t want to take risks this weekend, my goal will be just to ride my bike and to get back on the pace. We’ll have a test in Austria after the race, and I’m sure these two days will be really helpful for us. I’m looking forward to see my bike and to try the improvements made by Pirro with the electronics. I’m eager to get back after watching the last two races from my sofa”.
Miller motivated to conquer Sachsenring challenge
Boosted by his breath-taking maiden MotoGP victory in Assen last month, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller arrives in Germany for this weekend’s Sachsenring MotoGP battle riding the crest of a wave.
Miller ripped up the record books in an eventful Dutch TT, which saw him become only the 12th Australian to win in the premier class and the first rider to notch victories in both Moto3 and MotoGP.
He was also the 10th youngest winner in MotoGP history, but after the celebrations of Assen the 21-year-old is now fully concentrated on delivering another positive result at the tight and twisty 3.67km Sachsenring circuit.
Miller made his Grand Prix debut at the famous venue in the 125cc category back in 2011 and he won the Moto3 race from pole position there in 2014.
And his quest for a third successive top 10 finish of 2016 has been aided by the fact that Miller was able to return to motocross training in the two-week break after Assen.
He did three days of intense off-road riding for the first time since he broke his right leg in a motocross training accident back in January, and he was happy with the strength and range of motion with his recovering right leg.
Tito Rabat is also relishing the prospect of tackling the anti-clockwise Sachsenring track, which features 10 left-hand turns and just three right corners.
Rabat has powered his Honda RC213V machine to point scoring finishes in the two races since returning from a broken left collarbone injury.
Adding to Miller and Rabat’s optimism that they can head into the three-week summer break on the back of morale-boosting results is Honda’s impressive recent record at Sachsenring, which has seen the Japanese manufacturer undefeated at the German venue since 2009.
“Assen was like a dream come true for me but we now we have to focus on being as competitive as possible this weekend in Germany. It is not going to be an easy weekend but it is a track I like and I’ve had some success on in the past. The encouraging thing for us as well is the Honda seems to work well at this track, so we have good reason to be optimistic. I’ve definitely got a little bit of extra confidence after the win in Assen and I’m sure we can be strong again. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last four races, and with my leg getting better day-by-day, it has made a difficult job a little bit easier for me. Since Assen I’ve been able to get back on a motocross bike for the first time since I injured my leg in January and it felt good. The strength is not an issue but I still need to get a bit more motion back. That lack of movement is because I’ve still got a fair amount of metalwork in my leg but I was happy with how it went. Now I’ll continue working hard with my crew like always so hopefully we can experience a feeling like Assen again soon.”
“I am happy with my performances since coming back from my collarbone injury in Mugello. I struggled a lot in Montmelo but still scored points and I was lacking power in the changes of direction in Assen and still managed to ride very well. I am fully fit and prepared for Sachsenring now, which will end the opening half of my first MotoGP season. I have gained a lot of experience in the first races and it has been a case of learning as much as I can to help me be more competitive. I think the character of the track, the Honda and my riding style could be a good combination this weekend, so I am hoping to be fighting for my best result of the season so far.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Jack's win at Assen was an unforgettable experience for the whole team, especially as Franco had secured us our first Moto2 podium of the season earlier in the day. But now we need to get back to work and focus on the next race in Germany. Sachsenring is a tricky circuit, but it's a track where the factory Hondas went well last year and Jack and Tito head there after a confidence boosting outing at the Dutch TT. I know that they will be looking to end the first half of the season on a high and I'm confident that both will make another step forward with the bike this weekend."
SACHSENRING NEXT UP FOR LCR HONDA
The German Grand Prix marks the halfway point of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship, and for the LCR Honda Team, there is a positive feeling that the event could be a successful one for their British rider Cal Crutchlow.
Crutchlow has form around the torturous Sachsenring layout, having secured a podium finish there in 2013, and having a solid run to seventh for LCR Honda last year, despite a big crash in qualifying.
After a two-week break in racing, which allowed Crutchlow to put in some testing for Honda and Michelin in Malaysia, the 30 year-old and his team are now eager to build on the steps forward made in recent races, which was cruelly halted by the downpours in Holland.
#35 Cal Crutchlow
“I’m really looking forward to racing in Germany, I enjoy the circuit quite a lot. I’ve had some success and some really good races there over the years, and it suits my style too. So I can’t wait to get there because I expect the Honda will work better there compared to previous races.”
“I’m excited to try and challenge the front guys after a disappointing Assen race. It was disappointing for lots of riders there, so I think there will be a lot of riders hunting a good result which should make for a good race.”
“We went to Sepang with HRC, and took my crew chief Beefy (Christophe Bourgignon) along too, but we were mainly testing for Michelin to try some new things they had for the new surface. I felt their new tyres were going in the right direction, but the track had a few problems with water seeping even though it was 40°C. We did what we had to do, and even tried some new electronic things for Honda which was good. It was nice to test for Honda that they trust me to steer the ship a bit. We had some test days left still, so the way things are going with the bike we were able to give them some good feedback.”
MICHELIN AIMING TO BE LORDS OF THE ‘RING’
Michelin is heading to Sachsenring in Germany for the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland an event that sees the half-way point of the MotoGP™ season and signals a first for the French tyre manufacturer in its current Grand Prix incarnation.
Sachsenring is a technical circuit that features fast and long left-hand turns, slow rights and abrasive asphalt, which makes it one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar, despite the layout’s distance of just 3,671m in length – making it the shortest circuit of the season. With this in mind Michelin will be supplying front asymmetric MICHELIN Power Slick tyres for the first time this season. These new compound tyres have be specifically designed to meet the stresses expected at Sachsenring and with 10 left-hand turns, the left shoulder of the front tyre will feature a harder rubber to cope with the high temperatures this track is expected to produce. Available in a soft version with the white identifying band and a hard compound (yellow band) these two asymmetric tyres will also be joined in the range by a medium (no band) symmetrical front slick giving the riders a different option depending on the conditions.
To match the front allocation Michelin will have another first at the German track, as it will offer a rear slick which also features a harder left shoulder in its asymmetrical design. Again designed to cope with the fast lefts, this tyre will also need a softer right side to heat up quickly and give the riders the grip they need for the slow right that comes early on every lap. Available in medium (no band) and hard (yellow band), the balance of these different compounds on each tyre is crucial to giving good performance, as well as maximum safety and durability at this testing track. To complete the collection, Michelin will also have the Power Rain tyres which were used competitively the last time out at Assen in the Netherlands and the Power Inters for use in mixed weather.
Situated in eastern Germany, approximately 100km from Dresden, Sachsenring was once a circuit that held its races on closed public roads, similar to Assen, Brno and the Isle of Man, but since 1996 racing has taken place on a purpose built track near the town of Hohenstein-Ernstthal, where It has staged a motorcycle Grand Prix every year since 1998. Steeped in history, the area was once the focal point of Germany’s automotive industry and the manufacturers would race their machines around the streets. This history, combined with the party atmosphere throughout the whole weekend, makes Sachsenring a rich cocktail of octane fuelled excitement that motorcycle race fans adore.
Michelin and the MotoGP paddock will take to the track on Friday for the first of two free practice sessions, followed by a further practice the following morning. These three sessions will decide which qualifying session each rider competes in on Saturday afternoon to confirm the grid positions for Sunday’s 30-lap race. The lights will change to go at 14.00hrs CEST (13.00hrs BST, 12.00hrs GMT/UTC) for what promises to be an interesting race in-front of what is likely to be another sell-out crowd.
Piero Taramasso – Manager of the Two-Wheel Motorsport Group:
“After the excitement and diverse conditions we had last time at Assen, it would be nice to have a straightforward weekend, but if you want that then Sachsenring is not the place to go! It is a very demanding circuit and the layout – with its long left-hand corners – generates a lot of heat that the tyres will have to contend with. With this in mind we have created completely new compounds designed especially for this track. This will be the first time we have had asymmetric rear tyres where the left is harder to cope with the high temperatures and it will also feature a soft right-hand-side to heat up rapidly for the sharp, slow right-hand corner that comes at the beginning of each lap. This follows a lot of left turns and the start/finish straight – so it will need to get temperature very quickly to give the riders the grip they need. Sachsenring will also signal the first time we have provided a front asymmetric tyre as well as a rear at any race this season. Sachsenring is another circuit where we can have variable weather – similar to Assen – so we have to be prepared for that, but no matter what the conditions are, the huge German crowd will certainly have a good time, as this is one of the big party races of the season.”