Press release previews from some of the MotoGP teams:
Repsol Honda look forward to another exciting race at Sachsenring
The epic battle in the Dutch TT at Assen resulted in the first 15 riders crossing the line just 16.043” apart, marking the closest ever top-15 finish of all time. Will the tight, twisty Sachsenring favour more close racing next Sunday?
What’s sure is that the shortest track on the calendar, at 3.67 km, has in recent years proven to be one of the most successful rounds for both Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, who have scored 14 victories between them and have stood together on the podium three times, in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
The Championship leader, in particular, has taken eight consecutive wins across three classes at the German circuit, each success coming after starting from pole position. Marc and Dani look forward to round 9 of the season, the former to try and extend his lead in the standings, and the latter to make a breakthrough in his season.
At the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland
Marc Marquez has 8 wins: 1 x 125 (2010), 2 x Moto2 (2011, 2012), and 5 x MotoGP (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), plus 8 pole positions (he has been on pole for all eight wins).
Dani Pedrosa has 6 wins: 2 x 250 (2004, 2005) and 4 x MotoGP (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012), plus an additional 4 podiums and 1 pole position.
“The victory we scored at Assen was important because it was a race where it was incredibly easy to make a mistake but instead we were able to increase our advantage in the Championship. Now we go to a very different circuit where we’re normally very strong, but every year is different; you could object that I often repeat this idea, but it’s true! Weather could play an important role, as we’ve seen in the past: if it’s rainy or mixed, everything will change very quickly and you must be ready. So we’ll see; we’ll go there and try to find our level and be strong from the start of the weekend. Then on Sunday we’ll try and fight for the podium again.”
“I look forward to the race at Sachsenring, a track that I like. In the second part of the race at Assen, we managed to lap at a better pace than we did during the rest of the weekend, so we’ll try and build on that at Sachsenring. We also must improve our speed when we’re on new tyres in order to be faster in qualifying.”
Movistar Yamaha Get Ready for the German GP
Following the Dutch Grand Prix, the closest race so far this season held almost two weeks ago, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales are raring to continue their championship quest at the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland this weekend.
Though he rode a competitive race in the Netherlands, Rossi heads to the Sachsenring feeling eager to make good on the Assen podium that he so narrowly missed. Holding second place in the rider standings, it's his objective to reduce the 41-point gap to the championship leader by delivering a top result before MotoGP's short summer break starts.
The Italian has a ton of premier class experience at the German GP to help him achieve his goal; he scored victories in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2009, stood on the podium in 2000, 2003 and 2008 for second places, and took third positions in 2013 and 2015.
Viñales is more motivated than ever to gain points in the championship standings after securing a place on the podium at the previous round and maintaining his third place in the rankings, six points behind his teammate. Having shown a competitive pace from start to finish at the TT Assen race, he is feeling confident that he will be able to produce a strong result again on German soil.
Prior to this weekend the young contender stood on the Sachsenring podium twice, having secured third positions in the 125cc class in 2011 and the Moto3 class in 2013. Feeling in great shape after enjoying some rest over the last week, the Spaniard aims to land a place in the MotoGP top-3 there for the first time in his career.
The area of Chemnitz is known for its love for car and motorcycle races. Originally, races in the area were held on closed public roads from the 1920s on. The 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 circuit has numerous tight corners (ten left, three right in total), making this circuit one of the slower tracks on the calendar, but there will still be plenty of action at the German GP.
Championship: 2nd – Points: 99
"Assen was an incredible race, so I really want to get back on track again. I don't know if we can repeat a race like that at the Sachsenring, but we'll try to do everything to be at the front with the top riders. Last year's German GP was not a very positive weekend for us, so it will be very important to understand our potential this weekend. We will have to work hard, starting from the first practice session on Friday, to get ready for the race, but I'm confident. I feel good and my team are working really well. The race at the Sachsenring is the last race before the short MotoGP summer break, so we want to do our best to make it a good battle on Sunday, to end the first half of the season in a good way."
Championship: 3rd – Points: 93
"I'm really looking forward to arriving at the Sachsenring. I think we are getting the bike ready and we're starting to see everything in a very positive way, allowing us to end the first half of the season properly. We have to fight to get as many points as possible to stay at the top of the championship. Fortunately, in Assen I felt very comfortable on the bike again and I had the same good feelings I've had in the past. We were able to solve the small problems we were having on the first laps of the race and that has put us at the level of the other riders on the grid. The podium was like a breath of fresh air and has given me extra motivation to keep at it with all my strength and give 100%, as always. Last year at the Sachsenring I finished just off the podium with a fourth position, so this year we'll give our all to get back on the podium and continue on the good path we're on."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"After the fantastic battle in Assen, the team can't wait to continue the championship at the German GP. Our riders felt competitive at the previous race. We're determined to reproduce the good feeling we had in the Netherlands this weekend. Both Vale and Maverick have been able to get some rest and recharge their batteries, so they can give 100% again at the last race before the short summer break. The Sachsenring suits our bike reasonably well, however, bike set-up plays a vital role there. To match the settings to the track's narrow nature, we need to start the weekend in the right manner on Friday. Last year we finished just off the podium, so this year it's our goal to rectify this and to continue the work done at the last race."
LAST EFFORTS AT GP OF GERMANY BEFORE THE SUMMER BREAK
Team Suzuki Press Office – July 11.
The end of the first half of the 2018 Season is just around the corner, with the upcoming GP of Germany the last race before the summer break. Team SUZUKI ECSTAR arrive at Sachsenring circuit eager to rectify the negative performance there in 2017; where both Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins struggled to find a good feeling on the tight track, which was not helped by tricky weather conditions.
This year’s situation is completely different, in particular for Alex Rins who arrives in Germany fresh from the recent podium in Assen. This second place was pay back for the solid progression and hard work that the young Spaniard has been doing since the beginning of the season. The joy of the podium also gave him back extra confidence that he’d lacked in some races early this year, and now he has renewed optimism and hope for the GSX-RR’s future performances.
This same good feeling is shared by Andrea Iannone, whose confidence with the GSX-RR has built up race by race. His latest results have been affected by a struggle in finding consistent performance over race distance, but his capabilities to be close to the top in every session this year, as well as his good pace, will soon reward him.
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“We’re heading to Sachsenring with the objective to close the first half of the season in a good way. This year has been positive for us so far, thanks to the four podiums. The German circuit should be a good one for us, as its layout seems suitable for our machine’s characteristics. Alex arrives at Sachsenring in high spirits after his second place in Assen, so we expect a good race also in Germany. Andrea struggled a little more in the Netherlands, with him we are still finding some positive ways to work, so I’m confident he will be able to get back to the positions that we deserve.”
“I can’t wait to race again in Germany and take advantage of the positive feeling I got from the podium position in Assen. The Sachsenring circuit is supposed to be a positive one for our GSX-RR because it’s very fluid, with fast corners, where we have always been strong. It’s also the last race before the summer break, so it will be nice to harvest a positive result - especially after my visit last Sunday to all the GSX-R fans in Zolder, who will probably also come to the Sachsenring to support us!”
“I hope for a positive weekend as it will be the last race before the summer break and I feel it would be nice to go on vacation with a relaxed mind. The layout is suitable for our machine, I think, and it’s also a circuit I like, so we can try to stay in the top positions - which we have been capable of during the season so far. I’m also expecting a lot of Suzuki fans in Germany, this will give me an extra push.”
German Grand Prix action beckons for Ducati Team at the tight and tricky Sachsenring circuit
Two weeks after the Dutch TT at Assen, the Ducati Team has now moved to Germany for the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for this weekend at the Sachsenring circuit, near the town of Chemnitz.
The Sachsenring is one of the shortest and slowest circuits on the entire calendar, but despite this it is an insidious layout and the racing can be rather unpredictable. One of the peculiar features of the 3.7 km layout is its anti-clockwise direction, as well as the presence of some tricky corners, almost all of them left-handers, accompanied by a number of up-and-down sections.
Dovizioso has twice managed to get onto the MotoGP podium at the Sachsenring: in 2012 and 2016, when he was classified third. Last year the Italian rider recovered well to reach fourth place but in the end took the chequered flag in eighth. For Jorge Lorenzo the German round continues to be one of the few he has not yet managed to win, but the Spanish rider has picked up four second places between 2009 and 2012, while last year he finished the race in eleventh place after starting from row 2.
The weekend’s race programme gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.50 am, while the 30-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th (79 points)
“The Sachsenring is a track that in the past has created a few problems for us and, like in the Netherlands, once again we will have to make a good analysis of the behaviour of the tyres. This year I think we will be quicker than in 2017, as we demonstrated at Assen where we expected to be competitive and we were, but it’s the rear tyres that make all the difference and we’ll have to wait for the first practice sessions to get a better idea of the situation. The Sachsenring is not one of my favourite circuits and I don’t have a good feeling with the track, but in any case I’ll try and get the best possible result.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 7th (75 points)
"We have arrived half-way through the season with quite a positive balance-sheet: we have improved as the months have gone by, always working well, and I think that now we have a technical package that will allow us to be competitive on all circuits. At Assen for example, where in recent years I hadn’t scored good results, we were in the lead of the race for a lot of laps and we came close to the podium. I think that the situation will also be similar at the Sachsenring: it’s a circuit where on paper we could struggle but where we will try in any case to get the best result at all costs. It’ll be vital to find a good set-up already on Friday to start the German weekend well."
MOTOGP - NINTH ROUND OF THE SEASON IN GERMANY
For the ninth round of the season, MotoGP 2018 is preparing to take on the shortest track on the calendar. In fact, it will be the 3,671 metres of the Sachsenring in Germany hosting the next round of the premier category, the last one before a brief summer break. It is a decidedly particular 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 ideal setup.
Last year, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini was one of the protagonists in Germany, with Aleix Espargaró finishing seventh after remaining stably in the top 5 during the timed sessions and earning a spot on the third row of the starting grid.
Scott Redding has been on an upward trend for the last couple of races with the clearest progress in the last race at Assen, so the rider is keen to confirm this trend on Saxony soil.
"In the last race before the summer break, my goal is to take home a good result. In Assen we were competitive throughout the weekend. The only session we missed the mark on was the race. The Sachsenring is not my favourite track in terms of layout, but we have always done rather well here. Even last year, I finished seventh with an excellent pace."
"The Sachsenring has a lot of long corners that you go through without braking - not our strong point - but it is also a narrow and twisty track that could help us. I am coming from two positive races where I had fun riding. With Aprilia, every track is new for me, so I don't know what to expect, but in terms of mindset, I want to take on every session without too many complications, just thinking about doing as well as possible."
Zarco and Syahrin are gearing up for German GP
Before the World Championship will take a short summer break, the entire circus is set to travel to Germany this weekend for the ninth round of the 2018 season. Thereby, Monster Yamaha Tech3 star Johann Zarco is eager to continue his progress seen during the previous Grand Prix in Assen, Netherlands, where he was able to stick with the front group almost all race long.
On the other hand, Hafizh Syahrin can’t wait to ride at the unique venue, which is the shortest track in the calendar for the first time with his Yamaha YZR-M1. Following a difficult Dutch Grand Prix the Malaysian rookie aims to score points again, before he recharges his batteries for the second half of the season. The action at the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland kicks off at 9.55 local time this Friday.
Championship: 4th – Points: 81
“The Sachsenring in Germany is a small track, but very interesting and very nice. Sometimes we had a lot of rain there, but even then the circuit is incredible and offers so much grip, which is even disturbing me a bit, because it’s just unbelievable how you can lean the bike in the wet. You need some time to get used to that. When it’s dry, I just hope it’s also warm, as we feel better like this, overall on the right side, because there are so many left corners, so the right side of the tyre is always a bit cold. Last year, I finished in ninth position and my former teammate Jonas did an incredible Grand Prix on his home track. I would like to understand what it needs to repeat it and be on the podium at the Sachsenring, which would be fantastic.”
Championship: 17th – Points: 17
“Germany is a different track than others, it’s small and technical. I try to work hard towards the race on Sunday to be ready for the long 30 laps. I hope I can find a good feeling with the bike like the beginning of the last round. I’m really looking forward to this weekend! I want to improve myself and try to be back inside the points scoring positions in order to fight for the top rookie spot again. I hope the weather will be nice and then we will see what happens.”
“Sachsenring marks the end of the first part of the season before the whole paddock is going on vacation for a short summer break and of course it’s always good to end up the first part on a positive note. Right now, Johann is holding fourth position in provisional ranking. Of course, it would be great to retain that, but we know that it’s not going to be easy, as there are quite a few riders directly behind him. Sachsenring will be important on that point in order to go to the summer break with a positive feeling, which helps to rest more and come back with a better feeling when we restart in Czech Republic. Last year we had a beautiful and incredible feeling to see our rider Jonas Folger fighting for the lead and eventually finishing second for his first ever podium in the MotoGP class in front of his home crowd. This was very unique and it still brings tears to my eyes to remember that, it was great feeling for whole team, but also for Jonas it was a dream coming true. We know that we can be strong at this circuit, I also remember some great races Cal Crutchlow did, finishing second to Marc Marquez some years to go. It’s a place with great results and great memories, a place where I think we have quite a lot of fans. It’s always a pleasure coming to the Sachsenring, there’s a big crowd, which gives us a good feeling. The very passionate people always make us having a great time there. Hopefully, the weather will be warm. Hafizh is also having a big fight for his championship which is the top rookie position. It was not too positive in Assen and I don’t think Sachsenring has been very sweet to him so far, but he came to spent a few days at the workshop, where I told him ‘If you want to be a good rider, you have to be fast everywhere. Just go there and have fun, this is how you get the results.’ Johann has to fight to keep the fourth position and Hafizh is going to push to hopefully getting some points on Franco Morbidelli. Then we all go for few days of vacation before we head to second part of the season.”
LAST CHANCE BEFORE THE SUMMER BREAK FOR MOTOGP RIDERS TO IMPRESS
Ángel Nieto Team head to Germany looking to continue Álvaro Bautista’s good form get Karel Abraham back into the points
There is one more opportunity for the MotoGP World Championship riders to impress before taking a short break for the summer as the series heads to Germany and reaches the halfway point of the season. The big question is whether anybody can dethrone the ‘King of Sachsenring’, Marc Márquez, who has taken a victory there every season since winning the 125cc race in 2010. Two victories in Moto2 and five more in MotoGP make it eight on the bounce for the Spaniard, and with last year’s runner-up Jonas Folger not racing this season there is a wide open chase for podium honours on Sunday. Six riders are currently covered by just 25 points in the chase for second in the championship and after a sensational group battle at Assen, the scene is set for another epic race at the shortest circuit on the calendar.
The Ángel Nieto Team travel to Germany feeling motivated after three consecutive top ten finishes for Álvaro Bautista. The Spaniard also took a creditable sixth position at Sachsenring in 2017, crossing the line just five seconds behind the podium finishers after starting from twelfth on the grid. The Spaniard has been on an upward curve in recent weeks and after making Q2 for the first time this season at Assen, he will be looking for a similar level of performance to sign off from the first half of the season in style. Karel Abraham, who was unable to build on his thirteenth place in Barcelona due to a technical problem at Assen, sees Germany as a second home race and the Czech rider is confident of turning some strong practice laps into a positive result.
Álvaro Bautista: “After three races in the top nine we now face a different kind of circuit, but we are on an upward curve and we’ll work hard to make our bike handle well for the challenge of this track. It has some low speed changes of direction but the bike also needs to be agile. We will try to continue working in the same way and maintain the positive momentum. Last year we had a great race to come through and finish sixth; this year the level is higher and everybody is even closer so it will be difficult but I think we are on the right lines and we can fight to finish the first half of the season off with a good result and a good feeling.”
Karel Abraham: “Sachsenring is practically a second home race for me because it is really close to Brno. Hopefully this weekend we can have a little more luck on the technical side, because I really want to go into the summer break in a good way.”
Lüthi prepares for the confrontation of Sachsenring, Morbidelli awaiting medical control
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Thomas Lüthi is geared up for a top 15 attack in the Sachsenring, while teammate Franco Morbidelli will courageously attempt to compete this weekend.
Thomas Lüthi returns to the track where his World Championship career began back in 2002 for round nine of an exciting MotoGP campaign this weekend.
The Swiss rider made his Grand Prix debut at the historic Sachsenring track 16 years ago and his fondest memory of the tight and twisty layout came in 2005 when he finished on the podium in the 125cc race, which proved a pivotal result in helping him lift the title that season.
Lüthi gained some much-needed front-end confidence from a positive one-day test in Brno last week. And he is keen to see if the improvements transfer to the unique configuration of the Sachsenring, which features 10 left-hand corners and the jaw-dropping plunge downhill through turn 11.
The daily intensive treatment undertaken by Franco Morbidelli to recover from the left-hand injury that ruled him out of the previous race in Assen has been progressing well.
Although Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS wishes for Morbidelli to complete his recovery without taking unnecessary risks, the Italian will travel to Germany in advance of a medical check on Thursday with the full blessing of the team.
If Morbidelli is not passed fit to ride, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS will announce a replacement rider on Thursday.
The MotoGP action kicks off at 955am on Friday with FP1 and the premier class race is due to get underway at 2pm on Sunday afternoon.
Franco Morbidelli: 16th in the overall standings with 19 points
“The injured left hand has recovered quite well and I decided to travel to Germany. Doctors will make some checks on Thursday in Sachsenring to find out about my condition and to decide if I’m ready to race or not. Last year I won in Germany my sixth race of the season and also became championship leader, so I keep very good memories from Sachsenring.”
Tom Lüthi: 24th in the overall standings
“Sachsenring is a track I like a lot and it is a pleasure for me to ride there because I have always had great support and many people come from Switzerland to cheer me on as well. It is where I made my debut in the World Championship in 2002, so I have some great memories and that makes it special for me too. The track is tricky because of its tight layout and there are a lot of left-hand corners which make it quite unique. I am sure it will feel even shorter on a MotoGP bike but I am relishing the challenge and after the positive test in Brno I am hoping this weekend can finally be the one in which I break into the top 15.”
Rabat and Simeon ready to fight for a strong result at the Sachsenring
MotoGP GP of Germany – Sachsenring
The Grand Prix of Germany this weekend, ninth round of 2018 MotoGP World Championship, will be the last race before the summer break. Reale Avintia Racing riders Tito Rabat and Xavier Simeon head to the Sachsenring highly motivated and eager to fight for a strong result and finish the first part of the season with a boost of confidence.
Tito Rabat wants to show that he can fight for the top 10 and although the Sachsenring is not on his favourite track list, the Spanish rider is confident that with his Ducati GP17, the story will be different this weekend.
His teammate Xavier Simeon heads to the Sachsenring full of confidence. Things didn’t go as expected last time at Assen and he hopes to adapt better to the tight and twisty German track this weekend. The rider from Belgium has really good memories from Sachsenring, with the ultimate highlight in 2015 when he won his first race in the Moto2 class.
“In previous years, Sachsenring has not been the best circuit for me, but I feel strong and I hope to turn my luck around. We were close to the top in the last few races, but for whatever reason, we haven’t been able to score a good race result. I hope that this result will finally come in Germany. I need to find something extra to get this result and I’m sure that working with my team, we will finally succeed.”
“I go to Germany really excited, because I have really good memories from this track and I’ve always been fast there. I hope to find a good set up quickly. Sachsenring is a special circuit with many left-hand turns. With the MotoGP bike, it will be like riding on a go-kart circuit. I’m motivated and I hope for a good result on Sunday”.
MICHELIN IS EQUIPPED FOR THE SHORTEST CIRCUIT ON THE CALENDAR
MICHELIN IS EQUIPPED FOR THE SHORTEST CIRCUIT ON THE CALENDAR
Michelin is heading to Germany and the Sachsenring circuit for round nine of the 2018 MotoGP™ World Championship where the Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland will be staged on the shortest track that the competitors visit in the entire season.
The 3.671m layout has a predominantly left-hand feel to it, with 10 of its 13 turns travelling in that direction. Its tight configuration and slower lap-times makes this one of the most challenging circuits of the season and an event that usually gives exciting and close racing. Following a complete re-surface in 2017, Michelin went to last season’s race weekend with little data regarding the new track, this was due to a noise restriction prohibiting a test with MotoGP bikes, but this time Michelin and the whole paddock is better equipped following the information gathered at last year’s event.
The technical layout, which despite providing slower lap-times, still provides some very fast and long left turns which give excessive stresses to that side of the tyre. To cope with this the MICHELIN Power Slicks that will be available in this season’s allocation will all be of an asymmetric design for both the front and rear. With soft, medium and hard compounds specifically designed to match the rigours and demands of the Sachsenring circuit, they tyres will have a harder left-hand side to withstand the increased use that side of the tyre is subjected to, whilst the dual compound design will have a very soft right shoulder to enable the rubber to heat-up quickly and give the riders the confidence and grip they need through the three right turns and for the cooler mornings that are regularly experienced at Sachsenring.
Formerly a road based circuit in-and-around the city of Chemnitz in the eastern part of Germany, near the cities of Dresden and Leipzig, Sachsenring’s purpose-built track was opened in 1996, hosted its first motorcycle Grand Prix in 1998 and then had a substantial update to the track and facilities in 2001. Its position usually draws a large and vociferous crowd during the weekend, but its location can also lead to wet and cold conditions. With this threat the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will be available to cope with any wet weather and will be offered in a soft and medium compound for both front and rear, with just the rears having an asymmetric design with the harder left side.
Michelin and the MotoGP field will take to the track on Friday 13th July for two free practice sessions in preparation for Sunday’s 30-lap race. Qualifying for the main event takes place on Saturday, this is after two more practice sessions on that day. Round nine is then scheduled to get underway at 14.00hrs CEST (13.00hrs BST, 12.00hrs GMT/UTC) on Sunday 15th July, with a race that will signal the end of the first part of the season, as a shortened summer break will follow the conclusion of Sachsenring weekend.
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“We are going to Sachsenring much better prepared this year than we did in 2017. We had no opportunity to test the surface last year, but now we have a lot of data and we have been able to make tyres that are specifically matched to the demands of such a unique circuit. Its anti-clockwise design, excessive left hand corners and very fast turns make it a technical and demanding track. The riders spend a lot of time of the left edge, so when they get to a right turn that side has lost a lot of heat and has to warm-up quickly, so we need a tyre that acts very differently on both sides and gives the riders the confidence they need. It’s also a track that can be very cold at times, but can also get very hot when the sun shines, so we need an allocation to cover that. What we selected at the start of the year is based on all those factors and we are confident we have the right rubber for all eventualities.”