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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.
"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."
"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!"
The Sachsenring this week hosts the ninth round of the Moto3 World Championship, marking the halfway point of the season. On an historic run of victories, Marc Marquez can extend his record at a favourable circuit; he has won at Sachsenring for four consecutive years over three categories. Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa has held the circuit record since 2011 and will be another favourite for the win in the premier class. He has six triumphs in Germany: Three consecutive wins in MotoGP between 2010 and 2012, another win in 2007 plus two in 250cc in 2004 and 2005.
The Repsol riders in the Moto3 class reach the midway point of the campaign fully involved in the battle for the title. After two consecutive wins, Alex Marquez is just 7 points off series leader Jack Miller. Teammate Alex Rins is 10 points off the top after taking his fourth podium of the year at Assen. Rins' second place at the Dutch TT came after he overcame three microfractures in his foot, suffered at the previous round in Catalonia.
"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."
"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!"
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.
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!"
Redding ready for the Sachsenring
Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany - 8 July 2014: Scott Redding heads to the Sachsenring for the final race before the traditional summer break, looking to retain his position in the championship standings as the top production Honda rider.
The 21-year-old Briton currently has 28 championship points to his name after once again finishing as the top Honda RCV1000R last time out at Assen, his first wet and his first flag-to-flag race aboard a MotoGP bike.
Redding likes the mostly tight and twisty Sachsenring track. At just 3.671km or 2.281 miles in length it's the shortest circuit on the MotoGP calendar and, on paper at least, should suit well the characteristics of his Honda RCV1000R.
"We got a good result at Assen, despite it being my first real experience of a MotoGP bike in the wet and the first time ever that I've swapped bikes during a race. It means I go to the Sachsenring with an advantage over the other production Honda riders in the championship standings, although Nicky Hayden is only one point behind me. Racing at the 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 down, some fast corners, some slow corners and, best of all, no long straight. For this reason I think our Honda RCV1000R will be well suited to this track. There are ten left-handers compared to only three right-handers and I've always preferred right-handers myself, so racing a MotoGP bike there could be quite funny. Anyway, we will see how we go, but it would be good to go into the summer break as the top production Honda rider in the championship standings."
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."