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Marquez took the lead into Turn 1 from pole, with teammate Dani Pedrosa slotting into second as Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) sliced through from P6 on the grid to third, pushing Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and Jonas Folger back.
Marquez and Pedrosa began to pull away in the lead as Folger charged through to get himself into third – and then started threatening the Repsol Honda duo in the lead. Choosing his moment, the German rookie then took Pedrosa and prepared to attack Marquez – pushing through soon after and below lap record pace.
With Petrucci through on Lorenzo into fourth, it was the ‘Doctor’ Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who struck next, with the number 46, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Petrucci then battling for fourth as Pedrosa began to drop back from the lead duo. Folger then headed wide and Marquez took the opportunity, but couldn’t shake the German.
That’s the way it stayed – with Marquez’ pitboard remaining +0.1 lap after lap, and the rookie not for giving up. Facing down the reigning Champion – chasing his eighth consecutive win at the track – Folger kept calm under incredible pressure, and even created some himself.
Finally it was a small mistake that saw Folger run deep, and Marquez pulled the pin to stretch the gap – eventually crossing the line for win number eight just over three seconds clear.
Folger kept it safe in the final laps to cross the line in second for his first premier class podium, sealing the deal in an incredible performance at his home race. Dani Pedrosa completed the podium after a more lonely ride in the latter stages, also bouncing back from a tough Dutch GP.
As the top ten battled it out further, Rossi had found his fourth under attack from Dovizioso, with Viñales then joining the fight and Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) soon on the scene. After some stunning wheel-to-wheel action, it was Viñales who took P4, with teammate Rossi for close company to complete the top five.
Bautista took P6 after proving a formidable force in the fight, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) crossing the line in seventh for a good haul of points for the Noale factory ahead of the summer break.
Championship leader going into the race, Dovizioso crossed the line in P9 and remains third in the standings – ahead of a stunning comeback from Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) to move through from P19 on the grid. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) completed the top ten, with Jorge Lorenzo crossing the line in P11 after running at the front earlier in the race.
Danilo Petrucci was another who fell back, taking twelfth ahead of another double points finish for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith. Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top fifteen.
The summer break now awaits, with MotoGP™ next on track at the beginning on August. And the Championship? The reigning Champion has one hand back on the throne after his German GP win, now five points clear of key rival Maverick Viñales. Dovizioso is now third – one point behind Viñales as the upcoming Brno and Red Bull Ring shine with promise for Ducati. Rossi lurks in fourth, only another four points off, with Pedrosa still very much in the fight in fifth.
Sachsenring (Germany), 2nd July 2017
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had their work cut out for them in today’s GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring, but battled to a solid fourth and fifth place respectively at the final race before the MotoGP summer break.
Starting from eleventh on the grid, Viñales was determined to make a good start and picked up one place on his opening lap. After warming his tyres on the first six laps, he was ready to start his pursuit of the front groups and closed the gap to the battle for eighth position in the space of two laps, hitting the front of that group with 19 laps to go.
It didn‘t take the young Spaniard long to climb further up the rankings. At the end of the 14th lap, coming out of the last corner, he perfectly lined up Aleix Espargaró and Danilo Petrucci to move up to sixth place by the end of the long straight. He followed it up with a personal best lap, a 1‘21.903s, on lap 16 and made his charge to Andrea Dovizioso and Rossi look effortless.
Taking a few laps to observe his rivals, he moved up to fourth place on lap 20, after overtaking both riders in quick succession. He held on to fourth place for the remainder of the race and had to uphold a solid pace to cross the line 0.727s ahead of his teammate and 14.253s from first.
Rossi started the German GP from ninth and quickly moved up to sixth. He was on a charge towards the front group of five riders that had formed on the first lap. The Italian was under pressure from Cal Crutchlow, yet he held firm, meanwhile closing the gap to Jorge Lorenzo in fifth on the sixth lap. Closely shadowed by Dovizioso, the Doctor took hold of fifth place a lap later, before he got caught up in a battle with his compatriot. Again the Doctor was unwilling to hand over his position for any longer than a few seconds, whilst he also passed Petrucci for fourth place.
With a clear track ahead of him, the nine-time World Champion put his head down to try to decrease the over a three-second gap to the rider in third place. He was eager to reel in his rival, but had to focus on keeping Dovizioso at bay, as well as his teammate. Ultimately, he had to let Viñales pass and together the factory Yamaha riders cruised towards the chequered flag, with Rossi taking solid points as he secured fifth place, 14.980s from the front.
Viñales’ fourth place keeps him in second position in the rider standings with 124 points, 5 points ahead of teammate Rossi, with 119 points, who is in fourth place. The solid results keep Yamaha in the lead in the Constructor Championship with a 18-point margin, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team holds first place in the team standings by 11 points.
The Yamaha family would like to congratulate Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Jonas Folger on his superb second place at his home Grand Prix today. He holds second place in the 2017 Independent Team Rider standings and the 2017 Rookie of the Year classification behind his teammate Johann Zarco, who also made a strong impression over the first half of the 2017 season.
MotoGP will be taking a four-week summer break before continuing the championship battle at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic from August 4th – 6th.
We knew that today‘s race at the Sachsenring was going to be a tough one, but we were up for the challenge. Though the skies were again looking threatening at the start of the race, we were fairly certain it was going to be a dry race, which were the conditions our riders preferred for today‘s 30-lap dash. Our target was to take as many points as possible and both riders stuck to their goals. Maverick and Vale both rode a good race, and went all out to secure important points for the championship, because the standings are very close. Maverick did a good job, especially in the second half of the race as he cut through the field from eleventh to fourth place. Valentino started the race really well but, by the time he was in fourth place, unfortunately the front three riders were already too far ahead. He did everything he could to defend his position from multiple chasing riders for as long as he could and took solid points in the end. The first half of the season has been very exciting, with close battles, involving many riders and manufacturers. With hard work from the team and the riders, we‘ve so far scored four wins and eight podium places. Now we look forward to the summer break. Over the next four weeks we will recharge our batteries before we continue the championship fight in the Czech Republic.
I’m really confident about the championship. Starting from eleventh and in the end arriving in P4 losing a lot of time overtaking riders, I was still quite close to Dani, so that means we really did a good job during the whole race. My impressions of the race are good, we did a good job to recover the maximum number of positions, which today was to fourth. We are quite happy, we know we still need to improve the bike, but overall it was quite nice. After Assen being in second place is positive, but compared to after Mugello it isn’t as positive because we were creating a gap in the standings. We suffered a lot in Montmeló and made a mistake in Assen, but overall it’s quite good, even with the mistakes we are still at the front. To continue like that we need to work a little bit more, especially in qualifying and preparing better for the race. It’s all in our hands to try to make it better. I will try to improve my riding style and to come back stronger and fitter, so a one-month break will be good.
It was a difficult weekend, because we suffered a lot, like we had done at other tracks this year, but fortunately we were able to work better. The race was not so bad, because I kept a good pace going from the beginning until the end. I‘m happy when I fight for the podium, but still this fifth place is quite good, these are good points for the championship and we are just ten points from the top, so I think the championship is still very much open. I think I will relax for two weeks now and, after two weeks of staying with my friends and recharging my batteries, I will start to train because we have arrive in Brno ready, at a 100% fitness level.
MICHELIN TAKES MARQUEZ TO ANOTHER WIN AT THE ‘RING’
Michelin witnessed another victory for Marc Marquez at Sachsenring today as success in the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland saw the Spaniard win his fifth consecutive German MotoGP™ race and his eighth in succession across all classes at the ‘Ring’.
Starting from pole, Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) got to the first corner ahead of the field and stayed there for the first lap. Using a pairing of medium compound MICHELIN Power Slick tyres, the reigning World Champion led for the first five-laps and was then passed by Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). The German rider was making his first premier class appearance in a MotoGP race and the home crowd got behind him as he produced a string of quick laps, including a new lap-record on the fourth circulation. Folger also had the medium front and rear slick tyre combination and the German put these to good use to lead the race until lap-11, before Marquez regained the lead. A position that the Honda rider then held until the end of the race, despite Folger pressurising him for the remaining laps. Victory for Marquez – with a new race duration time – saw him move to the top of the World Championship standings and Folger’s second place was also good enough to earn him the position of First Independent Rider.
Michelin had brought a range of tyres to Sachsenring that it believed were best suited to the new asphalt that had been laid earlier this year and that due to test restrictions the French tyre firm had not had a chance to evaluate. The selection of tyres proved ideally matched to the 3,671m anti-clockwise circuit in all conditions, as the riders produced very fast lap-times with both wet and dry tyres in the practice sessions and it was further emphasised with today’s new race duration and lap records for Marquez and Folger respectively. Most of the slick and wet tyres were used at some point during the weekend – in-fact the only tyre not used was the medium front wet. Choice for the riders was again a main aspect with different pairings being used throughout the field in today’s race, again underlining Michelin’s ability to supply tyres for all manufacturers and riders to give them the opportunity for optimum performance.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) was the next across the line to claim third place after what proved to be a solitary race as he was unable to chase down the leaders, but pulled well clear of the pursuing pack. The encounter behind the first three was the most intriguing of the day, as Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) came from eleventh on the grid to take fourth after a spirited battle with his team-mate Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who finished fifth. Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) also made a significant move through the field, as he took sixth from twelfth on the grid. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was seventh, a position that saw him surrender his championship lead, as the battle for the title sees Marquez, Viñales, Dovizioso and Rossi separated by just ten points. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took ninth to keep his lead in the Rookie and Independent Rider championships – both from team-mate Folger. Cal Crutchlow rounded out the top-ten.
Michelin and the whole MotoGP field now heads to a mid-season break before the championship regroups for the 10th round of the season at Brno in the Czech Republic on Sunday 6th August, a race that signals the start of what promises to be an exciting climax to the 2017 title chase.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:
“This weekend was very good for us, especially with the tyres. We felt really good with the front tyre and we had confidence in it, particularly the medium one as it worked very well. With the rear tyres, they all performed for us, but there was a big question mark because with all the tyres I could be fast, constant and able to finish the race in a strong pace, so it was difficult to choose the one to go with. In the end, we went with the medium one as it was very consistent and with just two-laps to go I did my personal fastest lap of the race. I am very happy because I was feeling strong throughout the race and Michelin did a very good job. It wasn’t an easy weekend for them because with a new surface it was very critical and they did an impressive job.”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“We did not know what to expect as we headed to Germany and the new surface. We brought what we thought were the correct compounds and were totally correct with our selection. With the changing weather and different temperatures, almost every tyre was tried during the practice sessions and we had some very fast times in the wet and the dry. The new asphalt has a lot of grip and the compounds we brought all worked very well. This was underlined in the race as had soft and medium front slicks were used along with soft, medium and hard rears and they all worked well. We were especially pleased with the wear considering how abrasive the new surface was and we saw no drop-off in lap-times, in fact Marc (Marquez) set his fastest time on lap-28 of 30. We also had a new fastest lap in the race and a race duration record, so we are very pleased with how the whole weekend has been. We will now go into the mid-season break and work on the data from the first nine races and continue our quest to keep producing the best tyres for all the riders.”
Eighth place for Andrea Dovizioso in Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring. Jorge Lorenzo finishes the German round in eleventh position
Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo finished the German Grand Prix, which was held today in dry weather conditions at the Sachsenring circuit, in eighth and eleventh place respectively.
The Italian, starting tenth on the grid on row 4, moved up strongly into fourth by lap 18 but over the next few laps he suffered a performance drop in the rear tyre and could only finish the race in eighth place. In the overall standings Dovizioso is now in third, six points behind Marquez and one point behind Viñales, but four ahead of Rossi.
Jorge Lorenzo finished the German GP in eleventh place. The Spanish rider, who started from the sixth grid slot on row 2, got a good start and finished the opening lap in third place, but gradually lost ground over the next few laps to drop down to eleventh by mid-race, a position he maintained until the chequered flag.
Following a one-month break, the MotoGP World Championship will next be back in action on 4-6 August in the Czech Grand Prix at Brno.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 8th
“It’s a pity about my final position. We chose the soft rear tyre option for the race but we didn’t have much data because we didn’t do many laps in the dry, and unfortunately the risk didn’t pay off. Towards the end of the race I struggled because the performance of the tyre dropped off suddenly and quite a lot, but this is a very strange championship and it’s not always easy to manage the different situations. In the end the weekend here at the Sachsenring was quite complicated but also interesting for the future, because we were able to understand quite a bit more, both about the bike and about the tyres. In the race I felt good and I’m really happy about the feeling I had with my bike, so I think that we can do well in the next few races.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 11th
“I can’t be satisfied with today’s result, neither with the final position nor with the gap to the winner, but after the warm-up, which went really bad, I was very worried about the race. Instead I managed to do four or five laps at a good pace in the early stages and I was racing at a decent pace until the performance dropped off on the left side of the rear tyre. In the final stages however I had to reduce my pace because the bike was spinning under acceleration and I was no longer able to fight for ninth. Both at Assen and here in Germany there were two or three corners where I was losing too much time to the riders in the leading group and I hope that we will no longer have the same problems at the next tracks. We knew that these two races were going to be pretty complicated for us but, at least here at the Sachsenring, we’ve understand several things that will be useful at the next circuits, which are better for me.”
Difficult race for Octo Pramac Racing. Petrux with grip problems at the rear. Scott never competitive.
The #GermanGP does not give satisfaction to Octo Pramac Racing, which still finishes the first part of the season with the extraordinary achievements made by Danilo Petrucci. The rider from Terni is not able to take advantage from a promising front-row, because of the problems at the rear, while Scott can never find a competitive race pace.
Petrux started well and managed to stay in the leading group, however already from the first lap the lack of grip limited him. Between the ninth and tenth lap the rider from Terni tries to defend himself from Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino rossi’s attack, but the problem with the rear wheel does not allow him to be incisive. The race pace is not good, Danilo fights in order to stay in the Top 10, Then he chooses to take home a few points for the championship rather than risk too much in not competitive conditions.
Scott started well from the last row and recovered seven positions in the first corner. The English rider does not produce any other highlights. Redding closes in 20th position.
12th – Danilo Petrucci
I am sorry about how things went today. If I have to be honest I had strange feelings already from the warm up lap. During the race I struggled to keep the bike running because every left turn seemed to be over the limit. They passed me on the straight, which never happens to me, unfortunately the rear tyre did not allow me to express myself. I am sorry for the team that did a great job, I am disappointed”.
20th – Scott Redding
“It’s the worst race of my career. I am not able to understand what happened because the sensations were positive in the warm-up. Unfortunately I did not find the right feeling in order to be competitive. It’s a really hard Sunday for me. I want to go to Brno in order to make an important race and to give the maximum”.
CRUTCHLOW ENDS THE GERMAN GP IN TENTH PLACE
PRESS RELEASE: 02 July 2017 | Sachsenring Grand Prix
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow endured a frustrating German Grand Prix as he had to settle for a tenth placed finish at the Sachsenring on Sunday. The Briton had high hopes heading into the race having qualified on the second row, but saw his possibilities of contending for the podium ended by a front tyre grip problem.
Starting from fourth on the grid, Crutchlow was struck down by the issue with his front tyre early on which left him having to manage the situation rather than pushing to get away with the lead group. It was HRC factory rider Marc Marquez who claimed his eighth straight victory at the German circuit in the last race before the summer break.
Cal Crutchlow – 10th
“I am quite disappointed and I’m glad it’s over. We had a front tyre grip issue, the team is investigating the problem but what we know so far is that the front tyre pressure went too high after few laps”.
“I had to slow down, I had to ride alone if I wanted to finish the race. I nearly went down two or three times on those first laps, but I managed to pass Valentino (Rossi) and if I could have stayed ahead I’m confident I could have ridden to my own rhythm. But I finished tenth and we are looking forward to the next race”.
Repsol Honda MotoGP
Eighth Sachsenring win for Marquez, Pedrosa third for fourth Repsol Honda Team double-podium this season
Marc Marquez took his second win of 2017 and his eighth in a row at the Sachsenring after starting from pole position, with teammate Dani Pedrosa joining him on the podium to complete the fourth double-podium finish (Austin, Jerez, Catalunya, Sachsenring) for Repsol Honda in nine races.
Marc and Dani got away from the front row brilliantly at the start, entering the first corner in first and second places, respectively. On lap five, Jonas Folger moved past Dani, and he overtook Marc on the following lap. Marc moved back on top on lap 11 and went on to take a momentous victory that earned him the lead in the Championship before the four-week summer break. Marc dedicated his 31st MotoGP win (the same tally as Eddie Lawson) to Nicky Hayden, who passed away in May.
Following his fifth podium finish this year, Dani lies in fifth place in the Championship standings, having cut his gap to the top to only 26 points.
The Repsol Honda Team will be back on the track for a two-day test in Brno on July 17 and 18.
“I’m very, very happy. I knew before the weekend that this was an important moment in the Championship and that the Sachsenring was an important circuit for us. It was the place to take a risk if necessary and to try to win. So I’m happy we took these 25 points and the lead in the Championship before the summer break. I wish to dedicate this win to Nicky (Hayden) and his family. I had promised this to myself after his incident because we had some very good moments together and he was a friend. The race was very tight. Honestly, before the start I thought I would have to battle with Dani, but actually there was also another very fast opponent. I was very surprised at the beginning to see Jonas there, and I thought he might stay in between with the other riders, but he actually remained there! He was quite a tough opponent! The Championship is very close with four riders within 10 points and with Dani also not far away. Everything is open, so we’ll keep the same mentality, the same positivity and hard work. Now we have a few days of holidays, but not too much to be ready for Brno test!”
“I’m happy enough with this podium. We worked very well this weekend, trying to manage every situation. In the race I felt really strong in the first laps and was able to stay close to Marc. Then I started to lose grip in the rear tyre, but I thought ‘Okay, no problem; it’s going to be a long race and it’s normal to lose some grip.’ But when Jonas passed me, I tried to follow and I couldn’t keep contact. I tried to manage but when I felt the tyre was spinning too much I settled for a podium. I expected to be a little bit stronger but all in all it was a positive result, as we gathered some good points for the Championship. I feel positive, we have two days to test during the summer, and we’ll work on the areas we know we must improve, especially to make the tyres work well no matter the conditions in order to be more consistent in the second part of the Championship.”
DOUBLE POINTS FINISH FOR RED BULL KTM MOTOGP AT GERMANGP; OLIVEIRA ON PODIUM IN MOTO2
RACE 9th Rd. MotoGP 2017 – Sachsenring (GER)
The German MotoGP weekend gave an huge lift to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and all three of the Austrian led Grand Prix racing projects with podiums, points and strong runs from teams and riders. Marcos Ramirez took another podium for KTM in Moto3, heading three KTM RC250 GPs inside the top five with German star Philipp Oettl fifth in front of nearly 78,000 fans. Miguel Oliveira took his third podium today from the first nine races of the the new-for-2017 KTM Moto2 project and in so elevated himself into a fantastic third in the title chase. However, the main race of the day was MotoGP in which KTM had three entries with test rider Mika Kallio backing up team regulars Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro who fought tooth and nail in the race to be rewarded with strong points again. KTM 125cc and 250cc winner Mika Kallio returned to GP racing, seeing the flag a tantalising 0.08 seconds off a point scoring finish. The MotoGP team now heads to Aragon in Spain this week where all of the riders will test together on Thursday and Friday as KTM develops the RC16.
After wet and dry conditions all weekend, all three riders had something to smile about after the Sachsenring race with pace, data gathered and a great qualifying result from Saturday when Pol Espargaro was 7th, gaining KTM’s best grid position to date. The No.44 KTM RC16 fought hard in the race being up to 12th with just a few laps to go to ultimately cross the line in 13th. Encouragingly, the gap in time to the winner of the race equated to a touch over a second a lap in difference after the thirty laps showing progress considering the bikes had never seen the Sachsenring circuit before. Bradley Smith was four seconds back of his team mate while Mika Kallio who was so strong in the morning warm up was just pipped to the last point. Positively the Finn had a fastest race lap time that showed his ultimate pace. Were in not for a loss of front grip at third distance he would have been much higher.
Espargaro: “Honestly it was a great weekend as we did a good job in qualifying but really, the team did a superb job really from the start on Friday. The bike works so well from the beginning, but, for sure we are always able to do a little bit more and ultimately it was a shame that we couldn’t beat Petrucci as I was ahead of him for a bit. We must be happy with this weekend as without a tyre problem over the last few laps we are less than 30 seconds off the winner after 30 laps which is very good indeed for the project. We now move on for the test this week at Aragon where we can find some more things with the bike. This is just the beginning…”
Smith: “After a disappointing Assen we’ve come back to something that we knew, tried and tested with a setting this morning that I felt happier with. In the race I struggled a little bit in the opening ten laps and that’s an area where I personally need to work on plus getting the bike to my kind of feeling, but then after that was when I really started to find my form. I’m pleased with the outcome as it was a proper race with eventually the third KTM only a short gap behind the points. In general, a great weekend for us and the whole KTM project as we’ve learnt an awful lot by having three riders out on track but the great thing is we’re going to go to Aragon now for a two day test with all of us there to continue the progress and keep the ball rolling. Overall I’m pleased with the outcome, putting right last week with a solid performance and finish before we head into part two of the season.”
Kallio: “I enjoyed being back on the bike this weekend and I enjoyed racing again. I can say that even though I have been away from the races for a while, with only the Valencia race last November under my belt, it’s not so easy to handle the start situation, the first corners with everyone fighting but it went very well. When I saw that I could keep the position and then catch guys at the beginning, I felt really satisfied with the pace that we had. It’s a bit of a shame we couldn’t finish in the position where we should be as if you see the best lap time I did (12th) it is better than Valentino and better than Pol and better than Bradley. I believe that at least we could be in this higher group where Pol was were it not for the problem with the front end after the half way point of the race. It would have been great to finish there but…next time it’s better.”
Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): “The weekend was amazing for the project, for KTM, for all three riders. We always had some highlights through all of the sessions for one of the three riders and in the end in the race, points for Pol after having a full on battle that was very important for him. He nearly got 12th back at the line after being in 12th with a few laps remaining. With Bradley he was fighting with Miller and came 14th. We know this isn’t an easy place (MotoGP) but the guys here in the garage and at our HQ in Austria are working so hard behind the scenes. They are pushing all the time and it’s so motivating to have this team behind this project 100%. This was the closest result for the lead KTM in terms of time since we started in Qatar as we were just over a second a lap back of the winner. This not only positive but what the riders are looking at because it looks like we can come a little closer. We know we have to work hard but we must always be reminded we are in our rookie season and the long term target is obviously higher than ‘just points’ so this is a very good sign. Mika was super this weekend as he did a great job. Unfortunately in the race he had an issue with the front tyre but after not racing for a while he did very well in the group he was in. What we saw from him in the dry warm up was quick stuff. He was always fast proving he is a good test rider for us so…he’s still a racer and this is superb to see.”
A NICE SEVENTH PLACE RACE FINISH FOR ALEIX ESPARGARÓ WHO CLOSES OUT THE WEEKEND AS A PROTAGONIST
SAM LOWES CRASHES OUT WHILE BATTLING FOR POINTS
ALBESIANO: “APRILIA CLOSER AND CLOSER TO THE LEADERS AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO GROW”
It was an excellent race for Aleix Espargaró who rode his Aprilia RS-GP to seventh place. With this nice race result, the Spaniard closes out a weekend where he was consistently among the protagonists. Starting from the third row (eighth best time qualifying), Aleix quickly moved in the group of riders battling for the top five. In this stage of the race he battled fearlessly with some of the riders who are leading the championship standings, supported well by his RS-GP which once again confirmed the great progress that the Aprilia MotoGP project has demonstrated in this first half of the season.
After a few failed assaults, Aleix clinched his final pass at the end of the penultimate lap, overtaking Dovizioso to finish with a nice seventh place. The fifth best race lap time set by Espargaró (1’21.981) adds concrete confirmation and an element of satisfaction to a result that send the entire Aprilia Racing Team Gresini into the holiday break with a smile.
Sam Lowes crashed out without any physical consequences during the thirteenth lap while, after making up several positions, he was on the hunt to earn championship points.
“A good result, but to be honest I expected something even more. With the exception of Jonas and Marc, who did an extraordinary race, I thought that I could have been closer to the podium. Unfortunately, at the beginning I had to force a lot to overtake, stressing the front tyre and losing a few tenths. In any case, it was a positive weekend for us. We are progressing step by step. Staying with the strongest riders for almost the entire race is positive. Now I am thinking about relaxing during the break and being ready when we turn up at Brno.”
“A small mistake cost me the race today. It’s a pity because I had overtaken a few riders and I was making up ground. My pace was good even compared with that of Aleix who really did an outstanding job today. The improvements are there. I am starting to ride well and the signs are encouraging. The summer break arrived at the right time. I know that I can still improve a lot and I feel positive about the second half of the season.”
ROMANO ALBESIANO – APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“A nice race for Aleix. He was a contender on equal ground with bikes and riders who are battling for the championship. We are truly very close to staying with the leaders. We were among the best throughout the weekend and that is extremely positive, especially in the dry. If it had not rained on Saturday, Aleix would have been able to start even farther forward on the grid and that would have helped him to stress the front tyre less while battling in the early laps, but we are truly pleased with how things went. Some important technical innovations will arrive now so that we can continue growing and going beyond this good level that our project has reached.”
FAUSTO GRESINI – TEAM MANAGER
“We were with the riders who are battling for the title for the entire race. This is a fantastic result that demonstrates the level of competitiveness we have reached. Now we are truly close to making a consistent play for the top positions. At mid-season our result is decidedly positive and we will continue to grow. Credit goes to Aleix, Aprilia who is working very well and the entire team that has skilfully managed the RS-GP.”
Miller in the points at the Sachsenring
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller completed the first half of the MotoGP season with a points scoring finish in today’s German Grand Prix.
Miller finished 15th in cool but dry conditions at the Sachsenring after a late race contest with British rider Bradley Smith.
With its constant sequence of curves the tight and twisty 3.6km Sachsenring made the 30-lap race a test of patience for Miller who struggled with rear tyre performance.
Miller started 13th and moved to 12th on the opening lap but almost immediately found that he could not back-up his pre-race confidence based on a strong rhythm in practice sessions.
The Australian did not have the pace to challenge for his desired top ten finish and after sliding back to 16th place he recovered to secure the final points scoring position.
From the rear of the grid Spaniard Tito Rabat never gave up in his bid to finish in the points but eventually finished 18th after suffering similar rear tyre issues as Miller.
Despite backing off and adjusting his engine settings Rabat climbed from his rear of the grid starting spot to gain six positions after riding a cautious race.
A near capacity crowd of 77,000 was in attendance for the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship which now takes a month long break before returning for the Czech Grand Prix in August.
Jack Miller: 15th
“The front tyre was fine for the race distance but the rear was a different matter, it just didn’t work the way I expected it to after practice. The tyre was spinning on both sides from the start and three laps into the race it felt like it had already done the 30-lap race distance. And with so many left hand turns with 10 laps to go I was pretty much out of grip, it was a strange feeling. I was expecting a really strong race here so this is a disappointing result but I go to the summer break determined to return with a strong finish to the season.”
Tito Rabat: 18th
“It was strange because we tested the same tyre in FP3 and it worked fine but after four or five laps in the race it was completely finished and I had to be so careful opening the gas, it was dangerous and easy to crash. So I just tried to finish the race by changing the engine map, which helped a lot, but I was still forced to ride slower than I wanted to, it was strange. Now I am looking forward to a good summer break and coming back stronger in Brno.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“This was a really disappointing race for both Jack and Tito considering the pace they showed in practice in similar conditions. They were capable of challenging for much better positions. The problem for both riders was that after three to five laps there was no rear grip and it was impossible to keep the pace of riders they could have been in front of. This made the final race day before the summer break quite difficult for us.”