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The Ducati Team arrives at the Sachsenring for the German Grand Prix, the half-way point of the 2017 world championship
One week after the Dutch TT at Assen, where Andrea Dovizioso took the lead of the championship thanks to a great race which he finished in fifth place, the Ducati Team has now moved 650 km eastwards across Germany, for the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship. The German round marks the half-way point of the season, and it is scheduled for this weekend at the Sachsenring circuit, near Chemnitz.
The Sachsenring is one of the shortest and slowest circuits on the calendar, but despite this is full of difficulties. One of the key features of the German track is its counter-clockwise direction, as well as the presence of some unusual corners, almost all left-handers, accompanied by numerous uphill and downhill sections.
Dovizioso has twice appeared on the MotoGP podium at the Sachsenring: in 2012, when he finished third, and last year, when he again finished third at the end of an exciting race held in changeable weather conditions. For Jorge Lorenzo the German race is one of the few that he has not yet managed to win, but the Spanish rider finished runner-up four times between 2009 and 2012, while last year he concluded the race in fifteenth place.
The Sachsenring weekend 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) – 1st (115 points)
“The Sachsenring is a track that has created a few problems for us in the past, but it has just been resurfaced and so it will be new for everyone. As always we will have to take account of the behaviour of the tyres, especially in this case seeing as no one has been able to test on the new track surface. It gives me great satisfaction to arrive in Germany as leader of the championship, but it won’t change my way of racing because, even in the past, I’ve never raced for each individual result, always with one eye on the championship: we’ll try and do a good job here in Germany to get the best possible result in Sunday’s race.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 8th (60 points)
“After a difficult weekend at Assen, I can’t wait to arrive at the Sachsenring to resume the positive trend we demonstrated in the races before the Dutch GP. The German track has a new surface and I’m pleased about that because for sure it’ll help us have better grip. We will have to see immediately what the tyre wear is like on the new surface, but in any case the most important thing for me will be to find a positive feeling with the bike again and get back to being 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.