As the ninth round of eighteen the Grand Prix of Germany once again wraps up the opening half of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend, with the calendar then scheduled to take a summer break until the first week of August. The Sachsenring circuit is the shortest of all eighteen and the only one that doesn’t reach four kilometres in length, although barely a single metre of it is straight or flat. With no fewer than ten left-handers, traditionally high temperatures and extreme tyre wear, it is a unique track that has tended to suit Honda in the past. It promises to be a pivotal week for the Japanese factory riders, as they look to overturn the recent dominance of Yamaha team-mates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Nicky Hayden has shown good pace at the last two rounds in Catalunya and the Netherlands although on both occasions he was denied the opportunity to fight for Open victory by incidents early in the race. Now the objective for the Kentucky rider is clear, as he looks to take advantage of a track that he enjoys and that should suit his package. Eugene Laverty also showed great pace at Assen but his eagerness to fight for the Open victory eventually got the better of him and after three straight points-scoring finishes he was unfortunate to crash out. Now he is determined to return to the battle for Open honours before the hard-earned summer break.
“Some riders don’t like Sachsenring because the first section is so tight but I enjoy it. I like fast left-handers and I am sure I can enjoy myself there. It is important to have lots of grip, especially on the edge of the tyre, and it is crucial to manage the tyre wear. The first half of the track is tight and twisty but the second half is faster and it has a great downhill corner. Getting the braking zone at the bottom of the hill right is very important to the lap time and obviously in the race too. The objective in Germany is to get the best possible result to go into the holidays happy. We have to work hard to improve our qualifying performance because our pace is good but if we can’t get a good grid position then we make it hard for ourselves.”
“Sachsenring is the final round before the summer break and so a good result is important before the time off. There’s nothing worse than suffering a bad race and having to wait a month to put things right! It’s another circuit that I’ve ridden long ago in 250GP but never on a 1000cc bike so I’ll treat it as if it’s a new circuit. I crashed last time out in Assen while battling for Open class honours. I feel that my goal of an Open class race win is now within reach and there’d be no better way to go into the summer break. Good turning is key around Sachsenring with its many long corners so we’ll be focussing on a good chassis balance.”