MotoGP: 'It feels like a coliseum!'
ROUND 8 - Germany 6-8 July 2012
Circuit Length:3.671 Km
Laps:Moto3 - 27 laps
Moto2 - 29 laps
MotoGP - 30 laps
Lap Records:125cc - Gabor TALMACSI, Aprilia (2007) 1:26.909 = 152.062km/h
Moto2 - Yonny HERNANDEZ, FTR (2011) 1:25.255 = 155.012km/h
MotoGP - Dani PEDROSA, Honda (2011) 1:21.846 = 161.469km/h
125cc2011 - Hector FAUBEL, Aprilia
2010 - Marc MARQUEZ, Derbi
2009 - Julian SIMON, Aprilia
2008 - Mike DEI MEGLIO, Derbi
2007 - Gabor TALMACSI, Aprilia
250cc/Moto22011 - Marc MARQUEZ, Suter
2010 - Toni ELIAS, Moriwaki
2009 - Marco SIMONCELLI, Gilera
2008 - Marco SIMONCELLI, Gilera
2007 - Hiroshi AOYAMA, KTM
MotoGP2011 - Dani PEDROSA, Honda
2010 - Dani PEDROSA, Honda
2009 - Valentino ROSSI, Yamaha
2008 - Casey STONER, Ducati
2007 - Dani PEDROSA, Honda
MOTOGP: ‘IT FEELS LIKE A COLISEUM!’
The Sachsenring is set in a triangle bounded by the great cultural centres of Leipzig and Dresden, close to the unified Germany’s eastern border with the Czech Republic. This will be the 15th Grand Prix at the ‘new’ Sachsenring, first used in 1998, and the 12th since the MotoGP category replaced 500cc machines back in 2002.
It’s rated among the slowest circuits on the current calendar (only Laguna Seca is slower), which might help the CRT contingent reduce the gap to the front-running factory bikes. One peculiarity of the Ring is that of its 13 corners, no fewer than 10 are left-handers. It also has great elevation changes, with the plunge downhill to the left-hander before the uphill rush to the finish line.
“It’s a very interesting track, maybe not one of the greatest on the circuit but it has one of the best corners coming down the hill, which is a little scary with spending so much time on the left before switching to the right side of the tyre,” says Casey Stoner. “It’s a good atmosphere there, though, with all the spectators so close to the track it feels like a Coliseum!”
The Australian has won just once at the Sachsenring, for Ducati back in 2008. Otherwise it’s been the province of two men: Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, both of whom have five wins there across the classes. Vale has won in the senior class for Honda (2002) and Yamaha (2005-06-09), while Dani – still searching for that first win in 2012 – took the flag for Honda in 2007-10-11.
Did you spot the missing name? Yes, the Sachsenring enjoys another almost unique distinction: it’s one of only two current World Championship venues where Jorge Lorenzo has yet to win in any class (the other is Aragon). Lorenzo needs to start all over again after seeing his one-race advantage over Stoner wiped out on the first corner at Assen, while the man who did it, Alvaro Bautista, will start from the back of the grid as a penalty. While Lorenzo is still smarting from what he called his Assen “disaster”, Stoner will go into the weekend still hurting from his crash in practice there. The first section, full of long right-handers, will hurt his neck, but he also damaged his shoulder and knee in what he called “a painful one”. Still on the injury front, Karel Abraham is still not fit to rid the Cardion AB satellite Duke.
Moto2: Hat-trick looms for Marc
Like Pedrosa in the senior class, Marc Marquez has his eyes on a Sachsenring hat-trick. He won there on a Derbi in the 125cc class in 2010, and again last year in the Moto2 class. Victory at Assen gave the Spanish teen a handy 23-point lead over ‘Crazy Joe’ Iannone, with Pol Espargaro and Tom Lüthi – both of whom left Holland empty-handed – a further eight points back.
One man to keep an eye on: Alex de Angelis, now 28 and threatening to become one of two-wheeled racing’s forgotten men. At Assen Alex and his NGM Mobile Forward Racing team switched from their previous Suter machine to an FTR – and he promptly rocketed up the field to finish fifth, his best result of the season.
Moto3: Another thriller on the cards?
Assen produced the finest Moto3 race of the year so far – and the Sachsenring staged a thriller of its own in the final 125cc race there last season. Pole-sitter Maverick Viñales was engulfed by Hector Faubel and Johann Zarco on the final lap, Faubel getting the nod because he set fastest lap when a photo-finish couldn’t separate the two. It was the last time Faubel – the only man in this year’s Moto3 category with a Sachsenring win to his name – stood on the top step.
Viñales is seven points clear of Sandro Cortese, but despite his Italianate name Cortese is racing on home soil and gunning for a second 2012 victory to add to his Estoril success. Watch, too, for Frenchman Louis Rossi in the Racing Team Germany camp, while Danny Kent comes to the Ring buoyed by a first-ever World Championship podium at Assen last time out.