The MotoGP World Championship prepares to hold its ninth round this weekend at the Sachsenring, which represents the midway point of the 18-race series. The 3.761 kilometre German track is the second-shortest of the season after Laguna Seca, and it is distinguished by a prevalence of left-hand corners, in addition to a narrow, technical layout.
It is a particular track in some ways, but one that is popular with Valentino Rossi, who has won there five times in his career. Along with his team, he will continue to work on settings for the GP11.1, which debuted two races ago. Nicky Hayden, who tends to like anti-clockwise tracks, is also fond of the German circuit, where he has climbed the podium on four occasions.
“At Mugello we started working with the set-up in a direction that we had never tried before. We used it Sunday in the warm up, so we weren’t able to spend much time on it. The bike worked better in the race than it had in practice, but we still need to do more experiments with these settings, so at the Sachsenring we’ll see if they might be a good starting point. The track is tricky in some spots, but it’s a circuit that I like. Last year I returned to racing in Germany after the injury to my leg, and it was a nice race. We hope the weather and temperature will be good because we need to work on the setup as much as possible before the race.”
“Sachsenring is a tight, scrappy little track, but it’s one I quite like. It’s got the shortest lap time the whole year apart from Laguna, but it’s a long race, and we’re on the left side of the tyre for much of the time. There are a lot of big left-handers, which I always enjoy, and I’ve had some good results there. The thing that sticks out for me is that it’s almost two parts: the first bit is really tight and slow, and then the last bit is really fast and open, especially with what they call the Waterfall corner, which is fifth-gear, downhill and blind. That’s about as good as it gets, and I’m not sure there’s a better corner on the entire calendar.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager:
“The Sachsenring is very different from Mugello, and it will be interesting to learn whether the latest changes to the setup that we tried on the GP11.1 during the Italian GP will be a good starting point. We’ll see if those settings can also adapt to features like those of the German track, which is narrow and winding. Vale has won there on many occasions, and last year he rode well on his return from injury. Nicky has also made the podium there a number of times. We hope it will be nice for the entire weekend so that we can finally do all the practice sessions and the race with the same weather conditions.”