News 10 Jul 2015

Top MotoGP riders preview German grand prix

Another exciting weekend expected for the Sachsenring.

Source: MotoGP.

Source: MotoGP.

The GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland pre event press conference was filled to the brim with Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, Andrea Iannone, Cal Crutchlow, Aleix Espargaro and even Stefan Bradl in attendance.

Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) got the press conference underway, the four time MotoGP Sachsenring winner firstly discussing the season so before looking ahead to his holidays.

“Yes I’m very happy about the first eight races for sure, especially about the points,” Rossi explained. “Also this weekend it will be important because it’s the ninth race so after Sunday we will be in the middle of the championship. It’s an important point to understand the bad and the good things.

“We’ll also have some holidays after this race which are good for everybody so we can refocus for the second half.” He later joked, “It’s very important to keep concentrated at this race until Sunday, after that you can switch off. The holidays are easy, you just have to relax! It’s more difficult to race.”

With four second place finishes in Germany, the Sachsenring is just one of a few circuits currently on the calendar in which Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has never claimed victory.

“It’s true I’ve never won here in 12 years in the world championship, just here and Austin I haven’t won,” Lorenzo explained. “It’s never too late to try and win and for sure I will try and win now and in the future.

“It’s important to start in a good way from the first practice to have a good pace and have a good feeling without any major problems. In some sectors of the track in Assen we had some big problems and my goal here is to start strong and keep improving little by little.”

Sachsenring has in recent years belong to Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), the young Spaniard claiming victory every year since 2010 in the 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP classes. The Assen race, despite the obvious last corner disappointment, was an overall positive weekend for Marquez.

“For me in Assen after Mugello and Montmelo, two crashes in a row, to be on the podium was already a victory because it was a good result and a good race to come back with the good feeling,” Marquez commented. “Here we have to confirm that feeling and keep going that way. The confidence now is quite good after the Holland weekend, we’ve stated to return to our level.”

Iannone (Ducati Team) is another rider who has had a very positive start to 2015, in the top five at all but one round so far. The new GP15 arrives in Germany having never been tested at a track as unique as the Sachsenring.

“For sure it’s a really good first half of the season and I’m so happy with it,” Iannone said. “It’s possible because the GP15 improves a lot but I’ve also improved a lot, last year was really difficult for me and now we can fight for the top five.

“Sachsenring is a really strange track and really short. But it’s interesting because it’s the first time with the GP15 and I’m excited because it’s a surprise and I hope the bike is competitive in the track and we can fight at the front.”

Much like Marquez, Assen marked a return to the points for Crutchlow (CWM LCR Honda) who has also found the tough going in recent races. As always, Crutchlow is still looking for more: “Assen wasn’t a bad race to finish sixth I was quite happy after three bad races.

“The CWM team do a good job and I think we should have been further ahead in Assen. Honestly I wasn’t too impressed with the overall result and I thought we should have been further ahead but it’s good to come to the Sachsenring, a circuit that I like with some good confidence and hopefully we can keep improving.”

Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) also looked back at the season so far and the impressive progress both he and Suzuki have made: “I’m really happy with our performance this year as with a brand new bike we’re not so far from the top guys at the front which is great for me and Suzuki. Not as happy with the points, we’re really far back but I think some of this is down to bad luck.

“Overall I’m happy with the feeling and with my first season in Suzuki. We’re getting closer and closer. If we look back to where we were at the start we were really far away and I don’t think anyone was really expecting this. Both me and Maverick are working really hard and we know where and what we need to improve.”

With 10 right hand corners and just three lefts, tyres were also a major talking point. Rossi shedding some light on the asymmetric front: “I think for this weekend the front tyre will be very important, it will be key.

“Bridgestone have brought a lot of front tyres because they want to be sure and safe for all the range of temperatures during the weekend. I think this track is the toughest for the front along with Phillip Island.”

As detailed previously, Bradl will be replaced by Claudio Corti on the Forward Racing Yamaha for the German grand prix, still healing from a scaphoid injury sustained at Assen.