News 15 Jul 2016

MotoGP racers preview Sachsenring weekend

Top riders talk German GP in pre-event press conference.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

The upcoming 2017 season and the weather were the biggest talking points ahead of the German GP during the pre-event press conference, some riders hoping for rain more than others.

It was once again a full house for the pre-race press conference, seven riders squeezing in to answer the press’ questions. The skies and weather were dark and gloomy but there were smiles all around as Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Iannone, Jack Miller, Scott Redding, Stefan Bradl and Johann Zarco sat down.

Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) got the conference underway. The Spaniard is looking for his seventh straight win at the Sachsenring, but the weather could change it all.

“Like we’ve seen today it’s very cold and Sunday also looks unstable,” Marquez said. “Usually with left corners I feel better maybe from Dirt Track but we’ll see this weekend if we can keep the level.”

He’s never won at the 3.7km long Sachsenring, but Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) needs a good result at the German GP. In Assen he struggled home to tenth and is keen to leave the past in the past.

“Important weekend because in the last two races we’ve lost a lot of points,” Lorenzo said. “We come here looking to finish on the podium but we’ll see how the weather is. Last year on three occasions I’ve been further back than 18 points and I recovered three times the same points.”

You can never rule Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) out of a weekend, the Sachsenring might be one of Ducati’s weakest tracks historically, but ‘The Maniac’ loves a fight: “Sachsenring in the past is difficult for us because it’s a narrow track and for my bike it’s a problem. For sure we try the best we can this weekend.”

As the winner of the Dutch GP, Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) was back answering questions again, he’s one who’ll be hoping for rain: “The smile hasn’t left my face since last week. It feels stupid saying it but a top 10 is what we’re looking for unless the weather keeps up like this, then who knows! We’ll give it a go.”

Miller was joined on the podium by Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) in the Netherlands, like the Australia he knows a podium in the dry will be tough: “I always say I’m happy for top 10, top eight, top six I’m over the moon. We have to see with track conditions too. When it’s completely dry against the factory guys it’s tough but in the mixed conditions you have more of a chance.”

Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was the only local rider in the press conference as he is the only German rider in the premier class. Aprilia continue to get stronger and he has taken some of their best results, but his future is not with the Italian brand.

“It’s not clear yet, there are a few talks around but I have nothing concrete,” Bradl said. “We’ll see what the next few days bring, but I’m concentrating on my home GP and it’s a bad time to have other things on your mind.”

Yet another piece of the 2017 puzzle fell into place before the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland as Johann Zarco was announced as Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s second rider for 2017. His contract includes an option for a second year and the French rider was obviously overjoyed at the chance to move to the premier class.

“I’m just so happy and I really hope I can do the best job I can and be ready to do the best I can,” the Moto2 champion commented. “I think even though it’s the first year if you prepare well you can get good results.”