Magical Marquez maintains winning streak in complicated conditions
The start of the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland MotoGP™ contest was disrupted by pre-race rain, with race winner Marc Marquez and podium finishers Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo all getting away from pit lane.
From third on the grid Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) started alone towards the front on slick tyres and led the early laps after rain in the race build up caused confusion as to which tyres would work best. With the track drying quickly much of the rest of the field changed from wet set-up to dry after the final Warm Up lap, meaning they had to start from pit lane.
Bradl’s bike set-up appeared to let him down with slicks hurriedly fitted to a previously wet set-up bike on the grid. He eventually dropped to 16th place in his home race.
Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was in imperious form once again to make it nine wins from nine, cutting through the pack in a chaotic first few laps and eventually pulling clear at the front with teammate Pedrosa, who would ultimately cross the line 1.5s behind him. A further nine seconds back Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) made a welcome return to the podium before the summer break.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) rode a lonely race to fourth place, a further nine seconds behind Lorenzo, with the top five completed by the impressive Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) as the top Ducati-equipped rider.
Brothers Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) were sixth and seventh respectively, as they both continued their good 2014 form.
The top ten was completed by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team).
A difficult weekend for Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) ended with a 19th place finish after an early crash – his fifth of the visit to Germany. Meanwhile on lap 19 Michael Laverty (Paul Bird Motorsport) crashed out, fortunately avoiding any serious injury.
MotoGP™ Race Classification
Moto2™: Aegerter secures first career win in Germany
The Moto2™ race at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland was won by Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), who got the better of Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) on the final lap, with the podium completed by Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing).
An excellent performance gave Aegerter the victory, having started on pole in the 129th Grand Prix of his career. He crossed the line just 0.091s in front of Kallio, with Corsi taking third place by 0.152s from Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team).
The race result sees Kallio close to within 19 points of Rabat at the head of the standings.
Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) was in the podium hunt, but eventually crossed the line just behind Corsi and Rabat in fifth.
The top ten was completed by Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team), Randy Krummenacher (IodaRacing Project), Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing), Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).
Azlan Shah (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) crashed early on, with Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) highsiding out of the race at Turn 8 on lap 6 when battling for fifth. Shortly afterwards Lorenzo Baldassarri (Gresini Moto2) crashed from the race when running in eighth position, on lap 8.
There was disappointment for Jonas Folger (AGR Team) at his home round as he pulled into the pits with a mechanical fault on lap 10, though he was placed only 19th at the time of his retirement. Another German rider, Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) also retired late on.
Josh Herrin (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) pulled into the pit lane midrace with a problem, shortly before his teammate Johann Zarco crashed out, leaving his bike in flames at trackside. Alex De Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2) tumbled out in the final stages, with stewards reacting quickly to remove his bike from the track.
Moto2™ Race Classification
Moto3™: Miller takes victory in exciting Sachsenring contest
Jack Miller won the Moto3™ race at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland on Sunday, beating Brad Binder and Alexis Masbou to the line at the 3.67km Sachsenring circuit.
An incident packed start to the race saw Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) go down early on lap one, with Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) also crashing shortly afterwards.
At the front a group of five riders kept out of trouble with Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) were joined in the podium chase by Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo).
Miller eventually crossed the finish line 0.180s ahead of Binder, as Miller extended his championship lead to 19 points and Binder earned a first ever podium. Lightweight class veteran Masbou was third for just the second podium of his decade long career.
A mistake by Marquez late in the race meant he could only eventually finish fourth, whilst a much improved showing from Kent took him to fifth.
In their team’s home race SaxoPrint-RTG’s Efren Vazquez and John McPhee were sixth and seventh, with Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team), Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia) and Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) completing the top ten.
Substitute Gabriel Rodrigo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) crashed on the first lap and was able to remount, with Livio Loi (Marc VDS Racing Team) doing brilliantly to stay upright as Rodrigo touched his bike – only for Loi to later retire due to a mechanical fault.
As the race progressed Dutch pair Scott Deroue (RW Racing GP) and Bryan Schouten (CIP) went down together, with Schouten reacting angrily. Schouten was later given two penalty points by Race Direction for approaching and pushing Deroue.
Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia), Gabriel Ramos (Kiefer Racing) and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia) also crashed mid-race.
Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3) went down early but was able to remount and score a point in 15th.
Towards the end of the race Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) and Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) both went down together as Hanika lost the front, with Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) also crashing in the final stages.
Moto3™ Race Classification
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo returned to form today, scoring an impressive third place in difficult conditions at the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Teammate Valentino Rossi also rode a strong race, pushing up the leader board from twelfth to fourth.
Rain twenty minutes before the start of today’s race ensured a hectic start to the German Grand Prix. At first it was declared to be a wet race, but after the sighting lap the majority of the grid returned to the pit lane to swap wet tyres for slicks. Unlike in Assen where the race had been declared ‘delayed’ and two sighting laps given, the ‘wet race’ declaration meant only one sighting lap, resulting in the pit lane exit being closed. This left an almost empty grid with just eight riders present led by Stefan Bradl whilst the rest of the pack jostled in the tight pit lane exit, waiting for the flag to drop.
Due to the cramped pit lane exit and cold brakes Lorenzo was forced over to the curb and had to let himself fall back to 16th position to avoid colliding with other riders or getting a penalty. The Spaniard took a few laps to get a feel for the situation, but then ploughed through the order on his way to the front of the field. He fought and passed numerous riders before dispatching Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso to arrive in seventh place behind Rossi. Lorenzo then took over from his teammate as they passed local rider Stefan Bradl to move in to third and fourth place respectively. With 20 laps to go Lorenzo tried to close down the gap of 5.733 seconds to Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez in front of him, but he was unable to do so, eventually finishing in third place, 10.317 seconds off the front.
Rossi also rode an impressive race. As soon as the lights in the pit lane went off the Italian rider confidently took off, overtaking multiple riders as he found his pace. The Doctor shot up the order and arrived at the back of Bradl’s bike on lap nine. The German pole sitter had started well from pole on slicks but with a wet setting on his bike was no match for the Rossi’s full dry set up. He was soon passed and continued his charge with his teammate first behind and then ahead. Unable to match Lorenzo’s pace, Rossi kept his head and finished in a deserved fourth place, 19.194 behind the front man Marquez.
With third place Lorenzo gains 16 championship points, leaving him fifth in the standings, just two points behind Andrea Dovizioso in fourth. Rossi scores another 13 points, increasing his total to 141 in third place. The gap to Pedrosa in second is now seven points.
MotoGP will be taking a four weeks summer break before continuing the season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the 10th of August.
Jorge Lorenzo – 3rd, +10.317 – “I’m satisfied because finally we got another podium. At the last two races I couldn’t do it for some reason. In the practice sessions I went fast on both tracks. I hoped to race in a dry race but in the last moment it started spitting so we went with wet tyres and after that we went into the pitlane for slicks. When I started the race and touched the front carbon brake it wasn’t warm enough to work, so to not touch the other riders I had to go onto the track. I let them pass again because it’s not allowed to make progress this way. The leaders were very strong at the beginning with the intermediate track. They had a gap of six, seven or eight seconds. I just needed one or two tenths to stay with them. Anyway, I had a good race and I did my best. I was very focused and riding very well. If we can gain one or two tenths on the competition we can try to win. Little by little we are coming closer. The bike improved a little with the electronics, the tyres are now working better with the bike and I am much fitter than last year. It makes me stronger, also mentally. I will be going to Spain to spend the holiday with my family and my friends and then come back to Yamaha for some more racing.”
Valentino Rossi – 4th, +19.194 – “The rain was confusing today. Like in Assen we were unlucky with the weather. It rained just after the beginning of the race, but later the track started to dry. We had everybody starting from the pit so it was very difficult and also very dangerous. I was in a quite good position, but I didn’t have enough pace to fight for the podium. I knew that it would be very difficult to beat our rivals here. I hoped to stay with Jorge but today he was faster than us and I arrived fourth. I’m quite happy about the first half of the season. I already got five podiums and four second places. I’m sad that I was not able to win, but I am quite fast and competitive. We have to continue like this and try to beat Marquez.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “Another unpredictable race with changing conditions! Jorge proved today that Assen is in the past and his mind is again focused on the podium. He rode a great race. It looks like our competitors were able to get a rhythm earlier than us making it difficult to close the gap on Marquez and Pedrosa. Starting from the pit lane with so many riders wasn’t the safest option but it was the only way possible. Valentino was missing a little of the pace he had in morning warm up, but rode well in the changing conditions to complete the top four factory bikes. After nine races, and the last two very complicated ones, we’re all looking forward to a short break before being ready in action again in Indianapolis in a few weeks time.”
Pol Espargaro undertook an intense and eventful German Grand Prix to finish in 7th position, having battled through the field after starting the race from pit lane. As the race deemed wet but as track conditions improved and dried quickly, the rookie opted to switch to his bike with the dry setting. The young Spaniard completed his first lap in 21st position, but confidently began ascending up the order immediately and by lap eleven the reigning Moto2 World Champion had hauled himself back into the points in 15th having ran a series of low 1.23 lap times, which were on a level with 5th position. He continued to chip away at closing the next rider down, highlighting the young rookie’s determination for success in the eventful race as he seized 10th position on lap 17 and quickly overtook Scott Redding for 9th three laps later. His perseverance prevailed and he set his fastest lap of the race on the 20th lap, which was 5th quickest overall, whilst hunting down the experienced Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso before overtaking and clinching 8th. The 23 year old Catalan did not stop there and performed a superbly executed move on Cal Crutchlow at turn 12 to snare 7th with three laps remaining, before completing the tricky 30 lap race in this position.
Bradley Smith’s challenging weekend drew to an unfortunate close today with the young British rider falling in the opening laps before mounting a recovery charge but completing the race outside the points. After opting to switch bikes and therefore begin the 30 lap race around the 3671 metre circuit in Germany from the pit lane, Smith quickly set into a rhythm to remain with the advancing pack and battle for a top five result. Such hopes were cut short on the 3rd lap after lucklessly falling, dropping him back to last place. The British star showed tireless grit to finish the race with a consistently quick rhythm with his lap time being comparable to the top 4 in the final laps, but was unfortunately too far adrift from the pack to recover as he finished the race in 19th position.
Pol Espargaro – 7th, +33.253 – “I can’t help but be a bit frustrated as the weather once again obstructed our weekend’s work. The rain just before the start again put us in a tricky situation and when we started from pit lane I had Dovizioso in front of me who had an apparent problem, I think he left his pit lane limiter on so I lost precious time and positions straight away. Due to my lack of experience with the bike in slightly wet conditions I was very cautious during the opening laps and it took me a bit of time to find the right rhythm. Also, the track lacks overtaking opportunities due to it’s nature and so this didn’t help also. It’s a real pity as my pace would have allowed us to battle for a top five result but luck was not on our side. Nevertheless, I learnt a lot today and after a few weeks off, we will be back even stronger for the start of the second half of the season at Indy.”
Bradley Smith – 19th, +56.239 – “Today was a big disappointment for me as I was feeling good and knew that I was capable of a strong result here but in the end the crash was all my fault. I made the same call as everyone else to pit and swap bikes, which was the right decision. When the race got underway, I saw Valentino pass Di Meglio at turn one and I knew my race pace was more than good enough to follow Valentino and use him as a reference in these tricky conditions. I got up the inside of Di Meglio and overtook him but as he came back to the apex, I ran onto the inside of the curb, which was still damp, and fell. Of course, it’s a big frustration as the bike, tyres and setting all felt positive. Also, my race pace was equivalent to the 5th or 6th placed times again so a good result was certainly on the cards but unfortunately luck was against me. Now I will rest up over the summer and come back more determined to succeed.”
In a race disrupted by pre-race rain, the NGM Forward Racing Team made a good race with Aleix Espargaro, finishing in a well deserved sixth place. With today’s result the Spaniard confirms his 6th position in the Championship with 77 points.
It was another complicated round with the rain started to fall just before the MotoGP race. With the track drying quickly, Espargaro changed from wet set-up to dry after the final warm up lap, meaning they had to start from pit lane. Teammate Colin Edwards, instead, took the start from the grid on slick tyres.
Starting from the pit lane, it was a hard race for Aleix, who had to recover several positions and finally finished 6th.
It was a difficult race for Colin Edwards, who took the right decision concerning the tyres, but struggled in the first part of the race for lack of confidence. In the second part he had more feeling and started to push, setting his best lap time (1’23.538) on lap 20 out of 30. Unfortunately it was too late to close the gap and he finally finished 20th.
Aleix Espargaro – 6th, +27.809 – “It was a crazy race with a chaotic start. In the warm up lap we saw that the track was drying quickly so I decided to enter the pit and change bike from wet-set up to dry. The start from the pit lane was a sort of “motocross style” and I enjoyed the race, but I made a mistake choosing the softer compound for the front. In two laps the track was completely dry and in the second part of the race I struggled a lot because the front tyre dropped. It’s a pity because I had the pace to fight with Jorge and Valentino. Anyway I’m satisfied with today’s result and happy to leave Germany with the 6th place in the Championship. Now I will enjoy some holidays at the seaside to recharge the batteries for a strong second part of the season.”
Colin Edwards – 20th, +1’04.083 – “It was a difficult race. I was among the few riders to start on slick tyres from the grid, but lap after lap I was loosing positions as I lacked of confidence. In the second part of the race the feeling improved and I could push more. Now I will enjoy some holidays and the next appointment will be Indianapolis, the second US round in the calendar this year.”
Unbeaten Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) and team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) dominated a unique MotoGP race at Sachsenring this afternoon, scoring their third one-two result of the 2014 season.
Marquez’s win was his ninth from nine races, a remarkable achievement from the 21-year-old former Moto2 and 125 World Champion. So far, only two riders have won more than nine consecutive premier-class wins: Giacomo Agostini (MV Agusta), who won all ten races of the 1968 500 season, and Mick Doohan (Repsol Honda), who won ten successive victories in the 1997 500 World Championship.
Today’s race started in confusing conditions after a light rain shower moments before the start, with most riders choosing to start the warm-up lap on rain tyres, then realising that slicks would be better for the race. They therefore had to swap to their ‘dry bikes’ and then start the race from pit lane once the rest of the riders had sped past into the first turn. Only nine riders started from their assigned positions on the grid.
Local hero Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) was the only rider on the first five rows to start from the grid and so took an easy lead during the first few laps. But all was not well for Bradl, who had started from the front row. His RC213V may have been fitted with slicks but it was running wet-weather suspension settings, so he was unable to use the full performance of his slick tyres.
Meanwhile Marquez and Pedrosa – both recovering from big tumbles during practice – were charging through the mostly Open bikes that had also started from the main grid, until the two RC213V riders were into second and third places on lap four. At that point Bradl still had a healthy lead but it was quickly whittled away by the two Spaniards. Marquez assumed the lead at the end of lap six, with Pedrosa soon following him through into second.
Marquez and Pedrosa had the rest of the race between them, Marquez always leading, with the gap see-sawing this way and that. One lap Marquez would open the gap by a tenth, then the next Pedrosa would close it by a tenth, until one third-distance when Pedrosa made a couple of minor errors and slipped more than a second behind his team-mate.
Pedrosa’s seventh podium of the year promoted him to second overall, ahead of today’s fourth-place finisher Valentino Rossi (Yamaha). At the chequered flag the gap between Pedrosa and Marquez was 1.4 seconds, with Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) almost eight seconds back in third.
Try as he might, Bradl slipped further back as riders with the correct settings/tyre combination came past him. He crossed the finish line in a disconsolate 16th place, no doubt hoping that Germany’s duel with Argentina in tonight’s World Cup final will turn out better.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) was one of the last few riders to come past Bradl. The Spaniard ended the race in ninth place, just behind Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati).
MotoGP rookie Scott Redding (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) was one of the many riders to start from pit lane and had a great ride, racing his Open RCV1000R against many factory bikes to eventually take 11th place, three seconds behind team-mate Bautista.
It was a good day for Honda’s RCV1000R production machine, with all four riders finishing in the points.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) started from the grid and ran up front in the early stages, gradually falling victim to the faster factory machines. The former 250 World Champion finished 12th.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) started on slicks and ended the race in 13th position, just ahead of Nicky Hayden (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R). Former MotoGP World Champion Hayden was another rider who pitted for slicks at the end of the warm-up lap but he didn’t get the best of the hectic massed pit-lane start. He ended the first lap in last place, then worked his way through to 14th at the finish.
Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert, Suter) won a brilliant victory in the Honda-powered Moto2 race, his first time on the top step of a Grand Prix podium. The Swiss was in the battle for the win from the early laps, leading the first lap and then spending most of the rest of the race shadowing leader Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex). In the final few laps the stakes were raised with Aegerter grabbing the lead at the first corner, only for Kallio to grab it back at the last corner. Finally, Aegerter prevailed, passing the chequered flag just 0.091 seconds ahead of the Finn.
Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250RW) played a brilliant role in the front-running brawl in the Moto3 race, eventually crossing the line in third place, just 1.1 seconds behind race winner and series leader Jack Miller (KTM). The battle at the front was enthralling, with Miller heading the chase but only just.
Masbou, who received an upgraded NSF250RW engine at Assen where he finished a close fourth, was delighted with his first podium of the year, less than a tenth ahead of Catalunya and Assen winner Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW), whose fourth-place finish keeps him second overall.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: race winner – “Before going out on track I thought it would be a similar race to the Assen, but in the end the surface dried out very quickly. I saw on the grid that Bradl had gone with the slick tyre option and I really had my doubts, because the area around the back of the track was still wet. I finally decided to see what Dani and Valentino were going to do, as they are my main rivals in the championship and if you get it wrong in these races, you can lose a lot of points. That’s why I decided to copy their strategy. The race was nice, especially the first part which was when I enjoyed it the most!”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd – “The start of the race today was a bit like Assen. Rainfall before the race meant that half the track was wet, and in the time we took to set up on the grid and do the warm-up lap it had been drying out. There was only one wet corner, but it was very wet. We had to change to the bike with slicks and almost all of the riders started from pit lane. We couldn’t fight for victory but we were very close, Marc was very fast today, too. Now we have the test at Brno and will try to find a few tenths somewhere, so that we can go faster and be even stronger at Indy.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 9th – “The start from pit lane affected our whole race: we went to the grid with the bike for wet conditions and during the warm-up lap I preferred to stay behind the other riders to see what they decided to do, because in some places the track was still very wet. When I saw almost all the riders enter the pits to change the bike I did the same, but then when we lined up at the exit of the pit lane there was no space to stay ahead and therefore I had a poor start. However, I started to overtake some riders, although it’s not easy on this track, and then I managed to keep a good pace. Let’s say that I enjoyed overtaking many riders, even if I’d preferred to do it for a better position. Too bad for the start, which as mentioned before, penalised us a lot. I also think that many riders starting the race from the pit lane was a potentially dangerous situation, although luckily in the end nothing happened. Now we have a couple of weeks to rest, and then we will resume fighting: we hope to be more consistent in the second half of the season.”
Scott Redding, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 11th – “Today was good for me. I didn’t think I was going to catch the other Honda riders who started the race with slick tyres, I just thought that I had to beat Nicky, who started from the pit lane like me. When we left the pit lane I started to push and I was quite fast, also compared to the factory bikes. I took a lot of risks in the wet parts of the track, because I had to, you know… I was feeling quite comfortable and I was reasonably strong also when the soft tyre started to drop. Even when Pol Espargaro passed me I stayed with him for two or three laps, and also with Alvaro. I’m happy because I gave everything today.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 12th – “We’ve had two races with complicated conditions, so it’s been a pretty stressful situation. Luckily my team had done a great job over the weekend and were able to advise me well before the race. I was a little worried but our decision to use slicks from the beginning but it was successful. At first some parts of the circuit were very wet, so we had to use caution. Even so, I was comfortable. In contrast, in the middle of the race I lost feeling with the front and that prevented me from going as fast as yesterday. Luckily I finally regained confidence, so I was able to go faster with each subsequent lap. If I had reached that pace a little earlier, I would have finished in a better position. In any case, considering the track conditions, finishing the race in twelfth position is positive for us.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing: 13th – “It was a very difficult race to evaluate. I will start by saying we scored three points, so considering the situation on the circuit, it’s good result. The start was really interesting due to the weather. Many of us did not stay on the grid. The majority of riders decided to change bikes after the warm-up lap. By then the track was completely dry, except one corner. I had slick tyres and it turned out to be the best decision. I not happy that Aoyama finished in front of me. I was riding for a long time behind him but my tyres wore down a lot. Then I risked it and overtook him. Unfortunately he was very fast on speed so he retook me. I did everything to achieve a good result today. We managed to finish and we all hope that during the second part of the season we can improve one or two positions.”
Nicky Hayden, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 14th – “The conditions for today’s race were really crazy, and racing like this is so hard because you do not see exactly how the track is at each point. I’m not happy with the start of the race. I had no confidence and I let several riders get away from me until I was down in last. At the beginning of the race, with the wet track and cold tyres, I did not have a chance to overtake anyone. It was a shame to start with so much prudence, because over the last 15 laps I imposed a pretty good pace which allowed me to gain a lot of positions. I could have caught my teammate and Abraham, but in the end I lacked a little bit of push. I am annoyed, because the team did a great job this weekend. We improved the performance of the bike, and that allowed us to be competitive in qualifying yesterday. I hope to perform at a higher level next time.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 16th – “Just before the race it started to rain and after two sighting laps on wet rubber, we decided to change to slick tyres on the grid because I thought that the track would have dried up quickly. At the first moment it seemed that we had an advantage but on the grid we had some issues in changing the front fork to dry setting, as the time was not enough, so I started the race with rain settings and slick tyres and it was a real gamble. When I saw the others starting from the pit, I could have done the same as my bike was ready and I am sorry for this mistake. I was three seconds slower a lap because my settings were not correct. I am speechless right now because this is the worst way to end my home race but I want to thank my fans for their great support throughout this weekend.”
Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow crossed the line in today’s German GP at Sachsenring, the ninth round of the 2014 season, in eighth and tenth place respectively after a lively race conditioned by the rain that fell on the track shortly before the start.
Dovizioso, who had lined up on the grid with his GP14 set up for wet weather, returned to the pit-lane to change bikes after the sighting lap, as did most of the other top riders. Forced to start from the pit-lane exit, Andrea accidently left on the pit-lane speed limiter of his Desmosedici and this affected his start, making him lose time and several positions, so much so that the Italian rider finished the opening lap in nineteenth place. In his recovery he found himself first having to battle with Aleix Espargarò for sixth place and then also with his team-mate Crutchlow for several laps, and in the end he had to yield one place to Pol Espargarò, thus terminating the race in eighth place.
It was also a hard-fought race for Crutchlow, who after working his way up from seventeenth, got past his fellow Ducati Team rider Dovizioso into seventh place, but in the final four laps had to relinquish three positions to Pol Espargarò, Dovizioso and Bautista. He took the chequered flag in tenth place.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 8th – “It was a difficult race in which unfortunately we were unable to make the best of the situation. I made a mistake at the start, forgetting to switch off the speed limiter at the end of the pit lane, and so I lost several places, which immediately complicated everything. I began to recover, but the battle with Aleix Espargarò slowed me even more and I also went off line on the wet part of the track, losing a few more seconds. Unfortunately I was not able to keep up a very fast pace, and it’s a pity because we could have brought home a better result in these conditions. But, still being fourth in the championship after the first half of the season is in any case really positive.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 10th – “It was mayhem at the start, and in the pit lane I nearly got knocked off by Rossi but it was nobody’s fault, just one of those incidents, and in fact the start of the race was really exciting! In any case we chose the wrong front tyre for sure: we should have gone with the harder one, but this is racing. The positives to take from the weekend are that we were more competitive in the race than in qualifying or practice and I made sure that we finished today. I was really disappointed in the last laps when I got passed by Pol Espargarò, Andrea and Bautista: I felt we had a good chance to finish in the seventh position but I couldn’t fight any more than I did and we were at the limit with the package today in these conditions.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) – “Today’s race at Sachsenring was a complicated one. The change in the weather conditions a few minutes before the bikes lined up on the grid made things difficult for everyone, and the race was also conditioned by the start from the pit-lane and the traffic in which Andrea and Cal found themselves in the early laps. In any case our riders were involved in a good recovery and for several laps we even saw a nice, hard-fought scrap between them, even though in the end we had to settle for an eighth and a tenth place and so cannot be satisfied. Now, before a short holiday break and the trip to Indianapolis, we will all be going with the team and riders to Misano Adriatico where WDW2014 will take place from July 18-20 and we will have a great opportunity to meet Ducatisti from all over the world taking part in this fantastic event!”
Following on from a sensational weather affected MotoGP last time out in Assen, the drama continued in today’s eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland as the weather again played its part in round nine of the World Championship held at the Sachsenring.
Just like Assen, it turned out to be bitter sweet for the Cumbria based PBM MotoGP team as despite a promising start, it ended in disappointment for both Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes but not before Laverty had sensationally held second place in the opening stages of the race.
Free Practice had seen Ulsterman Laverty show good pace on the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM, claiming 14th in the second session as he improved his feel with the bike. The former British Supersport champion continued the good form into qualifying to claim a row six start in 18th place.
For Australian team-mate Broc Parkes, he was hoping to replicate his career best 11th place finish at the previous round in Holland to add to the point he scored in Qatar. However, it proved a difficult weekend for the double World Supersport runner-up, compounded with a big crash on Saturday which wrecked his number one Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed PBM machine and left him down on row eight of the grid.
With the storm clouds gathering and rain starting to fall just before the start, with lessons learned from Assen, both PBM riders started on slicks as in unprecedented scenes, most of the field opted to change from their wet set-ups meaning a pit lane start for them all.
Although he had to start from the back of the grid, Laverty shadowed German Stefan Bradl for the opening laps, holding an amazing second place for the opening couple of laps before the field started swallowing him up. Parkes, meanwhile, also took his place on the grid and was inside the top ten for the opening laps also.
As the race progressed, Laverty battled hard in the lower echelons of the points until with 12 laps to go, he crashed out, amazingly given the conditions, the only non finisher in the race. Parkes, meanwhile, struggled against an electrical problem but gamely battled on and brought the bike home once again although down in 21st place.
Despite not adding to his score, Parkes maintains 20th overall in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship table, eighth in the Open class standings and third in Rookie of the Year. With his first DNF of the year, Laverty has yet to register on the scoreboard but importantly for the PBM team, they occupy fifth place in the manufacturer’s table and 11th in the team’s standings.
Michael Laverty: “We had such a strong weekend with a rather cruel ending. I unfortunately crashed out of the race whilst in the battle for points and running a strong pace which would have led to a 12th or 13th place finish. We made a smart call on the grid to switch to our dry bike sacrificing our 18th place grid spot, however this paid dividends as the majority of the field had to start from pit lane to change their bike. This allowed me to run as high as second in the opening laps. I ran a full dry set-up, including the hard front tyre which hindered me for quite a few laps as it was difficult to generate the required temperature due to the damp conditions. As the circuit dried I was getting stronger with every lap and set three personal best lap times prior to my crash. The crash was unexpected because I didn’t do anything different on that lap to previous laps, but these things happen when you’re pushing to the limit.”
Broc Parkes: “It’s been a hard weekend learning another difficult track and a big crash on Saturday whereby I lost my number one bike didn’t help. The start of the race was a gamble but I chose slicks which was the best choice but in the race we had a problem with the transponder. It caused problems with the bike on the track so all the electronics were playing up and being very inconsistent meaning I had no flow. I knew there was something not right but continued to push to the end of the race to take more track knowledge for the future.”
Phil Borley, Technical Director: “Sachsenring has been a weekend of positives and negatives. The positives have included Michael’s pace in both the practices and the race, showing our improved competitiveness. The negatives have been the crashes we have suffered and missing a good opportunity to score points. We now have to regroup and prepare for the second half of the season and keep pushing for better results.”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 20-20°C; Track 30-32°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez heads to the summer break with a perfect win record after mastering mixed track conditions at Sachsenring to claim his ninth victory of the 2014 MotoGP season.
Memories from the last round at Assen came flooding back for the riders as the heavens opened just before the thirty-lap German Grand Prix was due to commence, resulting in sections of the circuit being wet at the start of the race. The mixed conditions left the riders having to face a decision on whether to start with slick or wet tyres, with nine riders starting from the grid on slick tyres, and the remaining fourteen starters starting from pit lane on slick tyres after pitting-in on wet tyres during the warm up lap.
After a chaotic start to the race, Marquez adapted to the drying track best and by the fifth lap had taken the race lead. Despite the less than ideal track conditions, Marquez was able to lap faster than he did in completely dry conditions last year and his quickest lap of the race near the end of the Grand Prix was just two-tenths shy of the Circuit Record Lap. On the other Repsol Honda, Dani Pedrosa also lapped at a fearsome pace to take second place just 1.466 seconds behind his teammate, while Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo made a fine return to form by finishing in third place for his third podium of the year.
The Sachsenring circuit still had some damp patches at the start of the race, resulting in twelve of the twenty-three riders opting for the soft compound front slick to ensure maximum grip and warm-up performance in the challenging conditions. Of the other ten riders, all except one selected the medium compound front slick with GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Scott Redding the only rider to select the hard compound front slick. All riders selected their softer rear slick option for the race, with the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders using the medium compound rear, and the Ducati and Open-class riders selecting the soft compound rear slick.
Marquez’s amazing first half of the season has him sitting seventy-seven points clear in the MotoGP rider’s classification, while Pedrosa now sits in second place and seven points clear of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi who claimed fourth place in Germany.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department – “This is the second Grand Prix in a row where unsettled weather has created an unusual start to the race, but once again Marc showed his fighting spirit to take a very impressive victory. In the end there can be only one winner, but there were many great performances out there today and the result was lots of exciting action throughout the field. Although we now have a four week break from MotoGP, it will still be a busy time for Bridgestone. We have a lot to prepare for the second half of the MotoGP season, and also in a couple of weeks’ time we have the challenge of trying to extend our record winning-streak as a tyre manufacturer at the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race to nine consecutive victories.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department – “Just like at the last race at Assen, today we had a race that started with mixed track conditions, but this time the track was dry enough to allow all the riders to start on slick tyres. However, there were still some wet patches during the opening laps – particularly in turn twelve – so it was good to see that the riders were able to manage the tricky conditions on their slick tyres. We’ve worked hard to broaden the operating temperature range of our slicks and today was evidence that this has been a real boost to rider safety. MotoGP may be taking a four week break, but our technical development team will still be working hard back in Japan as we look to develop some new tyre technology for the riders to test in the second half of the season.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner – “It looked more or less like the Assen race but in the end we had to come to the pits to change our bikes because we could see the track was becoming dry. In the end my strategy was to do the same thing as Dani and Valentino as they are my main rivals, and I saw they stayed on wet tyres so I did the same. The race was nice in the beginning as there was a lot of overtaking then in the second half of the race I had a great battle with Dani. I’m really happy with this victory and now it’s time to relax and enjoy my holiday time.”