MotoGP 2015 – Round Nine – Sachsenring
Official statistics compiled by Dr. Martin Raines
The 2015 German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring will be the 77th Grand Prix event to be held on German soil. Below are some facts and statistics about grand prix racing in Germany:
The first motorcycle Grand Prix to be held in Germany was the West German Grand Prix held at the Solitude circuit in 1952, when it was reported that 400,000 spectators turned up to watch. Ireland’s Reg Armstrong won the 350cc and 500cc races riding Nortons. The home crowd had plenty to cheer, with Rudi Felgenheier winning the 250cc race on a DKW and Werner Haas winning the 125cc race on a NSU.
The first East German Grand Prix was held at the Sachsenring road circuit in 1961. The original circuit used for this event was a closed road circuit 8.73km in length.
The East German GP continued to be held at the Sachsenring each year until 1972, after which the road circuit was considered too dangerous for Grand Prix racing.
The West German Grand Prix continued to be held every year from 1952 through to 1990, when East and West joined to become a unified Germany. Four different circuits were used during this period 1952 to 1990: Solitude, Schotten, Nurburgring and Hockenheim.
There has been a German Grand Prix held every year since unification – from 1991 to 1994 at the Hockenheim circuit, followed by three years at the Nurburgring and since 1998 at the new Sachsenring circuit.
In addition to those mentioned above, one other Grand Prix event has been held in Germany: the Baden-Wurtemberg GP held in 1986 at the Hockenheim circuit for just the 80cc and 125cc classes.
The newly built Sachsenring circuit was initially just 3.508km long with one short section of track from the old road circuit. Major modifications to the circuit in 2001 and then additional slight alterations in 2003 resulted in the current 3.671km track layout.
This will be the 18th successive year that a Grand Prix event has been held at the new Sachsenring circuit.
Since Grand Prix racing returned to the Sachsenring circuit in 1998 there have been six podium finishes by home riders: Ralf Waldmann was third in the 250cc race in 1999, Steve Jenkner was third in the 125cc race in 2002, Stefan Bradl finished second in the 125cc category in 2008, Sandro Cortese finished third in the 125cc race in 2010 and Stefan Bradl was second in 2011 in Moto2 , and in 2012 Sandro Cortese won the Moto3 race.
Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP class in 2002, Honda have been the most successful manufacturer with nine wins, followed by Yamaha with three and Ducati with a single MotoGP victory in Germany.
Each of the three race winners last year in Germany (Jack Miller, Dominique Aegerter and Marc Marquez) all started from pole position.
In each of the last two years Marc Marquez has qualified on pole in the MotoGP class, won the race and also set the fastest lap.
The Sachsenring circuit is the shortest on the current grand prix schedule, with a length of 3.671 km.
Due to the mixed weather conditions last year, fourteen of the MotoGP riders entered the pit-lane to change bikes after the warm-up lap and consequently started the race from pit-lane.
Valentino Rossi heading for 15 year winning career
With his win at the Dutch TT, Valentino Rossi extended his record as the rider with the longest winning career in the premier-class, as shown in the following table. Another MotoGP win for Rossi would extend his winning career in the premier-class to more than fifteen years.
Longest winning careers in the premier-class
1 Valentino Rossi – Great Britain/2000 – Dutch TT/2015 – 14 years 353 days
8 Geoff Duke – IOM TT/1950 – Sweden/1958 – 8 years 47 days
9 Alex Criville – Dutch TT/1992 – France/2000 – 7 years 321 days
10 Jorge Lorenzo – Portugal/2008 – Catalunya/2015 – 7 years 62 days
Dovizioso set to equal Rossi’s record of successive starts
At the German Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso is set to equal the current record for unbroken sequence of successive grand prix starts, which is currently held by Valentino Rossi. Rossi did not miss a race from making his grand prix debut at the Malaysian GP in 1996 until he did not start the Italian GP at Mugello in 2010 after crashing in practice and breaking his right leg. Andrea Dovizioso made his GP debut in the 125cc class as a wild-card at Mugello in 2001, before joining the grand prix series as a full-time rider at the opening race of 2002 at Suzuka in Japan; since then he has never missed starting a race.
Riders with longest sequence of starts at successive GP events
1 Valentino Rossi 230 (125cc, 250cc, 500cc, MotoGP ) – 125cc/Malaysia/1996/Shah Alam – MotoGP /France/2010/Le Mans
By winning the Dutch TT, Valentino Rossi continues the successful run of results achieved by the Yamaha factory riders in 2015, as summarised in the following facts and statistics:
Yamaha have won six successive premier-class races for the first time in the 67 year history of grand prix racing
Valentino Rossi led the Dutch TT for the first nineteen laps before Marc Marquez led him across the line. This, in addition to the 103 laps led by Jorge Lorenzo at the previous four races and the final two laps of the race in Argentina led by Rossi, means that Yamaha held the lead for 124 successive laps, a new record for most successive laps led by a manufacturer in the MotoGP era.
For the first time ever, Yamaha have won seven of the opening eight races of the year in the premier-class of grand prix racing.
Yamaha have a total of 191 points in the constructors championship after the opening eight races of the year – the highest points total that Yamaha have ever achieved at this stage in the season.
Grand Prix racing numbers
57 – Danny Kent’s fifty seven points lead in the world championship classification is the greatest points lead any rider has had at the head of the lightweight-class championship standings after eight races since Haruchika Aoki had a lead of 69 points over Stefano Perugini in the 125cc classification after eight races of the 1995 season.
56.293 – In spite of the very mixed conditions at the German Grand Prix last year, Bradley Smith, who crossed the line in 19th place, was just 56.293 seconds behind race winner Marc Marquez. This was the first time ever in a premier-class grand prix that has gone full distance, that the first 19 riders have crossed the finishing line within one minute.
31 years – At the Dutch TT Johann Zarco became the first French rider to take back-to-back wins in the intermediate-class of grand prix racing, since Christian Sarron won the Austrian and German 250cc GP races in 1984, the year he went on to take the world title. No French rider has ever won three successive grand prix races in the intermediate-class.
28 -Tito Rabat’s second place finish at the Dutch TT was the 28th time that he has stood on the podium in the Moto2 class; this gives him the record for most podium finishes in Moto2 , previously held by Tom Luthi.
12 -Valentino Rossi has finished on the podium at the last twelve successive races. This is the longest sequence of podium finishes he has achieved since he was on the podium at the final nine races of 2008 and the opening three races of 2009. The last time that he had a longer sequence of podium finishes was when he was on the podium from the Malaysian GP in 2004 until the Czech GP in 2005, a sequence of fourteen podium finishes.
8 – Maverick Viñales has finished in a point scoring position in every one of his first eight starts in the MotoGP class, something only two other rookies have managed in the MotoGP era: John Hopkins in 2002 and Hector Barbera in 2010. If Viñales finishes in the top fifteen in Germany he will become the first MotoGP rookie to score points in his first nine races, as both Hopkins and Barbera failed to finish their ninth MotoGP race.
6 – Dani Pedrosa is the rider with the most victories at the new Sachsenring circuit with 6 wins (2x 250cc, 4 x MotoGP ), followed by 5 for Valentino Rossi (1 x 250cc, 4 x MotoGP ) and Marc Marquez (1 x 125cc, 2 x Moto2 , 2 x MotoGP ).
5 – Sachsenring is one of only two circuits, along with Indianapolis, where Honda have won in the MotoGP class in each of the last five years.
3 – At the Dutch TT, Johann Zarco became only the fourth French rider to win three intermediate-class (Moto2 /250cc) GP races in a single season, along with: Christian Sarron (1984), Olivier Jacque (2000) and Randy de Puniet (2003). No French rider has ever won four intermediate-class grand prix races in a single season.
3 – Valentino Rossi’s victory at the Dutch TT was his third win of 2015. This is the first time since 2009 that he has had more than two victories in a single season.
Moto2 stats and facts
Johann Zarco has had a single podium finish at the Sachsenring circuit – 2nd in the 125cc race in 2011. Last year he crashed out of the Moto2 race in Germany on the 15th lap at Turn 12; although he escaped unhurt his bike was badly damaged after spectacularly catching fire. Since taking the lead in the Moto2 championship standings with a win in Argentina, Zarco has increased his lead in the championship at each of the subsequent races.
Tito Rabat’s best results at the Sachsenring are fourth place finishes in the 125cc race in 2010 and the Moto2 race last year. The Sachsenring is the only circuit on the current grand prix schedule where Rabat has not had a podium finish during his time in the Moto2 class.
At the Dutch TT, Sam Lowes returned to the podium for the first time since the third race of the year in Argentina and after finishing fourth at three successive races. Lowes finished 20th last year in Germany, after qualifying down in 26th place on the grid – his worst qualifying result of his debut season in the Moto2 class.
Tom Luthi’s only podium finish at the Sachsenring is 2nd in 2005, the year he won the 125cc world title. His best results at the circuit in the Moto2 class are fifth place finishes in both 2011 and 2012.
Last year in Germany, Dominique Aegerter took his first and so far only grand prix win in what was his 129th grand prix start.
Mika Kallio has finished on the podium in Germany twice in the last three years; 2nd in both 2012 and last year. Kallio also won the 125cc GP race at the Sachsenring back in 2005.
Simone Corsi has been on the podium at the Sachsenring for the last two years; second in 2013 and third last year. His third place finish in Germany in 2014 was the last time that he has stood on the podium.
Toni Elias, on a Moriwaki, won the Moto2 race in Germany in 2010 and Suter riders have won for the last four years. The Sachsenring is one of only two circuits on the current grand prix schedule where Kalex have yet to score a grand prix win in the Moto2 class – the other is Valencia.
In addition to Aegerter and Kallio mentioned above, the other riders who are currently competing in the Moto2 class that have won grand prix races at the Sachsenring circuit are: Julian Simon (2009/125cc), Sandro Cortese (2012/Moto3 ) and Alex Rins (2013/Moto3 ).
Moto3 stats and facts
None of the riders currently competing in the Moto3 class have won a grand prix race at the Sachsenring circuit.
KTM have won each of the three Moto3 races that have taken place at the Sachsenring circuit. Honda have not won a lightweight-class grand prix in Germany since Marco Melandri won the 125cc GP at the Sachsenring in 1999.
Danny Kent finished 5th in Germany last year, which is his best result from the four grand prix starts he has made at the Sachsenring circuit. Since taking the lead in the championship standings with a win in Austin, Kent has increased his lead in the championship at each of the subsequent races.
Following Isaac Viñales’ crash at the Dutch TT, the only two riders who have scored in all eight Moto3 races so far in 2015 are championship leader Danny Kent and second in the table, Enea Bastianini.
Enea Bastianini has started from pole at the last two races – the first Italian rider to have back-to-back poles in the lightweight-class of grand prix racing since Simone Corsi in 2008. Bastianini’s pole at Assen also gave him the record as the youngest ever Italian rider to start from pole at successive races. Bastianini crashed at the final corner of the first lap last year in Germany, re-started in 31st position before fighting his way through the field to finish 15th.
Miguel Oliveira, who has won two of the last three Moto3 races, finished fourth at the Sachsenring two years ago – his only point scoring finish at the circuit.
Brad Binder finished second last year in the Moto3 race in Germany, which is his best result in grand prix racing.
Two of Alexis Masbou’s four podium finishes in grand prix racing have been at the Sachsenring; second in 2012 and third last year.
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