eni Grand Prix of Germany 2014
Posted on Jul 07, 2014 by Nick Harris
ROUND NINE 2014 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY 14 JULY
It’s been a tough opening half of the MotoGP™ season for Cal Crutchlow who will be seeking a glimmer of light at the eni Grand Prix of Germany on Sunday before the summer break. He returns to the 2.281 miles circuit situated between Dresden and Leipzig on the factory Ducati with happy memories of the race last year. The Isle of Man based Midlander was second behind Marc Marquez riding the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha but injuries and mechanical problems have blighted his first season with Ducati and he’s 16th in the championship with his best result sixth in the opening round in Qatar.
It has also been a tough time for his former Yamaha team-mate Bradley Smith who was encouraged by his eighth place in Assen. In the difficult conditions the Andorra based Oxfordshire rider set the third fastest lap of the race and will be looking to improve on his tenth place in the championship in the 30 lap race on Sunday where he finished sixth last year.
“I really want to finish the first half of the season on a high. On paper eighth in Assen may not look great but I set the third fastest lap of the race and generally had a really good pace throughout the weekend. We take those positives into Germany where a good result will make the summer break a lot happier.”
Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding has scored points in all but one of the grands prix in his debut MotoGP season. Riding the GO&FUN Gresini Honda, he is the fastest Open Class Honda and has done a very solid job to secure 12th place in the championship. Ulsterman Michael Laverty made his Sachsenring debut last year and still chases those first points of the season riding for the Paul Bird Motorsport team.
World Supersport Champion Sam Lowes makes his Sachsenring debut in the Moto2™ race wanting to forget the Assen race. In the rain and from a front row start the Lincolnshire rider looked well on course for at least his first podium finish when he crashed on the Speed Up machine. He dropped to 11th in the championship. Londoner Gino Rea thrives in the rain and picked up his first points of the season with a hard fought 11th in Assen. The AGT REA Racing rider will be praying for more rain in the 29 lap race on Sunday.
Scotsman John McPhee celebrates his 20th birthday on Sunday in good form. Riding the SaxoPrint Racing Team Germany machine with backing from the Racing Steps Foundation he’s had an impressive first half of the season in a highly competitive Moto3™ class. McPhee is 12th in the championship and will want to end the first half of the season by pushing towards a podium finish. Wiltshire-based Danny Kent showed some welcome glimpses of his grand prix winning form with an eighth place in Assen riding the Red Bull Ajo Husqvarna. The two times grand prix winner is 14th in the championship just one point behind McPhee.
The beach beckons all conquering Marquez
Twenty one year old Marc Marquez has one more record breaking ride to complete at the eni Grand Prix of Germany on Sunday before a well-deserved summer break at the half way stage of the MotoGP season. The Repsol Honda rider chases his fourth consecutive victory at the tight demanding 2.281 miles Sachsenring circuit as he attempts an incredible ninth successive win of the season defending his world title with maximum points.
Marquez has won 125, two Moto2 and MotoGP last year’s races at the Sachsenring where he arrives with a 72 point lead in the championship over his team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi who share second place in the title race. Last year Pedrosa broke his collarbone in a practice crash at the Sachsenring but has a great record at the track. He won the MotoGP race the previous three years following a win in 2007 plus a couple of 250 cc victories. He has finished third in the last two races while Rossi, who announced last week he will stay at Movistar Yamaha for another two years, has won four MotoGP races in Germany with the last victory in 2009 plus a 250 cc win.
Andrea Dovizioso gave Ducati their second podium of the season at the last round in mixed conditions at Assen. He finished a superb second which is where his team-mate Cal Crutchlow finished in Germany last year riding the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. Dovizioso is fifth in the championship ten points in front of Jorge Lorenzo who also broke his collarbone at the Sachsenring last year. The Yamaha rider is having a very mixed season as he chases his first victory at the Sachsenring.
Aleix Espargaro opened up a nine point advantage over younger brother Pol after a brilliant weekend in Assen. Riding the Forward Racing Yamaha, he took his very first pole position and finished fourth in the race after a tremendous battle with Pedrosa. Pol crashed out of the race and is just two points in front of German Stefan Bradl riding the LCR Honda. This is the most important race of the season for Bradl who holds a five point advantage over the Pramac Ducati of Andrea Iannone.
The Sachsenring short circuit is built for close finishes. In the 2011 125 cc race the Tissot start line and video cameras had to determine the winner with Hector Faubel getting the decision over Johann Zarco when both riders crossed the line with the identical time of 39m57.979s after 27 hectic laps. Five years earlier Matteo Pasini and Alvaro Bautista were separated by just 0.010 s after an equally fierce encounter. In the 2001 250 cc race just 0.203s separated podium finishers Marco Melandri, Daijiro Katoh and Tetsuya Harada.
The 5.425 miles Sachsenring road circuit staged its first world championship event, the East German Grand Prix in 1961. Rhodesian Garry Hocking won the 26 lap race riding the MV Agusta from Mike Hailwood’s Norton by 2m08.9s. Hailwood won the 250 cc race for Honda with Ernst Degner successful in the 125 cc race for the local MZ Factory. Enormous crowds approaching 300,000 fans would flock to the races. Many would build their own individual one seat grandstands on the top of poles to witness their only chance of watching international sport.
The Sachsenring road circuit staged its last grand prix in 1972 with Giacomo Agostini winning the 21 lap 500cc race for MV Augusta. The circuit was then deemed too dangerous for grand prix racing but returned as the new purpose built Sachsenring using part of the old road track in 1998. World Champion Mick Doohan won the first 500cc race round the 2.180 miles circuit. The circuit length has now been extended to 2.81 miles.
Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi are the most successful premier class riders at the new Sachsenring. Both have won four times with Pedrosa winning three in a row between 2010-2012. The Spanish Honda rider also won two 250 cc grands prix with Rossi scoring one win.
Facts and Figures
Circuit Length: 3.671kms/2.281 miles
Pole Positio: Left
Longest Straight: 700m/0.435 miles
Left Corners: Ten
Right Corners: Three
Pole Position Record: Casey Stoner/Ducati 1.21.067 (2008)
Lap Record: Dani Pedrosa/Honda 1'21.846 (2011)
BT Sport Schedule (unless stated this will be on BT Sport 2)
Friday 11th July
8.00am – Grand Prix of Germany – FP1 - LIVE
12.00pm – Grand Prix of Germany – FP2 LIVE
Saturday 12th July
8.00am – Grand Prix of Germany – Free Practice/Qualifying LIVE
Sunday 13th July
9.30am – Grand Prix of Germany - Moto3/Moto2/MotoGP Races LIVE
Tuesday 15th July
8.00pm - MotoGP Tonight: (BT Sport 1)
Monday 14th July
8.00pm – MotoGP Highlights Programme