GoPro German Grand Prix 2016

Posted on Jul 11, 2016 by Nick Harris

ROUND NINE 2016 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – SUNDAY 17TH JULY

Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes returns to the Moto2™ Championship battle after his first taste of MotoGP™ last week. He tested the Aprilia MotoGP machine for the very first time in Misano in preparation for his debut with the team next year. Lowes really impressed in the two day test but now turns his total concentration on the Moto2 World Championship battles that lie ahead, starting on Sunday at the GoPro German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.

It’s a crucial 29 lap battle around the demanding 2.281 miles circuit situated between Dresden and Leipzig, as the season reaches the half way stage. Lowes, riding the Federal Oils Gresini Honda, is just five points behind joint leaders World Champion Johann Zarco and Spaniard Alex Rins. Last year Lowes was fifth in the race won by the Belgian Xavier Simeon. Wiltshire-based Danny Kent won the Moto3™ race last year but needs a good result on Sunday to boost his confidence going into the second half of a difficult Moto2 return season.

Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding arrives at the Sachsenring buoyed by his magnificent third place in the previous MotoGP round at rain lashed Assen in Holland. Riding the Octo Pramac Ducati, Redding was superb in the conditions that caused so many riders to crash and looks to consolidate on that result but perhaps not with so much rain.

Irishman Eugene Laverty continued his impressive season with yet another top ten finish in Assen. Riding the Aspar Ducati, he kept his head to finish a sensible seventh to consolidate his tenth place and best placed British rider in the Championship. It was not such a good day for former team-mates Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow. Both crashed in the rain although Smith remounted the Monster Tech3 Yamaha to finish a brave 13th and shares 14th place in the Championship with Redding. It’s another big test for Crutchlow on the LCR Honda at the track where he finished second three years ago.

Scotsman John McPhee continues his battle in the most competitive championship of the lot. Just grabbing a top 15 points scoring finish is a big ask in Moto3™ with so many talented young riders on factory machinery. Oban – based McPhee, who is 22 years old on Thursday, will continue that fight in the 27 lap race on Sunday riding the Racing Steps Foundation supported Peugeot MC Saxoprint Mahindra. He will be joined by Kent-based Danny Webb who made a welcome grand prix return with a finish in Assen.


Did you know?
•The 2016 German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring will be the 78th Grand Prix event to be held on German soil.

•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 original 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 3.671 km track layout.

•The Sachsenring is one of just five circuits on the current grand prix schedule that run in an anti-clockwise direction, along with Austin, Aragon, Phillip Island and Valencia.

•This will be the 19th 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, 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 at the Sachsenring with ten wins, including the last six years. Yamaha have had three wins at this circuit, the last of which was with Valentino Rossi in 2009. Ducati’s single MotoGP victory in Germany was with Casey Stoner in 2008.

•The only podium finish for Suzuki in Germany in the MotoGP era was when Chris Vermeulen finished third in 2008.

•In each of the last three years at the Sachsenring Marc Marquez has qualified on pole in the MotoGP class, won the race and also set the fastest lap.

•The riders with most victories at the new Sachsenring circuit, with 6 wins each, are: Dani Pedrosa (2x 250cc, 4 x MotoGP) and Marc Marquez (1 x 125cc, 2 x Moto2, 3 x MotoGP).

•Sachsenring is the only circuit on the 2016 schedule where Honda have won in the MotoGP class for each of the last six years.


Miller re-writes the record books
By winning the Dutch TT, Jack Miller enters the record books for many different reasons:

•Jack Millers is the fifth youngest rider to win in the premier-class in the MotoGP era, after: Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner.

•He is the 12th Australian rider to win in the premier-class, joining: Mick Doohan, Casey Stoner, Wayne Gardner, Daryl Beattie, Jack Findlay, Garry McCoy, Jack Ahearn, Troy Bayliss, Ken Kavanagh, Kevin Magee and Chris Vermeulen.

•It is the first MotoGP win by an Australian rider since Casey Stoner won at Phillip Island in 2012.

•Miller is the first rider to take a maiden MotoGP win since Marc Marquez won in Austin in 2013. This sequence of 59 races without a first-time winner is the longest in premier-class history.

•This was the first win by a Independent Team rider since Toni Elias won in Portugal in 2006.

•Miller is the first rider to win a MotoGP race having previously won in the Moto3 class.

•He is just the sixth rider to win a MotoGP race without having competed in the intermediate-class of grand prix racing for at least one year, joining: Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies, Makoto Tamada, Troy Bayliss and Chris Vermeulen (Of these riders both Troy Bayliss and Makoto Tamada did compete in the 250cc GP class, but only as wild-card riders).


In form Marquez chases four in a row
World Championship leader Marc Marquez chases his fourth successive MotoGP™ victory at the Sachsenring as he looks to increase his 24 point lead in the title chase at the GoPro Grand Prix of Germany on Sunday. The Spanish Repsol Honda rider has won the last three MotoGP races from pole position at the 2.281 miles circuit and has finished second in the last three MotoGP races as the season reaches the half way stage. Honda have an amazing record at the demanding track, with Marquez chasing his seventh win after previous 125 cc and Moto2 wins while his team-mate Dani Pedrosa has an even better Sachsenring CV. Similar to his team-mate he has six wins with four in the MotoGP class and he needs maximum points in the 30 lap race to close the gap on third placed Valentino Rossi and fight off the challenge of Maverick Vinales.
 
It’s a tough ask for the Movistar Yamaha pair of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi after their disastrous day at the previous round in Assen. Lorenzo, after finishing a lowly 10th, is 24 points adrift of Marquez while Rossi, who crashed out while leading, is 42 points down. Rossi has had four MotoGP wins at the Sachsenring but the last was in 2009, while Lorenzo has no premier-class victories at this track.
 
Two former smaller class World Champions, Maverick Vinales and Pol Espargaro, are having a great battle for fifth behind Pedrosa. They are separated by just seven points with the Ecstar Suzuki of Vinales leading the way. Ducati’s only Sachsenring win came with Casey Stoner in 2008, but Andrea Iannone will at least not have to start from the back of the grid as he did in Assen, while Andrea Dovizioso took pole before crashing out in Holland.
 
Australian Jack Miller is prepared for a bit of a reality check after his magnificent maiden MotoGP win on the Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS Honda in the Assen rain, while Scott Redding will be looking to build from his equally impressive third place on the Octo Pramac Ducati.
 
The Moto2™ race at the Sachsenring has a history of throwing up surprise winners, but with this year’s title chase so finely balanced the three top riders are not looking for too many big shocks in the 29 lap encounter. Current World Champion Johann Zarco and Spaniard Alex Rins share the lead on points, with Britain’s Sam Lowes just five points adrift. While these three are certain to be battling at the front, joining in the fun will be Takaaki Nakagami, fresh from his maiden long awaited win in Holland, Italian Franco Morbidelli who was third in the same race and of course previous Sachsenring winners Dominique Aegerter and Xavier Simeon.
 
Another rider taking his maiden grand prix win in Assen was Italian teenager Pecco Bagnaia who also brought Mahindra their first Moto3™ victory. Even by its own standards the class has thrown up some truly memorable battles and a galaxy of new young riders. South African Brad Binder, despite his problems in Assen, still holds a commanding 48 point lead over Spaniard Jorge Navarro who hopes to return after missing Assen with a broken leg sustained in a training accident just days after his maiden grand prix win in Barcelona. Italian Romano Fenati is just ten points adrift in front of a bevy of young Italian teenagers including Bagnaia, Nicolo Bulega, Niccolo Antonelli and Fabio Di Giannantonio.  It should be fun in the 27 lap race on Sunday.


Television Times
BT Sport 2
Friday 15th July 08.00pm – 15.00pm (practice)
Saturday 16th July 08.00am – 15.15pm (practice & qualifying)
Sunday 17th July 07.30am – 15.00pm (warm-up and races)

ITV 4 Highlights
Monday 18th July 20.00pm – 21.00pm
 

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