Premier class stars charged up for Sachsenring contest
In a busy Thursday MotoGP™ press conference at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland there were seven premier class riders in attendance to preview the ninth round of this year’s World Championship
Talking to the media at the Sachsenring on this occasion were World Champion and standings leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), the two riders currently tied for second place Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), along with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and home rider Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP).
Marquez has an excellent record at the demanding German track and he looked ahead to the weekend’s racing, saying, “Last year was a strange race without Dani (Pedrosa) and Jorge (Lorenzo) on track but this year it will be very interesting. The first part of the circuit is really exciting, as it is so small and tight like a karting track. We will try to manage it well and if it rains we’ll try to have a good pace too.”
Having recently agreed a new two-year contract with the factory Yamaha team for 2015 and 2016, Rossi was in a typically upbeat mood, commenting, “I’m very, very happy to sign another two-year contract as it was my target and with Yamaha we have agreed to continue together. I want to make more good races, more podiums, try to get victories and try to improve the M1 in the coming years.”
Rossi’s rival for second place in the championship at present, Pedrosa, has also this week secured his future with his team for two more years and he anticipated another exciting weekend in Germany.
He enthused, “I have agreed to ride with Honda for two more years so it is good news and it is a special way for me to keep racing. I have been with the team since 2006 so it is great for me. I enjoy it here at Sachsenring and I think we will see some good racing here as many riders have similar lap times.”
Ducati man Dovizioso goes into the weekend on a high after finishing in second place last time out at the Dutch TT, though he admits his racing plans beyond 2014 are not yet finalised. He said, “After an unbelievable result in Assen and fighting with Marc (Marquez) in the race it is a great feeling. The way we have managed the first half of the season and to be fourth in the World Championship, we didn’t expect it. I have to consider my options like everybody and make a decision about what to do next year.”
The elder of the two Espargaro brothers has impressed this year on his ‘Open’ Forward-Yamaha machine and he explained, “It is going be a good track for us I think. Last year with the CRT I was in P5 on grid and fighting with Dovizioso in the race so I expect it to be good fun again. We are really happy with where we are and the team are working very hard. We are sixth in the championship, close to fourth and fifth and ahead of many Factory bikes.”
Home rider Bradl aims to impress at his most important Grand Prix of the year. “It is always very nice to come to the Sachsenring as it is a special place for me. The fans here are so close to the track and you can feel their emotion, feel them waiting for us. Assen was a disaster for us, so we hope we can fix it here at my home GP,” he added.
Briton Smith is looking for a strong result for the Tech 3 Team in the ninth race of the season and he stated, “This is a really important time of the year before the summer break. It is important to get a good result, as I am fast in tests and practice so it is time to turn it into a positive performance on race day on a Sunday.”
Earlier in the day a group of riders visited the Textile and Racing Museum located in Hohenstein-Ernstthal close to the circuit, which reopened its exhibition about the racing history of Sachsenring on Wednesday.
As the city of Hohenstein-Ernstthal also was known for its textile industry in the past authorities put the two biggest stories of the city together in the Museum.
The riders in attendance were the aforementioned Espargaro and Bradl, alongside Germans Jonas Folger, Sandro Cortese, Marcel Schrotter, Philip Oettl and Moto2 wildcard Nina Prinz.