MotoGP World Championship: Race Results From Sachsenring (Updated)

MotoGP World Championship: Race Results From Sachsenring (Updated)

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. by John Ulrich

2019 FIM MotoGP World Championship

Sachsenring, Germany

July 7, 2019

Race Results (all on Michelin tires):

1. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 30 laps, Total Race Time 41:08.276

2. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), -4.587 seconds

3. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), -7.741

4. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), -16.577

5. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), -16.669

6. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), -16.836

7. Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), -17.156

8. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), -19.110

9. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), -20.63

10. Stefan Bradl, Germany (Honda), -22.708

11. Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), -26.345

12. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), -26.574

13. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Aprilia), -32.753

14. Takaaki Nakagama, Japan (Honda), -32.925

15. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), -37.934

16. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KTM), -41.615

17. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), -56.189

18. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), -57.377

19. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), -2 laps, DNF, crash

20. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), -12 laps, DNF, crash

21. Johann Zarco, France (KTM), -28 laps, DNF, crash

22. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), -29 laps, DNF, crash 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Decade of dominance: Marquez makes it a perfect ten at the Sachsenring

The Championship leader reigns the Ring as the battle for the podium heats up

Sunday, 07 July 2019

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completed a decade of dominance at the Sachsenring in style in the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, attacking early to take the lead into Turn 1 and not looking back. That makes it ten wins in a row in Germany for the reigning Champion, all from pole, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) completing the podium. Marquez’ win for the seventh successive time in the premier class at the Sachsenring also equals Valentino Rossi’s record of premier class wins in a row at one venue, set in Mugello from 2002-2008.

Despite a bad start Marquez kept it pinned into Turn 1, the last of the late brakers able to emerge in the lead as Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) slipped back from second to sixth at the start; Viñales, Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Crutchlow all getting past the Frenchman. The first shot of drama would come from the Frenchman too as Quartararo’s race suddenly ended at Turn 3 on Lap 2, the rookie going to get back past Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci but the front washing away in his first ever premier class crash out of a race.

The battle at the front at that point was more a freight train, with Marquez conducting the pace from Viñales as Crutchlow and Rins demoted Miller down to fifth. The top four started to edge clear of the rest, but edging clear of everyone was King of the Ring Marquez as a 1:21.228 – a new lap record – on Lap 5 saw his lead creep up to just under a second. The man in second was Rins, and he was also stretching his advantage over Viñales and Crutchlow to the same distance, but Marquez was in the groove.

The seven-time Champion showed exactly why the Sachsenring is his playground, not powering away at a rapid rate but instead eking out a tenth here and there, his lead gradually increasing until he suddenly put the hammer down. Lap 10 saw Marquez go 0.4 faster than Rins as the gap rose above the two-second barrier. From then on, there was no stopping the now ten-time Sachsenring winner.

The battle for the second and third steps on the podium was heating up, however. Crutchlow was shadowing Viñales, who in turn was sitting a second back from Rins, with the gap remaining constant between the trio as we passed the mid-stage of the race. And the battle for fifth place was very much on as Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Petrucci were going head-to-head with fellow GP19 rider Miller, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro in a close fight for big points.

Nearer the front though, disaster then struck at the top of ‘The Waterfall’ for Rins. 0.9 clear of Viñales and Crutchlow, the Suzuki man suddenly skitted out at Ralf Waldmann corner for his second consecutive DNF. With the man on the chase down and out, it left Marquez with an unassailable 4.9 lead.

The last ten laps were just about controlling the gap for Marquez as he saw a 10th Sachsenring win appear ever closer, but who would finish second? Crutchlow had been attached to Viñales’ back wheel for some time to put the Spaniard under pressure and with two laps to go, the duo were separated by nothing. But the number 35 then had a scare at Turn 10; a warning sign that saw Crutchlow running wide and subsequently keeping it calmer to give up the chase. Just ahead, Marquez crossed the line to win his fifth race of 2019, the seventh consecutive year he’s won five or more races in a premier class season – a record that sees him surpass MotoGP™ Legend Giacomo Agostini and nine-time Champion Rossi, both of whom managed to do it for six straight years.

Viñales crossed the line to take his second straight podium, with Crutchlow getting his equal best result of the year in third and his first rostrum since Qatar GP. The Brit’s ride was even more impressive as he battled a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a small fracture to the top of his tibia this weekend following a cycling mishap. Behind the top trio, meanwhile, there were important points in the Championship to be decided just down the road.

Rossi had lost touch on the battle for fourth in the latter stages, and it was Mir vs the three Ducatis. With Marquez out in front, second in the Championship Dovizioso needed to limit the damage as much as possible but Petrucci wasn’t going to let his teammate have it all his own way. The Italians exchanged P4 at the bottom of ‘The Waterfall’ before Dovi went to get back past Petrucci into Turn 1 with three to go and they both ran wide; Miller diving up the inside of both. Dovizioso was aggressive though and attacked the Australian as the battle between the Ducatis went down to the wire, Petrucci leading them onto the last lap. The Mugello winner would ultimately hold fourth as the chequered flag came out, a terrific performance after his big crash in Q2, with Dovizioso producing another fine fight back to take P5 from P13 on the grid. Miller was forced to settle for a solid sixth.

Mir picked up his third consecutive top ten in seventh, a great ride from the rookie, with Rossi ending his run of three-straight DNFs with a P8 at the Sachsenring. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) finished ninth in Germany, the first time he’d raced in the premier class at the track after missing out last year, with Jorge Lorenzo’s replacement Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) grabbing his second top ten of the season in front of his home fans.

Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) put in a stunner to take P11 from last on the grid, ahead of a tougher race for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro. Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was 13th and top Aprilia after a crash for teammate Aleix Espargaro, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) riding through the pain barrier to P14. Karel Abraham (Reale Avintia Racing) completed the points.

The summer break is now upon us and Marquez will doubtless be the most relaxed after extending his lead once again. But next up is Brno and it’s a good venues for some key rivals…as well as a few weeks away, giving the likes of Quartararo time to come back swinging. Will the reign continue? The Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceské republiky will decide…

Marc Marquez: “My plan was try to lead from the beginning to the end, that was my mentality. For that reason the start wasn’t perfect but I took a lot of risk in the first corner, I braked so late and I was able to be in there and then the first two laps I was just cruising and trying to understand the limit of the track after the rain. Then when I saw the tyres were ready, I was ready and the bike was ready, then I started to attack. I started to do low 1:21s, that was my rhythm in the first ten laps, and apart from that, when I saw Rins was three seconds behind me, then I started to save the tyre and finish the race.”

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Syahrin and Oliveira show strong perseverance in Germany

The Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo of Hafizh Syahrin and Miguel Oliveira did their best in today’s 30 laps race at the Sachsenring, but were unfortunately not able to gain the laurels for their hard work.

After finishing the first lap in 19th, Syahrin was fighting hard towards the points scoring positions. Although he showed great determination, the Malaysian has to leave Germany with a 16th place, missing out on the points just narrowly.

Following a strong start from P20 on the grid, Oliveira was quickly up to 17th in the first lap. Unluckily he went down in turn three of the second lap, but picked up his bike again to continue the race bravely behind the rest of the field. While trying to catch up, the MotoGP rookie did the quickest race lap of all KTM’s with a 1:22.149 minutes.

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 16th

Championship: 25th

Points: 3

“The beginning of the race was really good, but after ten laps we had a very big drop. Still, I tried to keep the pace, but then we were dropping again, so it was impossible in the left corners to keep the grip. It was easy to spin and many times, I was sliding a lot. I couldn’t ride the bike comfortably and was fighting especially with the left side. I just continue working hard, even if we go into the summer break now. I hope my team and me can keep up the good work to see where we can still improve on the bike.”

Miguel Oliveira

Position: 18th

Championship: 18th

Points: 15

“It’s a sad finish of this weekend, because I think it was one of my strongest I had all season. I was very consistent in terms of race pace and also quite fast. It’s a shame that I did this mistake early in the race, because after the crash even with a broken winglet I was quite fast and I had the pace to be inside the top 10. It is frustrating, but the most important is, that after the crash we picked up the bike and continued the race, which was very important for me in order to get information for the team and to learn from this, also to keep working hard to be fast again in Brno. Now we have this small break and we will for sure come back even stronger in Czech Republic because each time we understand the bike more and I’m getting better myself, too. We will see, and we will continue to work hard.”

Hervé Poncharal

Team Manager

“This has been a very frustrating last round before the summer break for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team. We knew with Miguel we had a very strong pace, we did a great FP3 and an even better FP4. Unfortunately, one more time, we didn’t qualify well enough and I think that is something we have to work on very much for the second part of the season. Clearly, the start was quite good from Miguel, average for Hafizh. Miguel was in the good group and unfortunately, although he is a rider that very, very rarely does a mistake, he did one and that was a costly mistake at the wrong moment. He was brave to pick up the bike, back on track with a broken winglet on the right side and completely bent brake lever. Even though, he pushed and was doing impressive lap times with the bike quite damaged. What is leaving us even more sad is the fact, that this pace would have been good enough for the top 10 or even the top 8, which means for the best result of the season so far. Of course, it would have been great to leave on holidays with that result. We know we can, but we need to make it and prove it on paper. This is a pity, but I just want to say ‘Good job, Miguel! Thank you for staying on track, thank you for pushing and this is something that for sure will make you a better MotoGP rider and I’m sure you learned quite a lot today!’ On the other side, I don’t know what to say, because the Qualifying position was a bit better for Hafizh than Miguel. The start was, as I said earlier, not ideal, but anyway, he passed a few guys ahead of him and was 15th, so we were quite happy when he was fighting with Nakagami in front. We thought that could be at least one of the guys finishing in the points and having a bit of positive feeling before the end of this first part of the season. Unfortunately, we saw his pace dropping dramatically, many riders passed him. I can’t explain it, because it looks like the same scenario every weekend; at the end of the race, there is no grip, much sliding, no pace. That was in Assen, but then we got the carbon swingarm, which is supposed to be better. Clearly, the tyre wear is more than Miguel, who has been a lot faster than his teammate today. So, maybe there is also something to understand about how to handle the bike, how to set it up and how to ride it. But I am disappointed with that result, because I’m sure today Hafizh had the possibility to score a point or two, minimum and we didn’t do it, which is a shame. Still I wish everybody a great break and hopefully we can start on a good base in Czech Republic for the second part of the year.”

More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:

Top ten for Morbidelli but heart-break for Quartararo at German GP

Franco Morbidelli comes home in ninth place but heart-break for Fabio Quartararo as he crashes out

German GP – 07 July 2019

Franco Morbidelli has taken a competitive top ten finish for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team at the German Grand Prix, dicing for the podium in the early stages before coming home in ninth. However, it was heart-break for Fabio Quartararo, falling out of the fight for the podium in the opening stages of the race.

With different track conditions from qualifying after overnight rain, the Italian-Brazilian was forced to play it safe in the race, conserving his tyres to take home valuable championship points. Despite the change in grip, Morbidelli was able to manage his race well to ensure that he kept a gap to the group behind and score his fifth top ten of the season.

Quartararo looked set for another strong race after qualifying on the front row, but the Frenchman was unable to realise his potential after an unfortunate early fall. Hampered by other riders as he jockeyed for position, he became one of many riders to make a small mistake at turn three. Walking away uninjured, he will go into the summer break hoping to come back stronger.

The championship now heads into its summer break, returning to action at the Czech Grand Prix. Action at the Brno circuit gets underway from 2-4 August.

Franco Morbidelli

“It was a strange race for me. I was in the big group stretching from fourth back, but I couldn’t attack and had to stay behind. I tried to manage the tyres, but even then they dropped off a little and I lost my position within the group. We came home in the top ten, but the feeling in the race was completely different from practice. Now we’ve got time to relax and study everything, and we can start where we left off in Brno with some new ideas.”

Fabio Quartararo

“I made a small mistake; I was trying to overtake another rider and I hesitated a little about whether or not to do it and ended up going into the corner with too much speed and lean angle. It’s the first mistake I’ve made in a race, and I’ll learn from it and come back stronger. The first half of the season has been really positive – we didn’t expect some poles and podiums. I’m happy with the balance of the year so far and really looking forward to the second half.”

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

SATISFACTION AND REGRETS FOR APRILIA IN THE GERMAN RACE

ALEIX CRASHES ON THE PENULTIMATE LAP AFTER AN OUTSTANDING RACE WITH THE GROUP BATTLING FOR FOURTH TO TENTH PLACE

ANDREA MAKES ANOTHER STEP FORWARD GETTING TO KNOW HIS RS-GP AND FINISHES IN THE POINTS AGAIN

With an outstanding race, Aleix Espargaró rode his Aprilia where he would like to be consistently in this 2019 season, namely with the group battling for the positions between fourth and tenth place. After pulling away from his brother Pol in the early stages of the race, he stayed with the group that included Dovizioso, Mir, Miller, Petrucci, Rossi and Morbidelli. In the finale, in a great duel with Morbidelli, he moved into ninth place, but at the start of the penultimate lap, he crashed out on turn one, nullifying the result in terms of points, but certainly not negating the positive sensations of the weekend.

Andrea Iannone confirmed his growth trend that began at the Barcelona race. After struggling in the early stages, he gradually gained confidence, lapping with times that were more and more like those farther ahead. He finished in the points here as well, overtaking Nakagami right at the end for thirteenth place.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’

“We were finally competitive. I’m sorry for the team and for all those who work on this project. When you end a race with a crash, you are usually angry about it, but today I am pleased because we were able to stay with the group where we want to be battling, from fourth to tenth place. I had a good start. I didn’t have great grip on the rear, but I was very strong in braking and I managed to stay up with Rossi. When he overtook Morbidelli, I struggled to do the same and I got a bit frustrated. When I got past him and tried to close the gap, I made a small mistake on turn 1 and crashed. We are not in the fight for the title, so when I saw the chance to take eighth, I went for it. It’s a pity about how it ended, but I am very pleased about how we did this weekend.”

ANDREA IANNONE

“We are headed into the summer break on an upward trend. From Barcelona on, we took a small step and we need to pick up from here for the second half of the season. It was not an easy race today. I struggled with fresh tyres, but as the laps went by, I began to improve. We are taking some points home, but more than anything, I have more confidence in the saddle. We are able to understand the RS-GP better and we are very clear about which points we need to work on. I hope that the guys at home are able to get something new ready already for Brno. Our goal from here on is to battle consistently for the top 10.”

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

King of the Ring – Marquez makes it a perfect ten in Germany

Perfect strategy saw Marc Marquez continue his perfect pole to victory record at the GermanGP as Bradl achieved his goal of the top ten.

A gloomy start to proceedings at the German GP didn’t deter local fans who filled the grandstands of the Sachsenring from the early hours. Mixed conditions for morning Warm Up limited running time, but Marc Marquez was able to top the session with teammate Stefan Bradl ending a strong fifth.

With a characteristically strong start, Marquez led through Turn One as the lights went out for the 30-lap German GP. Back-to-back race lap records on lap four and five, a 1’21.228 on lap five his fastest lap, signaled that Marquez was not interested in a battling victory, the new race lap record helping him to stretch his lead to over half a second. From here there was no looking back as the reigning World Champion steadily built his lead to cross the line 4.5 seconds clear of second place for the 75th victory of his Grand Prix career and his 49th win in the premier class.

The victory is Marquez’s tenth straight win at the Sachsenring, a level of domination no other rider has achieved in the modern era. Today’s victory is Marquez’s seventh visit to the top step of the podium in the premier class at the German track, equalling Valentino Rossi’s record of straight wins at Mugello.

Stefan Bradl was author to a consistent race, lapping steadily in the mid 1’22s as he chased the group battling for the top ten throughout. The home rider took 11th place from Pol Espargaro late in the race and moved into tenth place soon after. This completed a successful weekend for Bradl, who replaced the injured Jorge Lorenzo, with the German and the Repsol Honda Team abele to achieve all of their main targets for the weekend.

Cal Crutchlow made it two Honda RC213V machines on the podium with a well-earned third place.

Marquez now heads into the summer break with 185 World Championship points, 58 ahead of second placed Dovizioso. The win also increases Honda’s lead in the Constructor Championship to 34 points over Ducati.

The MotoGP World Championship now enjoys a brief summer break before racing returns at the Czech GP, August 02 – 04.

Marc Marquez

1ST

“It was a perfect strategy. But I didn’t have a perfect start as I ran a little deep at Turn One. After that my plan was two slow laps to warm the front tyre well and then push, and it’s exactly what I did. Step by step I opened the gap and followed the plan as I needed to. Once the gap was at three seconds I stayed there and saved the tyre and enjoyed riding. It’s a great feeling to win here again and to enter the summer break in this way. Congratulations also to my brother for his win today, it’s always really nice to win together! I want to say thank you to the Repsol Honda Team for their work in this race and the first half of the season.”

Stefan Bradl

10TH

”All weekend I was able to really enjoy riding and working with the team. Not many people are able to ride in Repsol Honda colours at home so it was a very special weekend for me and I enjoyed every moment. A big thank you to the team as they were incredibly welcoming and we were able to work extremely well together. Our approach in the race was good, maybe if I had been a little more aggressive in the opening laps I could have stayed with the group in front better and been stronger but still, a top ten was my target. I was able to be consistent and achieve what we set out to do for myself, the team and HRC.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

German Grand Prix: strong comeback by Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso respectively fourth and fifth on the finish line

The Ducati Team took it back to the track today at Sachsenring for the German Grand Prix. After a semi-wet warm-up session due to scattered rain showers overnight and early in the morning, the race was held in completely dry conditions with temperatures around 20 degrees in the atmosphere and 30 on the tarmac. Starting from 12th and 13th position respectively after a difficult qualifying session, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso made a strong comeback to finish in fourth and fifth position respectively.

Thanks to a strong start, Petrucci and Dovizioso took sixth and seventh position during the second lap within a group of seven riders separated by only 1.5 seconds, then climbed to fourth and fifth respectively by the half-way point. Engaging in a spectacular and clean battle in the final laps, Petrucci and Dovizioso passed the finish line just 92 thousandths of a second apart.

After nine rounds, Dovizioso holds second position in the Riders standings with 127 points while Petrucci, third with 121 points, increases the gap from fourth. Ducati is second among Manufacturers with 157 points, while the Ducati Team leads the Team rankings with 248 points.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 4th

“Today we did our best, making a strong comeback to finish fourth and take home important points for the championship. It’s been a complicated weekend, but fortunately yesterday’s crash didn’t particularly compromise our performance during the race. I was able to get off to a strong start from twelfth place on the grid and I immediately recovered some positions, then I simply tried to manage the rear tyre in the best way possible. It wasn’t easy to hold off the other riders of the pack, and once again I had a fun battle with Andrea and Jack. The only negative note is the gap from the winner, but I think we achieved the best possible result today. Now we’ll take a small break, during which we’ll work hard to be even more competitive by the time we’re back in action and make up ground in the championship.”

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 5th

“Today we had another exciting battle with Danilo for almost the entire race and claimed fifth position in a sprint to the finish line to bring home important points in one of the most difficult tracks for us, which is undoubtedly positive. However, we couldn’t have done more during the race and the gap shows how we still need to improve under some aspects to be able to fight at the front in each situation. We’re still second in the championship despite the bad luck we had in Barcelona and the issues we encountered in the last couple of races. For sure we won’t give up and we’ll try to put this short break to good use and find some new solutions to be more competitive, starting from next round at Brno.”

The Ducati Team will be back in action at Brno (Czech Republic) for the tenth round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for August 2-4.

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:

CRUTCHLOW ON THE PODIUM IN GERMANY

Cal Crutchlow produced a superb ride to finish on the podium at the German Grand Prix. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider was involved in an entertaining battle with Maverick Vinales throughout Sunday’s race at the Sachsenring and, although he was unable to get past the Yamaha man, he still claimed third position to secure his first podium since the opening round of the season in Qatar.

Crutchlow made a good start, climbing a place into fifth and would then benefit from both Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins crashing out ahead of him. The Briton applied heavy pressure to Vinales as the battle for second spot heated up in the closing stages, but eventually had to settle for third after a mistake on the penultimate lap saw him lose ground on his rival.

Cal Crutchlow – 3rd

“First of all, it’s great to be on the podium at the HJC Grand Prix, the team did a fantastic job. We worked all weekend on what we thought would be a race pace. Yesterday I did around the 28 lap mark a 22.7 and that’s exactly what I did on the 28th lap today. Everybody was shocked when my pace was that, but I thought that would be the pace in the race and it was. The track condition was not great, in the middle of the race I had a bit better pace than Maverick (Vinales), but once (Alex) Rins crashed I thought I’m on the podium anyway and we had nine seconds to the guys behind and the gap was going up every lap. I planned to attack with five laps to go, but the wind was so strong that my eyes were streaming with water, so I tried to blink it out and he (Vinales) got a bit of a gap. I came again, but then with two laps to go I made a big mistake in turn 10 and lost the rear of the bike. So after that I said Maverick could have it, I’m very happy with the podium today, the team and Honda have worked very, very hard and we deserve it.”

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

BRAVE TAKA FINISHES IN THE POINTS AT SACHSENRING

Takaaki Nakagami again demonstrated his courage as he fought hard to finish in the points at the German Grand Prix on Sunday. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider was hampered all weekend by a painful injury to his left ankle which he sustained in a crash with Valentino Rossi at Assen. But the Japanese star managed to complete the 30-lap race at the Sachsenring and finished in a creditable 14th position.

Having qualified in a superb tenth position despite being unable to walk, Taka was given painkilling injections ahead of the start. He then maintained his concentration throughout to ensure he saw the chequered flag, despite suffering with rear grip issues in the closing stages. The 27-year-old admitted afterwards he is now looking forward to resting his battered body.

Takaaki Nakagami – 14th

“It was a really tough day, like yesterday. The situation is that my whole body was getting worse not better so unfortunately it was a difficult two days. But yesterday was good, we did really well considering my condition. During the warm-up, the doctor gave me some injections to help with the pain which helped a bit. During the race there was a lot of pain and it was difficult. Over the last eight laps I had lack of grip on the rear and I had to slow down, but we scored a few points and that’s quite positive. Now we have three weeks off and tomorrow I’m going back to Japan so I will have time to rest, especially my left foot. We have time, so I will try to recover soon and I’m really looking forward to working with the team in the second part of the season.”

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM:

12TH PLACE FOR ESPARGARO AT TRICKY GERMAN MOTOGP

MotoGP 2019 Round 9 of 19, Sachsenring (GER) – RACE

The HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland saw Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro score 12th position in front of more than 91,000 fans at the Sachsenring as Johann Zarco slid out early into the ninth round of nineteen and the last event before the summer hiatus.

The second MotoGP fixture in a week meant a demanding and technically difficult outing at the Sachsenring in Germany: an anticlockwise layout with a short lap-time. The event was typically busy in what is a popular area of Europe for motorcycle racing and conditions were warm and partially cloudy.

Pol Espargaro started the Grand Prix from 8th position and his second highest grid slot of the season so far. A small technical issue hindered the Spaniard from the off but Espargaro was soon fighting on the edge of the top ten. The former Moto2 world champion was chasing his brother Aleix by the mid-race point but then struggled with rear grip and elected to bring his KTM RC16 in a safe 12th.

Johann Zarco set off from 19th place and battling the effects of a virus. The Frenchman’s race lasted just over two laps as he slid into the gravel at Turn 3.

Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira launched his KTM RC16 from the rear of the grid and, unfortunately, was also a victim of Turn 3. The Portuguese was able to remount however and even though he could not get back into the points he logged a series of impressive lap-times, including the fastest circulation by any of the KTM riders. Hafizh Syahrin who gained points for the second time in 2019 with 15th last week in Assen, just missed out again on the top fifteen as the Malaysian came across the finish line in 16th.

Pol Espargaro: “The start was not amazing – we had a small electronic problem – but the first half of the race was OK and I was fighting with some other riders. I was trying to keep the tyre but towards the end it was finished and I was really disappointed to suffer such a big drop on the rear. I could not ride or do anything because there was so much spin. We tried our best today. Now it is time to relax a little bit and then go hard again in the Czech Republic.”

Johann Zarco: “My start was quite correct but there was a lot of sliding in the cooler conditions. I was expecting this and tried to keep consistent and limit the mistakes but in Turn 3 I came into the corner – maybe with too much lean – and lost the front. It’s a shame because I was in the points and that was the target. I know what I will do during the summer break and I am motivated to work and come back stronger in the Czech Republic.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “The beginning of the race was really good but after ten laps we had a very big drop. I tried to keep the pace but it was impossible in the left corners to keep the grip. It was easy to spin and many times, I was sliding a lot. I couldn’t ride the bike comfortably and was fighting especially with the left side. I just continue working hard, even if we go into the summer break now.”

Miguel Oliveira: “It’s a sad finish this weekend because I think it was one of my strongest I had all season. I was very consistent in terms of race pace and also quite fast. It’s a shame that I made this mistake early in the race because after the crash even with a broken winglet I was quite fast and I had the pace to be inside the top 10. It is frustrating, but the most important is, that after the crash we picked up the bike and continued the race, which was very important for me in order to get information for the team and to learn from this, also to keep working hard to be fast again in Brno.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “The weekend was not so good because we are at a point where 12th position does not make us happy any more. Pol had a lot of issues in the race with the tyres and the bike. He could stay with the group in the first half of the race but then the lap-times dropped dramatically. It was not what we expected. The crash from Johann so early was not good for him or for us. Miguel also had a slide but afterwards his pace and lap-times were great. At least we can look at a top ten position in the championship for the summer break and now Dani [Pedrosa] and Mika [Kallio] will do some tests for us. We’ll analyse the last GPs because we’ve had some really good ones. Difficult races like today often mean you learn even more. The company will not stop working or pushing and we will come back stronger after the break.”

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

VIÑALES SPEEDS TO SECOND IN SACHSENRING RACE AS ROSSI TAKES EIGHTH

Sachsenring (German), 7th July 2019

GRAND PRIX OF GERMANY

RACE

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales delivered a cool-headed performance today, not giving in to the pressure of a stalking rival, and took a well-deserved second place at the Sachsenring. Rossi spent most of the race in a group battling for fourth position but wasn‘t able to make strides. He ended the race in eighth.

2nd MAVERICK VIÑALES +4.587 / 30 LAPS

8th VALENTINO ROSSI +19.110 / 30 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales showed his mental strength at the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland today. He had Cal Crutchlow breathing down his neck for half of the race, trying to steal second place from him, but the Spaniard held firm, taking his second consecutive podium. Rossi tagged onto the back of the group fighting for fourth place but struggled to get in the midst of the action. He finished the race in eighth.

Viñales had a good start from third and slotted into second in the first corner. He was going all out in the early laps, as he didn‘t want to let Marc Marquez out of his sight, but tyre management was also crucial. When Álex Rins passed the Yamaha rider on lap four, the latter cleverly stuck to his rival but did not make a move, to ensure the pair of them wouldn‘t lose any valuable time.

However, the number-12 rider was unable to keep up with the low 1‘21s-lap pace and soon needed to shift his attention to keeping Crutchlow at bay. With Rins crashing out in lap 19, it turned into a battle for second. The Factory Yamaha man did a stellar job and, after withstanding the pressure for 15 laps, his superb concentration and consistency broke the Brit in the last lap. A small mistake from his rival finally gave Viñales some breathing space to bring his YZR-M1 over the finish line in second place, 4.587s from first.

It was a difficult race for Rossi. Starting from 11th on the grid, he lost one place in the first few corners. However, some early crashers in the opening laps meant he was soon back up to ninth as he picked off Pol Espargaró.

The Doctor maintained this position for a long time in a group of seven riders battling for fifth place, but he wasn‘t quite able to get into the mix of the action. With 14 laps remaining he had to let Joan Mir pass, but as Rins crashed out of the leading group the Italian was soon back up to ninth again. Despite having to contend with tyre degradation in the final stages of the race, he overtook Franco Morbidelli with 9 laps to go and was eager to join the now fight for fourth, but a mistake, with four laps remaining, cost him a couple of tenths. He tried to have another go, but ultimately had to settle for eighth place, 19.110s from the top.

Today’s second place means Viñales moves up to fifth in the championship standings with a 100-point gap to first, one position ahead of Rossi, with a 105-point deficit. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stays in third in the team classification.

Viñales and Rossi will now enjoy a three-week summer break, before they start the second half of the MotoGP World Championship with the Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceské republiky, held at the Automotodrom Brno from August 2-4.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

“We already predicted yesterday that managing the rear tyre would be key in today‘s race, and that was indeed the case. Maverick had shown good pace here all weekend, so we knew the tyres were performing well, but managing the degradation over the whole length of the race is challenging, especially when under pressure from a chasing rider, like Mack was today. He did a fantastic job. He was very consistent and precise, so this second place is well-deserved. Vale used the medium rear tyre, but it didn’t behave like we predicted. We had expected a better consistency, especially in the second part of the race, but it didn’t keep up its performance level. Because of this Vale wasn’t able to attack at the end of the race. We now have a three-week break which we will use to recharge before we head to Brno, where we will have some things that our riders can try during the test.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“We discovered quite early this weekend that second place might be the best we could do here, so with that in mind we achieved the objective. For us it’s really good, second is my best result here. I started well, I did a good first few laps. This result means a lot, it prepares me for Brno. I’m really happy, we understand the way to go. Yamaha is working in a good way, and I know our strong and weak points. It’s good that we have a summer break to improve the bike and improve myself. The tyre choice was very difficult, I took a gamble with the hard because I worked most of the time with this tyre. It was on the limit if I could or could not finish the race, and I said to myself ‘If I need to slow down in the last ten laps, I will, but I will be at the front’. I’m very pleased for Yamaha, it’s very important to get a consecutive first and second place. I saw Cal on my pit board the whole time and for about fifteen laps I closed every door. I worked very hard on making sure he couldn’t overtake me, because I knew if he did, he would go. Luckily I was second, so I’m very pleased and happy. I can’t wait for Brno to try out the new things and see if we take a step.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

“I‘m not satisfied because it was a difficult race, I suffered a lot. First of all, we used the medium rear tyre because Michelin said to us that it would be impossible to race with the hard, but I had a lot of sliding and not enough grip, so this was the first problem. The bigger problem was that in Assen in the race I felt strong, so here we tried to confirm it, but in reality I wasn‘t very fast, I didn‘t feel good with the bike. This is a difficult moment, because the last time when we were here, at this part of the championship, I was very competitive. From Le Mans to Sachsenring I did some good races. This year it‘s been a lot more difficult, so we need to get a better understanding, because I don‘t have a great feeling with the bike and I‘m not as fast as we want.”

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

#GermanGP RACE. Solid race for Jack (P6) on vacation as first Independent Rider. Pecco (P17) started off well but made a mistake on lap 8.

At the end of an intense and action-packed race, Jack took sixth place, which allowed him to return to the top of the ranking of Independent Rider. Pecco started well but on lap 8 made a mistake going off the track and was forced to finish the race in P17.

Miller starts out great from fifth position and after the first corner, he is already third. He fights with Rins and Crutchlow until lap 10 then is overtaken by Petrucci and Dovizioso. The Australian’s pace is incisive and allows him to stay with the group. On lap 25 Jack attacks and overtakes Petrucci for the fifth position, then finishing with a precious sixth place.

Pecco starts from the seventeenth position and on lap 6 attacks Nakagami. A mistake in the following lap forces him to finish in P17.

P17 – Pecco Bagnaia

It was a very particular weekend. I had to skip the FP2 for the FP1 crash and my physical condition was not at its best. Saturday’s practice was positive and even in the warm-up there was confidence. I didn’t expect to struggle so hard in the race. I can’t wait to be in Brno.

P6 – Jack Miller

To be honest, I thought I could do better. I had the pace to attack the two official Ducati on the last lap but in the end, I preferred not to make mistakes and take home important points that allow me to go on holiday as the first Independent rider.

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

STRONG 7TH PLACE FOR MIR, WHILE RINS SUFFERS A DNF

Joan Mir: 7th (+ 17.156)

Alex Rins: DNF

• Joan Mir secures strong finish with 7th place.

•Alex Rins crashes out of ‘safe’ 2nd place.

•Team head to the summer break in reflective mood.

The German GP, the final round before this year’s summer break, brought a tough race for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR following a very promising Friday and Saturday.

Both riders chose the medium-hard tyre combination for the demanding 30 lap race, and both got away from the line in good shape. Rins quickly slotted into the lead group with 4th place, while Mir placed himself in a pacy 10th.

As Marquez began to pull away at the front, Rins wasted no time in making his move into 2nd place, setting the fastest lap, and aiming to keep his rival as close as possible. Alex then settled into a strong rhythm to hold a ‘safe’ second position for a large portion of the race. Unfortunately, with 11 laps to go, Alex suffered a quick crash and was unable to rejoin the race. Luckily he did not pick up any injuries.

MotoGP rookie, Joan Mir, was feeling comfortable in his fast and experienced second group. A small mistake set him back for a couple of laps, but he was ready to fight again towards the end of the race. Mir had 4th place in his sights as he battled with the three Ducatis ahead of him, and he held 5th place for a number of laps. However, as the chequered flag flew, he had dropped to a respectable 7th place.

Coming into the summer break, Rins holds 4th place in the championship standings with 101 points. Mir is 13th with 39 points.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“It was such a shame that Alex had a crash here, because both times I think we would have been on the podium. But we’ll fight back after the summer break. Joan did a great battle with those in his group and he is continuing to improve all the time. We wanted to have a great weekend in honour of Ito-san [Mitsuo Ito, former Suzuki racer and TT winner who has died last Wednesday – ndr], and it didn’t work out quite as we’d hoped, but we’re really looking forward to coming back in Brno.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“It was a pity for Alex that he crashed, because he was in a good position and he had space around him, therefore we missed a chance for another good result. But these things happen. Joan did a really good race, he was faster than his group at times, but it’s difficult to overtake here in Sachsenring. Anyway, it was great for him to be around much more experienced riders, and battle with them. We’re looking forward to the second half of the season, we’re competitive and we can try to go for good results. We’ll do our best.”

Joan Mir:

“It was really nice to fight for top positions in a quick group, but I made some mistakes and I had to recover some places, which cost me a bit. Anyway, I’m happy with my performance and my pace, it was difficult to pass the other riders in front of me, but I gave it my best shot and I could bring home seventh. Now it’s time for a little break with my family, and then I’ll start preparing for part two!”

Alex Rins:

“I lost a podium today. My feeling with the bike was really nice and I tried to get into second place as soon as possible because I felt that my rhythm was strong. Unfortunately, I lost the front on a fast right-hander, I entered into it just a couple of kilometres per hour faster than usual, and that’s why I crashed. It’s a shame because it’s my second DNF in a row, but I still feel positive because my pace has been good recently and I know I can get good results again when we come back after the break.”

More, from a press release issued by Michelin:

MICHELIN AND MARQUEZ MAKE RECORDS AT THE ‘RING’ AS ELECTRIC BIKES PREMIERE

2019 09 GP Germany 00076

Michelin and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) have graced the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland with outright- and race-lap records during this weekend’s MotoGP™ event from Sachsenring with Marquez taking his 10th win in succession at the German circuit.

Starting from pole on the grid after breaking the outright lap-record twice in Saturday’s qualifying using the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres, Marquez got a good start on a track that he has been so dominant at in recent years. With a pairing of a hard front slick and a medium rear, he pushed from the start setting fast laps in the early stages, which saw him break the lap-record on the fourth circulation and then improve on that time on the next lap. He continued to strengthen his lead as the 30-lap race progressed, before taking the chequered flag to record his 10th consecutive victory across all classes here at Sachsenring, to add to his 10 successive pole positions.

Behind Marquez the battle raged for the other positions as the field employed five of the six compounds available to them. Warm and sunny weather on Friday and Saturday had given way to overnight rain which led to cooler and overcast conditions today, and with track temperature at 32°C at the start, many riders changed their initial tyre selections on the grid, ably assisted by their respective Michelin Technicians to give them the best possible performance from what was now greasy asphalt, with less grip than the previous days. A trackside crowd of 91,131 saw Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) follow up his victory last time out at Assen, with a second place on his Yamaha M1 fitted with a medium front and hard rear and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) took the position of First Independent Rider as he came home third using a pairing of MICHELIN Power Slicks the same as Marquez. Fourth place went all the way to the line as Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) just held off his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) as the group took fourth to eighth respectively. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was a close ninth and replacement rider Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) – deputising for the injured Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) – finished tenth. Marquez’s fifth victory of the season saw him increase his championship lead to 58 points.

Sachsenring also had the honour today of staging the very first FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup race. This all-new single-make series sees 18 racers compete on identical electric ‘Energica Ego Corsa’ motorcycles, all shod with Michelin tyres. Following yesterday’s E-Pole – where riders get one flying lap to set the fastest time to decide grid positions – Niki Tuuli (AJO MotoE) took pole position for today’s eight-lap race. The overnight rain meant the race was declared wet and reduced to seven laps, but it had dried enough for all riders to equip their bikes with the specially designed MICHELIN Slick MotoE tyres, which are supplied in just one compound for the whole weekend, with a medium front and soft rear being this weekend’s allocation. As the lights went out to signal the start, Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) took an early lead, but was then overtaken by Tuuli as the Finnish rider set a number of fastest laps. The race was shaping up to an exciting climax, but a rider crashed at turn eight causing a safety air-fence to deflate and a result was declared after five completed laps. Tulli took the victory with Smith second and a hard charging Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing the podium. The next round of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will be at Spielberg in Austria next month.

Michelin will now return to France to assess the results and performance of the tyres from the first-half of the season, as MotoGP takes a three-week sabbatical before resuming the championship at Brno in the Czech Republic on Sunday 4th August.

Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:

“Today the tyres were one of the most important things of the weekend, like every weekend, but especially today though! I was convinced about using the hard rear, but we checked the pace from FP4 and from warm-up and then on the grid we changed to the medium. This was our final decision, but we played our cards close to our chests because we knew that the opponents were a little bit confused about which tyre to use and we chose the correct option. This was one of those races where you cannot push at 100% from the beginning to the end, so it was very nice to manage the tyres and the slides and good to see how the bike is changing, we definitely did a great job.”

Niki Tuuli – AJO MotoE:

“Today the weather wasn’t the best, but yesterday and Friday the tyres were really good in the warmer weather. I never had any problems with the front, no slides or chatter or anything. Today in the race I didn’t push as much because of the conditions, but the tyres stayed consistent and the grip was the same for the whole race. I never felt like I would lose any grip and the front is unbelievable, I don’t know where the limit is, because it is so good.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“This weekend has been quite difficult to predict as it has been hard to understand what the weather was going to do and how the track was going to behave. Friday it was quite abrasive, but we still saw some fast times as the riders tested all six compounds, then on Saturday the grip levels improved and the lap-times reduced further, as we saw in Qualifying when Marc set a new outright record. Last night’s rain made conditions difficult and tyre decisions were made at the last moment, five options were taken, so again it shows we are making a range that can all be used. The race saw our rubber help Marc to set a new lap-record and we were pleased with the overall performance throughout the field.

“The first MotoE race was a very exciting affair and showed how close the racing can be. All the testing and preparation we have done to supply specific tyres for these machines came to fruition today, as they were used in a racing situation for the first time. There was lots of overtaking through the field and this showed the riders had the confidence to push on the MICHELIN Slick MotoE tyres. Congratulations to Niki Tuuli for taking the first MotoE victory and to all the other riders for putting on a show in some tricky conditions. Michelin was pleased to be a part of this project from the beginning and today was an historic moment with the first all-electric race at a MotoGP event. Energica and Enel have done a great job to deliver racing motorcycles which are more economical and more environmentally friendly for all, and Michelin has relished this new challenge as a technical partner in a project to provide sustainable mobility and one which has given us an opportunity to show what can be achieved for the potential future of motorcycle racing.

“We now have three-weeks away from the track, but the team will continue to work and we will be ready when we come back for Brno, which will not only see a race weekend, but also a one-day test on the Monday where we will continue to evaluate tyres for 2020, before we then head straight to Austria for a race the following weekend.”

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