Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Secures Ninth Consecutive Podium in Sachsenring Showdown
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi fought hard today to take a well-deserved third place at a slightly overcast Sachsenring. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo gave his all in an intense battle between the top riders to finish fourth.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi did a perfect job to extend his championship lead, scoring a strong third place at today's Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo also gave the German race fans their money's worth with some thrilling racing action and ended the day in fourth.
Rossi started the German GP from sixth and quickly moved up to fifth. The Italian needed a little time to overtake Andrea Iannone, but succeeded as he completed the first lap and then set his sights on Dani Pedrosa. Rossi picked up his pace by temporarily signing a new lap record to his name, but received a stern warning when his rear wheel snaked.
The Italian did well to hold on to the bike but didn't let it slow him down. Instead he set another fastest time on lap four and slipped past Dani Pedrosa one lap later. Rossi slotted in behind teammate Lorenzo and briefly took second in turn 12, but he had to give back the position at the next corner. It took the championship leader another lap to overtake his teammate and make it stick, before he could focus on reeling in Marquez, but the Spaniard had already pulled away too much.
Meanwhile Pedrosa started closing in. Rossi kept him at bay for six laps before he was pushed back to third on lap 17. Rossi did all he could to stay in contention for second place, but with four laps to go the distance between himself and Pedrosa had become too big to bridge. Rossi realized his ninth podium finish of the season in third place, 5.608s from first place.
Teammate Lorenzo rocketed off the grid and surprised both fans and his competitors with his trademark 'Por Fuera' (on the outside) overtaking move to take over the lead. He pushed hard at the start of the race to extend his advantage, but was closely followed by Marquez. Four laps into the race the order shifted, Marquez moved ahead with 26 laps to go, forcing Lorenzo to endure pressure off teammate Rossi, who was on the back of his rear wheel.
He held off an attack from Rossi in turn 12 two laps later, taking him back in the very next corner, but by lap seven he had to return the position. Lorenzo kept his head down, in an effort to hold off Pedrosa, but he had to relinquish his podium hopes on lap 14 when he dropped back to fourth, which he held over the line after a lonely ride, 9.928s from the front.
Rossi's third place keeps him in first position in the world standings with 179 points, 13 points ahead of teammate Lorenzo, with 166 points, who stays in second place with a 48 points gap to his closest rival.
MotoGP will be taking a four week summer break before continuing the season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the 9th of August.
3rd / +5.608 / 30 laps
"First of all, the podium is always good, but you always want to arrive better than third. For this weekend I think third was the maximum we could reach, because Marquez was stronger than us. The important thing was to arrive in front of Jorge for the championship. I think we did a very good race, because we worked very well and from the warm up to the race my bike was good and I could push a lot. It may only be three points more that we scored, but it's still another podium and I extended the lead a little bit. The perfect way to describe the race is that "I tried to beat Dani". I tried, but on the last laps he was too fast for me. However it was also good for me, because he allowed me to get away from Jorge, just his slipstream helped me a lot. I tried to stay with Pedrosa for ten laps, because I knew that it was key on gaining some time on Jorge. Today's third place is crucial because Jorge arrived here with four victories in a row, where he gained 28 points, so it was a very important win in Assen and also to arrive in front of him here, so we extend the lead to 13 points. Now I need two weeks off, because I have worked very hard for this championship. I haven't had a holiday since the beginning of February. It's been all work; going to the gym, ride the motorbike, train. Now it's time to relax."
4th / +9.928 / 30 laps
"At a difficult track for rear grip I could still ride some good lap times and be in first position. In the end, the only good thing was my good start and that, after a bad race, we only lost three points. When I started losing the rear and I had a lot of problems picking up the bike with good drive and on braking the rear didn't support the front enough to stop the bike and I had to start braking earlier and earlier. This made it very difficult to keep up the pace. I regret not trying a shorter bike in the warm up, that would probably have given me more traction and grip on the rear. Now it's too late, but as I said, we lost only three points and that's not so bad for the championship."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We knew that Sachsenring was going to be a tough race, however the target was to take as many points as possible as always. Both riders made a good race today, and did everything they could to secure important points for the championship. Valentino fought his hardest to hold on to the podium spot, the position was well deserved. Jorge started the race really strongly, and did everything he could to keep the front runners as close as possible when he knew a podium wasn't possible. After a long first half of the season with fantastic results and victories and so much hard work by the team and riders we are going to have a well-deserved break, and we will be back to continue our title fight in a few weeks time at Indianapolis."
Smith concludes first half of 2015 with another top six finish
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith guided his Yamaha YZR-M1 to another superb 6th position at the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland in front of a crowd of more than 211,000 people. The young British rider began the race from the rear of the third row and leapt forward as the lights turned to green to close the first lap in 7th place. He brilliantly overhauled Yonny Hernandez on the 7th lap to claim 6th and then set into his fast race pace whilst trying to force a gap between himself and the chasing Cal Crutchlow. Smith's consistency and rapid rhythm saw him open up a considerable distance to his championship rival and ultimately, he crossed the finish line with over six and a half seconds to Crutchlow. This marks the British rider equalling Andrea Dovizioso in 5th place in the championship with 87 points and also sees him as the victor in the satellite battle in Germany.
Meanwhile on the opposite side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 pit box, Pol Espargaro completed a demanding 30 lap battle at the tight Sachsenring track in 8th place. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion shot forward as the race began and completed the opening lap in his grid position which was 8th. As the race distance progressed, the Spaniard slipped backwards and by lap 11 he was running in 12th. Yet, he remained fully focused and then embarked on a recovery mission and on lap 15 he brilliantly dived on the inside of Aleix Espargaro to snatch 10th. Two laps later, he jumped past Danilo Petrucci and clawed back the gap to Yonny Hernandez, who he overtook with six laps remaining. Espargaro then dug deep to create a gap to the four chasing riders and met the chequered flag in 8th. His result today sees him finish the opening nine races in 9th in the championship standings but only three points adrift of Dani Pedrosa in 7th. However, before enjoying the deserved summer break, the 24 year old now heads to Japan to compete in the legendary Suzuka 8 Hour race with his teammate in a fortnight.
6th / +23.215 / 30 laps
"I am pleased with today's performance, especially as it was a tricky race where I had to give it 100% but also remain smooth which is what you need to do with the Yamaha. We are the top satellite bike again and at the end of the 30 lap race, we had a strong advantage over both Cal and my teammate which is really positive. At the same time, I can't help but be a little bit disappointed as I had a similar pace to Iannone but I wasn't able to catch him because I lost a lot of time with Hernandez in the beginning of the race. It's my own fault as I qualified in 9th so this is an area I need to improve in the second half of the season because I know we can fight inside the top five. In addition, I couldn't put my left leg down at the end of the race as I had completely worn down my knee slider, which was a bit scary around here as there are so many left turns. Nevertheless, we are joint 5th in the championship and it's been a great first half of the year. I am going to Japan tomorrow for another Suzuka 8 hour test, so I have the long haul flight to relax on after this race! A big thanks to all my team, they've given me a great bike at every race so far in 2015 and I hope they enjoy the three week break as much as me."
8th / +34.953 / 30 laps
"Today's 8th position is kind of a damage limitation because after a tricky start to the weekend on Friday, I was confident about the race as we had found a solution to our issues as well as a good setting for my M1 yesterday. In FP4 I was able to ride a consistent mid 1'22 rhythm, which would have been very positive during today's sprint. Yet, as soon as we started the GP, I realised that something wasn't quite right. I was lacking grip on the rear and it was impossible to turn into the corners. I had to fight with the bike for the entire 30 laps using my legs to get the bike to turn. I didn't feel comfortable at any time. Still, I tried to do the best that I could and pushed as much as possible to pass the group in front of me. Of course, this is a long way from where we need to be so now we will analyse the data to ensure that this doesn't occur again. Therefore, I leave Germany with a bitter taste in my mouth for the summer, which in my case is not going to be a holiday but I am very excited to be flying straight to Suzuka for the 2nd test for the eight hour race in two weeks."
Difficult race for Athinà Forward Racing at Sachsenring
It was a difficult weekend for the team Athinà Forward Racing at the Sachsenring racetrack that this weekend hosted the German Grand Prix. After a three days of hard work, Loris Baz finished in 19th place while Claudio Corti was forced to retire.
Having started from the 20th place on the grid, Baz has recovered several positions and moved closer to his rivals in the Open category, before he started to lose the feeling with the front. In an effort to keep the bike on the track, he suffered a muscle injury which compromised his race. Despite the pain in his back, the Frenchman continued and he finished the race in 19th place.
It was also a difficult race for his team mate Claudio Corti, who was forced to retire eight laps before the checkered flag. The Italian suffered a lack of confidence with the front throughout the race. Shortly after mid-race, he returned to the pits to change the tyres and he went back on track before being forced to retire.
19th / +1'11.162 / 30 laps
"It was not the Sunday that I wanted, because I struggled for all the race. The start was not bad, I recovered several positions, but after a few laps I started to lose the feeling with the front. I almost crashed and in an attempt to keep the bike on the track I think I had a muscle contracture. I started to feel pain in the back and it was impossible to keep pushing and I had to give positions. Now we have three weeks of stop: it's time to recharge the batteries to return to Indianapolis competitive."
DNF / 8 laps
"It was a really tough race. After eight months away from racing it was not easy. In the warm up we found a good solution and I was confident for the race because the pace was good. Unfortunately, from the beginning of the race I lost the feeling, especially with the front and I was forced to return to the pits to change the tires. Back on track the sensations were not good and I was forced to retire. Thanks to the whole team for the good work of these days and to Giovanni for this great opportunity."