Movistar Yamaha Get Ready for the German GP
Following the Dutch Grand Prix, the closest race so far this season held almost two weeks ago, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales are raring to continue their championship quest at the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland this weekend.
Though he rode a competitive race in the Netherlands, Rossi heads to the Sachsenring feeling eager to make good on the Assen podium that he so narrowly missed. Holding second place in the rider standings, it's his objective to reduce the 41-point gap to the championship leader by delivering a top result before MotoGP's short summer break starts.
The Italian has a ton of premier class experience at the German GP to help him achieve his goal; he scored victories in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2009, stood on the podium in 2000, 2003 and 2008 for second places, and took third positions in 2013 and 2015.
Viñales is more motivated than ever to gain points in the championship standings after securing a place on the podium at the previous round and maintaining his third place in the rankings, six points behind his teammate. Having shown a competitive pace from start to finish at the TT Assen race, he is feeling confident that he will be able to produce a strong result again on German soil.
Prior to this weekend the young contender stood on the Sachsenring podium twice, having secured third positions in the 125cc class in 2011 and the Moto3 class in 2013. Feeling in great shape after enjoying some rest over the last week, the Spaniard aims to land a place in the MotoGP top-3 there for the first time in his career.
The area of Chemnitz is known for its love for car and motorcycle races. Originally, races in the area were held on closed public roads from the 1920s on. The Sachsenring was built in 1996 for safety reasons. Just two years later the track hosted its first MotoGP event and has continuously been updated since. The just 12m wide circuit has numerous tight corners (ten left, three right in total), making this circuit one of the slower tracks on the calendar, but there will still be plenty of action at the German GP.
Championship: 2nd – Points: 99
"Assen was an incredible race, so I really want to get back on track again. I don't know if we can repeat a race like that at the Sachsenring, but we'll try to do everything to be at the front with the top riders. Last year's German GP was not a very positive weekend for us, so it will be very important to understand our potential this weekend. We will have to work hard, starting from the first practice session on Friday, to get ready for the race, but I'm confident. I feel good and my team are working really well. The race at the Sachsenring is the last race before the short MotoGP summer break, so we want to do our best to make it a good battle on Sunday, to end the first half of the season in a good way."
Championship: 3rd – Points: 93
"I'm really looking forward to arriving at the Sachsenring. I think we are getting the bike ready and we're starting to see everything in a very positive way, allowing us to end the first half of the season properly. We have to fight to get as many points as possible to stay at the top of the championship. Fortunately, in Assen I felt very comfortable on the bike again and I had the same good feelings I've had in the past. We were able to solve the small problems we were having on the first laps of the race and that has put us at the level of the other riders on the grid. The podium was like a breath of fresh air and has given me extra motivation to keep at it with all my strength and give 100%, as always. Last year at the Sachsenring I finished just off the podium with a fourth position, so this year we'll give our all to get back on the podium and continue on the good path we're on."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"After the fantastic battle in Assen, the team can't wait to continue the championship at the German GP. Our riders felt competitive at the previous race. We're determined to reproduce the good feeling we had in the Netherlands this weekend. Both Vale and Maverick have been able to get some rest and recharge their batteries, so they can give 100% again at the last race before the short summer break. The Sachsenring suits our bike reasonably well, however, bike set-up plays a vital role there. To match the settings to the track's narrow nature, we need to start the weekend in the right manner on Friday. Last year we finished just off the podium, so this year it's our goal to rectify this and to continue the work done at the last race."
Zarco and Syahrin Are Gearing Up for German GP
Before the World Championship will take a short summer break, the entire circus is set to travel to Germany this weekend for the ninth round of the 2018 season. Thereby, Monster Yamaha Tech3 star Johann Zarco is eager to continue his progress seen during the previous Grand Prix in Assen, Netherlands, where he was able to stick with the front group almost all race long.
On the other hand, Hafizh Syahrin can't wait to ride at the unique venue, which is the shortest track in the calendar for the first time with his Yamaha YZR-M1. Following a difficult Dutch Grand Prix the Malaysian rookie aims to score points again, before he recharges his batteries for the second half of the season. The action at the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland kicks off at 9.55 local time this Friday.
Championship: 4th – Points: 81
"The Sachsenring in Germany is a small track, but very interesting and very nice. Sometimes we had a lot of rain there, but even then the circuit is incredible and offers so much grip, which is even disturbing me a bit, because it's just unbelievable how you can lean the bike in the wet. You need some time to get used to that. When it's dry, I just hope it's also warm, as we feel better like this, overall on the right side, because there are so many left corners, so the right side of the tyre is always a bit cold. Last year, I finished in ninth position and my former teammate Jonas did an incredible Grand Prix on his home track. I would like to understand what it needs to repeat it and be on the podium at the Sachsenring, which would be fantastic."
Championship: 17th – Points: 17
"Germany is a different track than others, it's small and technical. I try to work hard towards the race on Sunday to be ready for the long 30 laps. I hope I can find a good feeling with the bike like the beginning of the last round. I'm really looking forward to this weekend! I want to improve myself and try to be back inside the points scoring positions in order to fight for the top rookie spot again. I hope the weather will be nice and then we will see what happens."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
"Sachsenring marks the end of the first part of the season before the whole paddock is going on vacation for a short summer break and of course it's always good to end up the first part on a positive note. Right now, Johann is holding fourth position in provisional ranking. Of course, it would be great to retain that, but we know that it's not going to be easy, as there are quite a few riders directly behind him. Sachsenring will be important on that point in order to go to the summer break with a positive feeling, which helps to rest more and come back with a better feeling when we restart in Czech Republic. Last year we had a beautiful and incredible feeling to see our rider Jonas Folger fighting for the lead and eventually finishing second for his first ever podium in the MotoGP class in front of his home crowd. This was very unique and it still brings tears to my eyes to remember that, it was great feeling for whole team, but also for Jonas it was a dream coming true. We know that we can be strong at this circuit, I also remember some great races Cal Crutchlow did, finishing second to Marc Marquez some years to go. It's a place with great results and great memories, a place where I think we have quite a lot of fans. It's always a pleasure coming to the Sachsenring, there's a big crowd, which gives us a good feeling. The very passionate people always make us having a great time there. Hopefully, the weather will be warm. Hafizh is also having a big fight for his championship which is the top rookie position. It was not too positive in Assen and I don't think Sachsenring has been very sweet to him so far, but he came to spent a few days at the workshop, where I told him 'If you want to be a good rider, you have to be fast everywhere. Just go there and have fun, this is how you get the results.' Johann has to fight to keep the fourth position and Hafizh is going to push to hopefully getting some points on Franco Morbidelli. Then we all go for few days of vacation before we head to second part of the season."