Two weeks after the Dutch TT at Assen, the Ducati Team has now moved to Germany for the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for this weekend at the Sachsenring circuit, near the town of Chemnitz.
The Sachsenring is one of the shortest and slowest circuits on the entire calendar, but despite this it is an insidious layout and the racing can be rather unpredictable. One of the peculiar features of the 3.7 km layout is its anti-clockwise direction, as well as the presence of some tricky corners, almost all of them left-handers, accompanied by a number of up-and-down sections.
Dovizioso has twice managed to get onto the MotoGP podium at the Sachsenring: in 2012 and 2016, when he was classified third. Last year the Italian rider recovered well to reach fourth place but in the end took the chequered flag in eighth. For Jorge Lorenzo the German round continues to be one of the few he has not yet managed to win, but the Spanish rider has picked up four second places between 2009 and 2012, while last year he finished the race in eleventh place after starting from row 2.
The weekend’s race programme gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.50 am, while the 30-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th (79 points)
“The Sachsenring is a track that in the past has created a few problems for us and, like in the Netherlands, once again we will have to make a good analysis of the behaviour of the tyres. This year I think we will be quicker than in 2017, as we demonstrated at Assen where we expected to be competitive and we were, but it’s the rear tyres that make all the difference and we’ll have to wait for the first practice sessions to get a better idea of the situation. The Sachsenring is not one of my favourite circuits and I don’t have a good feeling with the track, but in any case I’ll try and get the best possible result.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 7th (75 points)
“We have arrived half-way through the season with quite a positive balance-sheet: we have improved as the months have gone by, always working well, and I think that now we have a technical package that will allow us to be competitive on all circuits. At Assen for example, where in recent years I hadn’t scored good results, we were in the lead of the race for a lot of laps and we came close to the podium. I think that the situation will also be similar at the Sachsenring: it’s a circuit where on paper we could struggle but where we will try in any case to get the best result at all costs. It’ll be vital to find a good set-up already on Friday to start the German weekend well.”
The Sachsenring Circuit
The Sachsenring is a circuit with a great motorsport tradition, because racing on roads near the town of Chemnitz began in 1920 and continued there until 1990. In 1996 it was decided to build the new Sachsenring circuit about ten km away from the German town, and its first German GP took place there in 1998. Since then the circuit has undergone a series of improvements, including a radical change in the track layout in 2001. Its numerous tight curves make it one of the slowest circuits on the calendar, but these characteristics ensure that races at the Sachsenring are always exciting and hard-fought.
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 1’20.336 (164.5 km/h) – 2015
Circuit Record: Folger (Yamaha), 1’21.442 (162.2 km/h) – 2015
Best Pole: Marquez (Honda), 1’20.336 (164.5 km/h) – 2015
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati), 298.2 km/h – 2015
Track Length: 3.7 km
Race Distance: 30 laps (110.1 km)
Corners: 13 (10 left, 3 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
Podium: 1st Marquez (Honda), 2nd Folger (Yamaha), 3rd Pedrosa (Honda)
Pole Position: Marquez (Honda), 1’27.302 (151.377 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Folger (Yamaha), 1’21.442 (162.270 km/h)