2014 Sachsenring MotoGP Pre-Race Conference
The 2014 MotoGP Championship reaches its midway point this weekend at Sachsenring in Germany. And the round officially began Thursday with the traditional pre-race press conference.
In attendance were seven premier-class riders – the reigning MotoGP Champion and current points leader Marc Marquez, the two riders tied in second place – Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Aleix Espargaro, Bradley Smith and the hometown favorite, Stefan Bradl.
The man who has won the opening-eight rounds, Marc Marquez, began the conference. The Repsol Honda RC213V pilot has won at Sachsenring across all classes for the past four years.
“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,” Marquez says.
Next was nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider extended his contract for another two years, and seeks additional podiums to add to the five he has achieved this season.
“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 says.
The man tied with Rossi in second place, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, had also extended his contract with the Honda Racing Corporation for another two years.
“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,” Pedrosa says.
The only Ducati rider at the conference was Dovizioso, who earned second last weekend at Assen. This was the best result for Ducati since San Marino in 2012; that year, Rossi took second.
“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,” Dovi says.
The top-Open class pilot so far this season, NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro, is ready to once again battle with the factory bikes.
“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,” Espargaro says.
The home favorite, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, will seek better results before his cheering fans.
“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,” Bradl says.
Also looking for better results will be Monster Tech 3 Yamaha pilot Smith: “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, MotoGP reports.
For a preview of 2014 Sachsenring MotoGP, including full point standings, click here.