MotoGP: Ducati Upbeat on German GP
Ducati Marlboro riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden will enter Round 8 of the MotoGP Championship at Sachsenring this weekend with positive memories of the German circuit: Stoner took the first podium of his career there in 2003 while competing in the 125cc Class, and Hayden took four consecutive podiums there from 2004-2007.
The 2.281-mile track may be just what the Ducati team needs to gain some points in the 2010 MotoGP standings. Hayden’s eight-place finish at Round 7 in Catalunya placed him in fourth with 69 points, and Stoner’s third-place finish -the second in the last two races-bumped him up to sixth with 67 points.
Nicky Hayden says: "It is a very short lap at Sachsenring and the first part of it is very tight and technical, with probably the slowest run of corners on the whole calendar. Turns 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all in first gear – it’s like a car park!"
"The back section is really fast though, with one of the coolest corners in MotoGP, which we call the ‘Waterfall’ – you arrive in fifth gear and nosedive into a blind corner… you have to be decisive there or you can easily lose a few tenths. It is a track I like a lot and on paper it is one of the best on the calendar for me. I really like left-hand corners and this track is full of them, so it is also important that we have dual compound tires here."
Casey Stoner says: "We have always had pretty good races at Sachsenring, I got my first-ever podium there and I’m definitely looking forward to it. We’re a little more confident with the bike, everything has worked well enough in the last three races and we just need to find a bit more speed – just a few tenths of a second."
"We have to try a few different things to get some grip without losing the good feeling we have with the bike at the moment. You definitely need good side grip at Sachsenring because through a lot of those long corners you need to keep the gas open as long as possible. Also when you come over the top at turn 12 the rear gets very light and wants to wriggle around, so you really need some traction over the top there. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the next race because if we can find a good set-up it can give us the opportunity to do well. I want to put some good results together and both myself and the team will be working hard and giving 100-percent to get them."
Due to the tightness and slow turns of Sachsenring, the circuit favors the GP10 motorcycles of Hayden and Stoner.
Vittoriano Guareschi (Ducati Team Manager) says: "Anything is possible at Sachsenring because our team has the ability to do well there. Both our riders like the track and even though it is not one of the fastest it always seems to have favored the characteristics of the Desmosedici."
"Nicky has been on the podium there four times in the past and it was at this circuit last year where he began to show signs of progress with an excellent qualifying result. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to repeat it in the race but I would like him to do that this Sunday and I think he has every chance. Casey has always been strong at this track, he won in 2008 and after a tough start to this season he now has a good feeling with the bike and is highly motivated to finish his time with Ducati at the level we have become accustomed to."
Stoner won’t be racing at Sachsenring on a Ducati next season, though. The Australian signed to Honda, and will part ways with Ducati after spending four years with the team, achieving a world title with them during his debut year in 2007.
A History of Sachsenring
The history of MotoGP World Championship racing at Sachsenring began in 1961, when it was one of the fastest and most popular races on the calendar. However, it was also one of the most dangerous and as a result it was removed from the schedule in 1972.
It returned in 1998 as one of the slowest tracks, with an average speed of just 143km/h, but modifications introduced in 2000 brought that speed up to over 150km/h and further adjustments in 2001 increased it to around 159km/h. However, the circuit, which runs anti-clockwise, remains tortuous and twisting – especially in the first sector, and requires good mid-range engine performance. Later in the lap a faster series of left-handers that lead into an incredible blind right require good side grip from the tires.
SACHSENRING CIRCUIT FACTS
Circuit Record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda – 2009), 1’22.126- 160.918 Km/h
Best Pole: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1’21.067 – 163.020 Km/h
Circuit Length: 3,671 km
MotoGP Race 2010: 30 laps (110.130 km)
MotoGP Schedule 2010: 14.00 Local Time
Number of laps: 30
Total race distance: 110.130
PODIUM 2009 : 1st Valentino Rossi, 2nd Jorge Lorenzo, 3rd Dani Pedrosa
POLE 2009: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2008) 1’32.520 – 142.840 km/h
DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM BEST RESULTS AT SACHSENRING
2009: 4th (Stoner)
2008: 1st (Stoner)
2007: 2nd (Capirossi)
2006: 5th (Capirossi)
2005: 6th (Capirossi)
2004: - 2003: 3rd (Bayliss)
Age: 24 (Born 16th October 1985 in Southport, Queensland, Australia)
Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP10
GP Appearances: 133 (72xMotoGP, 31×250, 30×125)
GP Victories: 27 (20xMotoGP, 5×250, 2×125)
First GP victory: Valencia, 2003 (125)
First GP: Great Britain, 2001 (125)
Pole positions: 22 (18xMotoGP, 2×250, 2×125)
First pole position: Italy, 2003 (125)
World Titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2007)
Stoner’s MotoGP track record at Sachsenring:
2009: Grid: 3rd. Race: 4th
2008: Grid: 1st. Race: 1st
2007: Grid: 1st. Race: 5th
2006: Grid: 8th. Race: DNS
Age: 28 (born 30th July 1981 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)
Residency: Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
Bike: Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici GP10
GP Appearances: 123 (123xMotoGP)
First GP: Japan, 2003 (MotoGP)
Number of victories: 3 (3xMotoGP)
First GP victory: USGP, 2005 (MotoGP)
Pole positions: 5 (5xMotoGP)
First Pole: USGP, 2005 (MotoGP)
World Titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2006)
Hayden’s MotoGP track record at Sachsenring:
2009: Grid: 4th. Race: 8th
2008: Grid: 8th. Race: 13th
2007: Grid: 14th. Race: 3rd
2006: Grid: 3rd. Race: 3rd
2005: Grid: 1st. Race: 3rd
2004: Grid: 9th. Race: 3rd
2003: Grid: 15th. Race: 5th