American MotoGP riders Nicky Hayden from Owensboro, KY (Ducati GP10), Ben Spies from Longview, Texas (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Colin Edwards from Houston TX (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will compete in the Sachsenring MotoGP race.
Hayden is tied for fourth in the MotoGP World Championship standings, with Spies eighth and Edwards tied for 10th. Kenny Noyes (Borrego Springs, Calif., Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas) will compete in the Moto2 race. Noyes is 17th in the Moto2 World Championship standings.
The Sachsenring is the sixth track out of the first eight races that Spies has had to learn from scratch and the reigning World Superbike champion spent most of the session learning the tight and twisty layout using a hard compound Bridgestone rear tyre.
But once he switched to the softer option he is likely to select for Sunday’s 30-lap race as track temperature hit a sizzling 55 degrees, he was immediately able to surge up the leaderboard and catapult himself into contention for a top five.
Just five minutes remained when Spies clocked his best time and it was only a late attack from fellow American Nicky Hayden that denied the 25-year-old a stunning top three position.
Colin Edwards started round eight of the 2010 MotoGP world championship opting to run a radically different set-up on his YZR-M1 machine.
The experienced Texan’s new dire ction saw his crew move more weight to the rear of his bike, while Edwards also modified his own style to change his body position to help turning performance.
Edwards was immediately able to ride at a comfortable and consistently fast pace with the revised setting and found himself in third place at one stage in a closely fought session.
Edwards declared himself satisfied with the outcome of the changes and he’s confident with more time to fine-tune the new set-up that he has the potential to be much higher up the timesheets during tomorrow’s qualifying session.
Nicky Hayden battled hard to overcome the intense heat and tortuously tight layout of the Sachsenring circuit today, setting the second and third fastest times in the opening free practice for the German Grand Prix.
Hayden, meanwhile, put the best aspects of the base set-up of his two machines together for a final run that saw him improve by 0.8 seconds and charge up to third place.
Nicky Hayden (after practice July 16) says: “All in all, not a bad first day for us. It was really important to get as much information as we could today, to try all the tires and a couple of different setups because it looks like there’s a good chance of rain tomorrow. We started out struggling quite a bit – right in the beginning it wasn’t too good, but I switched bikes and immediately got a better feeling.”
“There are a couple of parts on the track where I am quite fast but a few sections where I’m losing a lot, and every tenth counts around here. I mean, a lot of tracks you look for tenths, but around here literally half-a-tenth can make a big difference. But it’s a cool track; I like it. That fast corner out the back is a lot of fun.”
Ben Spies (after practice July 16) says: “I’m really happy to be so high up after the first session, and I think I figured out this track pretty quickly. It is good to start the weekend in the top five, and that gives us a platform to build on. This circuit is pretty tight and twisty and there are a lot of left-hand corners, but I like it because there is quite a lot of elevation that makes it fun. It felt like being out on a dirt track bike, and I see Nicky is right up there, too. It’s a positive start, and that’s all I can ask for.”
Colin Edwards (after practice July 16) says: “The nature of this track means the times are always close, and I’m not even a second off the best time, but I’m down in 13th. I’m only around three-tenths behind Ben, but he’s nine places further up than me. I’ve completely changed the setting of the bike here, and that’s meant putting way more weight on the rear than I’ve ever done.”
“My riding style is typically all over the front end but with the results not being what I’ve wanted or expected so far this season, it was time to change something. So I’ve just got to trust the front and work on the rear. I’m putting more of my body weight on the rear and with the setting of the bike. We’ve shifted a lot of weight back on the rear, and it works really good so far and it feels easier to make the lap time.”
Quote of the Event: “Immediately after the crash, the doctors said it could be five months before I was fit to return. Maybe five months to play football, but I just need to ride the bike.” – Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi, talking about his return to racing just six weeks after suffering a compound fracture of his lower right leg
MotoGP PREVIEW: GRAND PRIX OF GERMANY
EVENT: Grand Prix of Germany
WHERE: Sachsenring Circuit, Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany. Circuit is 2.281 miles (3.671 km), with 13 turns. Race is 30 laps.
WHEN: Sunday, July 18. It is the eighth of 18 events this season.
2009 RACE WINNER: Valentino Rossi, by .099 of a second over Jorge Lorenzo
2009 POLE WINNER: Jorge Lorenzo, 1 minute, 32.520 seconds
U.S. TV: 8-9 a.m. (ET), Sunday, July 18, SPEED (live). Moto2: 1-2 p.m. (ET), Tuesday, July 20, SPEED. 125cc: Noon-1 p.m. (ET), Tuesday, July 20, SPEED.