2013 Grand Prix of Deutschland MotoGP PreviewThough Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa struggled two weeks ago at Assen, taking fourth instead of his usual podium-position finish, the Spaniard was able to retain the MotoGP points lead.
After seven of 18 rounds, Pedrosa holds 136 points, nine ahead of his biggest threat in 2013 MotoGP – Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.Though Pedrosa had issues staying up front at Assen, if the past proves anything the RC213V pilot should be in top form in this weekend’s round eight at Sachsenring.Pedrosa has four wins there in the premier class, including the past three consecutive rounds. The only rider to equal Pedrosa’s record at Sachsenring was the man who took his first victory in nearly three years last weekend at Assen, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi. Pedrosa also holds the circuit record at Sachsenring (121.846, 2011).Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “This week we head to Germany and I hope we can get a good feeling and have a good weekend. Sachsenring has typically been a good track for me in the past and it’s a circuit where I always enjoy racing.“It’s a short track where you spend a lot of time on the left, but the fastest corner is to the right, so tyre performance will be key. It’s important to keep the momentum and ride my best to keep fighting for race wins.”As for Lorenzo, he put in a superhuman effort at Assen. The reigning MotoGP Champion rode within 38 hours of having surgery on his left shoulder. Although in pain, Lorenzo was able to finish fifth, which allowed him to stay close to Pedrosa in the points race.Lorenzo has no premier-class wins at Sachsenring, but has finished runner-up the last four races at the 2.281-mile circuit featuring 13 corners. The track is short and tight, which may cause additional pain in Lorenzo’s shoulder this weekend.As for his teammate Rossi, the nine-time World Champion will be looking to carry the momentum he initiated at Assen into Sachsenring. Rossi took his 80th premier-class win at Assen. It was his first win since Sepang in 2010 on a Yamaha, and two years without a victory on the Ducati.Rossi has reported getting an improved front-end feeling from his YZR-M1, and this was evident in Assen. He took the lead on lap six, and was untouchable for the remainder of the 26-lap event, getting fastest as the race went on like the Rossi of older days. He was joined on the podium by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow.Both Marquez and Crutchlow will be looking for additional podium finishes, with the Brit eying his first-ever MotoGP race win. Crutchlow is on a roll with breaking records for himself in the premier class, the YZR-M1 satellite rider achieving his first-ever pole at Assen also.Crutchlow’s teammate Bradley Smith, along with satellite riders LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, will all be seeking to break into the top five. Bradl, who finished sixth at Assen, will have some extra incentive at Sachsenring since it’s his home MotoGP.Also seeking some top-five results will be the Ducati riders, who all had a horrible weekend in the Netherlands. The top finisher there was Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, who could only finish 10th.Dovi and his teammate Nicky Hayden, were at Misano last weekend for some private testing of the Ducati GP13 “lab” bike, hoping for better results. Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone also continues to struggle, and his teammate Ben Spies will once again be absent this weekend due to shoulder issues.The American will again be replaced by Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, who was also at the Misano tests. Without a doubt, one of Ducati’s aims will be to finish ahead of Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, who is the top CRT finisher throughout the 2013 MotoGP season so far. Espargaro also finished eighth at Assen, ahead of all Ducati GP13 prototypes.And with the immediate abolition of the CRT rule for teams running Magneti Marelli software after the Assen, his “top CRT” competition is significantly reduced, as only the ARTs and Gresini’s FTR-Honda run different software. However this is only in “principle”, as the make-up of the bikes still classifies them as non-prototype entries, meaning they will still be fighting for their very own top spot that sees them as the fourth bike in Parc Fermé after the race, MotoGP reports.None of the riders on non-prototype machinery have beaten him to Parc Fermé in the first seven races this year, though the likes of teammate Randy de Puniet or Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera are potential challengers. Avintia’s Hiroshi Aoyama is substituted by Ivan Silva, as the Japanese rider still recovers from a bad finger injury sustained in Catalunya. The other non-prototypes contesting the race will be NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti, PBM duo Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and Lukas Pesek, Gresini’s Bryan Staring, as well as Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, MotoGP reports.2013 Sachsenring MotoGP TV ScheduleSPEED TV will provide an hour and half coverage of 2013 Sachsenring MotoGP beginning at 7:30 a.m. EST, with a half-hour MotoGP Rewind broadcast beginning at 7 a.m.2013 MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after seven of 18 rounds):
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.