Germany MotoGP Conference
The traditional pre-race conference took place Thursday ahead of the Germany Grand Prix at Sachsenring, round nine of the 2015 MotoGP Championship.
In attendance at the Germany MotoGP conference were the current points leader, nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, Andrea Iannone, Cal Crutchlow, Aleix Espargaro and the home favorite, Stefan Bradl.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi was the first to talk, the YZR-M1 pilot discussing his season so far and the importance of Germany MotoGP, which signifies the final race of the first-half of the season. Rossi has finished on the podium in every round, and earned three wins along the way, including the victory at Assen MotoGP two weeks ago. Following Sacshenring, the series takes its four-week summer break before resuming at Indianapolis August 7-9.
As for Rossi, he has won six races at Sachsenring – four in the MotoGP class.
“Yes I’m very happy about the first eight races for sure, especially about the points. Also this weekend it will be important because it’s the ninth race so after Sunday we will be in the middle of the championship. It’s an important point to understand the bad and the good things. We’ll also have some holidays after this race which are good for everybody so we can refocus for the second half,” Valentino Rossi says.
“It’s very important to keep concentrated at this race until Sunday, after that you can switch off. The holidays are easy, you just have to relax! It’s more difficult to race.”
Heading into Germany MotoGP, the man who trails Rossi by 10 points – teammate Jorge Lorenzo – has never won at Sachsenring. He earned four-straight victories before settling for third at Assen two weeks ago.
“It’s true I’ve never won here in 12 years in the World Championship, just here and Austin I haven’t won. It’s never too late to try and win and for sure I will try and win now and in the future. It’s important to start in a good way from the first practice to have a good pace and have a good feeling without any major problems. In some sectors of the track in Assen we had some big problems and my goal here is to start strong and keep improving little by little, Jorge Lorenzo says.
As for the reigning MotoGP Champion, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has claimed every victory at Sachsenring since 2010 throughout all the classes, including 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP. He earned the past two MotoGP wins en route to his titles. At Assen, Marquez battled intensely with Rossi, and finished second.
“For me in Assen after Mugello and Montmelo, two crashes in a row, to be on the podium was already a victory because it was a good result and a good race to come back with the good feeling. Here we have to confirm that feeling and keep going that way. The confidence now is quite good after the Holland weekend, we’ve stated to return to our level.”
Marquez was also asked about his last-chicane pass attempt on Rossi at Assen: “Assen is in the past and now we are in Germany. We will see, at the moment I want to go race by race and I have enough work to think about doing my job!
“For me the second place was OK after Mugello and Montmelo and it was already a victory. In that last chicane many things have happened and now we know and Valentino taught us another thing again. He’s very smart and we must learn from him.”
The next to speak at the Germany MotoGP press conference was Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, who has finished in the top five in all but one round. The Italian will be on a new GP15 prototype at Sachsenring – one he feels confident aboard.
“For sure it’s a really good first half of the season and I’m so happy with it. It’s possible because the GP15 improves a lot but I’ve also improved a lot, last year was really difficult for me and now we can fight for the top five,” Andrea Iannone says.
“Sachsenring is a really strange track and really short. But it’s interesting because it’s the first time with the GP15 and I’m excited because it’s a surprise and I hope the bike is competitive in the track and we can fight at the front.”
CWM LCR Honda’s has had a rough season so far, but is looking forward to better results at Sachsenring for Germany MotoGP.
“Assen wasn’t a bad race to finish sixth I was quite happy after three bad races. The CWM team do a good job and I think we should have been further ahead in Assen. Honestly I wasn’t too impressed with the overall result and I thought we should have been further ahead but it’s good to come to the Sachsenring, a circuit that I like with some good confidence and hopefully we can keep improving,” Cal Crutchlow.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro has performed well so far aboard the GSX-RR in Suzuki’s return to racing, and will also be looking for improvements at Germany MotoGP.
“I’m really happy with our performance this year as with a brand new bike we’re not so far from the top guys at the front which is great for me and Suzuki. Not as happy with the points, we’re really far back but I think some of this is down to bad luck,” Aleix Espargaro says.
“Overall I’m happy with the feeling and with my first season in Suzuki. We’re getting closer and closer. If we look back to where we were at the start we were really far away and I don’t think anyone was really expecting this. Both me and Maverick are working really hard and we know where and what we need to improve.”
The home hero – Athina Forward Racing – will be forced to miss Sachsenring due to a broken scaphoid sustained during a crash at Assen. Regardless, he still attended the conference: “It doesn’t make sense to try and ride here. I can’t even ride a paddock scooter so it makes no sense to race. It’s a scaphoid and as everyone knows it’s quite tricky. I had the operation on Monday and all the doctors told me you would be stupid to try and ride.”
Before the Germany MotoGP conference was over, Rossi also spoke of tire wear at the Sachsenring circuit, which contains 10 right handers and just three left turns: “I think for this weekend the front tyre will be very important, it will be key. Bridgestone have brought a lot of front tires because they want to be sure and safe for all the range of temperatures during the weekend. I think this track is the toughest for the front along with Phillip Island.”
For a preview of 2015 Germany MotoGP, including full point standings, visit 2015 Sachsenring MotoGP Preview.