Postcard from Sachsenring

Honda, the Championship leader, is chasing its 7th consecutive win at the German track

Marc Marquez practice action from Sachsenring
Marc Marquez.HRC

The German GP is Honda's second "home GP", for records show the Japanese Manufacturer to be unbeaten at Sachsenring since 2010. It was Dani Pedrosa in 2010 who began their run of six consecutive successes. He repeated in 2011 and 2012 before the arrival of Marc Marquez, who won six times at Sachsenring – once in 125cc, twice in Moto2 and three times in MotoGP. This weekend the Spaniard will chase his 7th consecutive success at the German track. Marc himself unveiled the key to his success: "Sachsenring is not one of my favorite circuits, but it's true that it suits my style very well. Maybe because it has many left turns, a bit like in dirt track! Its tight and twisty layout - more similar to a kart track than a MotoGP circuit - reminds me of when we train Supermotard".

“Sachsenring suits Honda too. We shouldn’t have the usual problems related to the acceleration”, continued Marc, “but we spend a lot of time at high lean angle and that’s why here the electronics is so important. It will also depend a lot on the tires”. Considering a track that features 10 fast and long left-hand turns, 3 slow rights and abrasive asphalt, Michelin has brought for the first time this year an asymmetric front tire with a harder rubber compound on the left side.

To support the current MotoGP leader, Honda has brought a new chassis that features the benefits shown in the post Barcelona GP test.

“When we started the championship in March I couldn’t have imagined to arrive here in this position”, said Marc, “Honda has worked a lot”.

Valentino Rossi practice action from Sachsenring
Valentino Rossi.Movistar Yamaha

According to Valentino Rossi, who after his crash at Assen lies third in the championship, 42 points behind Marquez, "Yamaha and Honda are two different bikes but if we consider all the strong and weak points they are now quite equal. In conditions of less grip Honda has an advantage, while on fast tracks with more grip the Yamaha is faster".

Marquez disagrees: “in 2014 my RC213V was so competitive to allow me to win ten races in a row, but this season things are different. Yes we are leading the championship but it’s still long. Jorge is the closest one (second at - 24 points), but you can never rule out Valentino”. We see that Marc makes the difference himself when we consider the other Honda riders; Dani Pedrosa in 4th position with 86 points (vs Marquez’s 145), Jack Miller 13th with 33 points and Cal Crutchlow in 18th with 20 points.

Jorge Lorenzo practice action from Sachsenring
Jorge Lorenzo.Movistar Yamaha

Jack Miller's rainy win at Assen three weeks ago was the first win by a satellite team since Estoril 2006, when Toni Elias beat Valentino Rossi. On Friday, Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO, announced that Dorna and Irta had reached an agreement with the seven private MotoGP teams that guarantees them the exclusivity for the next 5 years. "I think MotoGP is leaving its best moment ever", said Ezpeleta, who will turn 70 on Sunday, "and even better times are coming. All the actions that we have carried out to make the championship more fun, competitive and sustainable have paid off. Next year thanks to the arrival of KTM and the introduction of the new commercial system we will improve even more. The support of the satellite teams will increase of the 100 per cent. The grid will be limited to 24 slots and, aside from the manufacturers, the 7 current private teams will be the only ones entitled to run a MotoGP team. They will receive a €2– 2.2m bonus to cover the leasing of bikes that is capped at a maximum of €2.2m. In addition, each Manufacturer that makes its bikes available to satellite teams will also receive a bonus. Doing this, we expect more stability, more competitiveness and in the end more show".

independent teams press conference from Sachsenring
Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA) with the seven private MotoGP team owners.Dorna

The group photo of Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna) and Mike Trimby (IRTA) with the seven team owners suggests their collective confidence in the future and anticipation of ever-improving racing in the future. Expectations are high for the second part of the 2016 season and even higher for next season that will see many changes in the rider line up with the arrival of four promising rookies. Current Moto2 world champion Johann Zarco announced that he will ride for Yamaha Tech 3. He is the fourth rookie who will make his debut in the premier class together with Alex Rins at Suzuki, Jonas Folger at Yamaha Tech 3 and Sam Lowes at Aprilia.