MotoGP: Rossi Takes Eighth after Sachsenring Bike Swap

Movistar Yamaha‘s Valentino Rossi fought hard today to take eighth place in changing conditions at the Sachsenring circuit

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Valentino Rossi #46

Valentino Rossi GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland Race Action ShotYamaha Racing

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi fought tooth and nail today during the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland and was in contention for the race win, until the gamble to swap bikes with nine laps to go held him back. He kept his head down and brought his YZR-M1 over the line in eighth place. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo took fifteenth place at the tricky Sachsenring race weekend.

Starting from third on the grid Valentino had a flying start off the line, quickly passing Hector Barbera to take over the lead from Marc Marquez going into the second sector. He put the hammer down and tried to clear off at the front but wasn‘t able to shake off his rivals Andrea Dovisioso and Danilo Petrucci, who he had to let through in lap three, with Marquez following closely behind.

The Doctor kept his compatriots in front of him firmly in his sight and bided his time until, with twenty laps to go, Petrucci crashed out of the lead. Rossi made use of his experience and utilized every piece of wet tarmac available to cool his wet tires as a dry line was starting to form.

What happened next was a flurry of activity with various riders coming in to change bikes over the second half of the race. In the midst of the chaos, Hector Barbera briefly overtook Rossi for second place, but the Italian fought back with 13 laps to go, while Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller joined the group. Rossi was closing in on leader Dovizioso and with 8 laps left the Doctor dived into the pits together with Crutchlow, Dovizioso and Barbera.

The Factory Yamaha rider rejoined the track in sixth place but gave up a spot to Barbera as he cautiously warmed up his tyres. His lap times dropped considerably over the last seven laps, but he was unable to defend his position and finished in eighth place, 26.449s from the front.

Teammate Lorenzo had a decent start from eleventh on the grid and tucked in behind Maverick Viñales keeping his position. He took tenth from his Spanish rival, and held this position until with 26 laps to go he was overtaken by Alvaro Bautista and Crutchlow while he was getting a feel for the quickly drying track.

As the wet tires were heating on the drying tarmac, threats started to come from behind. Pol Espargaro, Aleix Espargaro and Viñales were on a charge and passed Lorenzo. He bided his time and as various riders came in and clawed his way up to seventh position, but had to give back four places as the slick and intermediate tires came up to temperature.

The Yamaha rider came in to change bike six laps from the end, and reentered the track in 13th place. He had to let Aleix Espargaro and Bradley Smith through whilst trying to heat his tires before picking up the pace and held fifteenth place over the line, 1'17.694s behind the leader.

With eighth place Rossi gained eight championship points, leaving him third in the standings, 11 points behind his teammate in second place. Lorenzo scored one point, increasing his total to 122. The gap to the championship leader is now 48 points.

MotoGP will be taking a four week summer break before continuing the season at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg circuit in Austria on the 14th of August.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Valentino Rossi #46

Valentino Rossi GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland Race Action ShotYamaha Racing

VALENTINO ROSSI #46:

"It‘s a great shame for us, because I was competitive on the dry and under normal conditions I could have done a good race. I was also competitive in the wet, so also in a normal wet race I could have fought for the victory, but unfortunately it was a half-and-half race. If I had stopped two or three laps earlier it would have been a bit better and I could have arrived in sixth place instead of eighth, but the bigger problem was when I restarted I was very slow. I had no feeling with the bike and I wasn‘t strong enough. Dovizioso and Crutchlow were with me and we stopped on the same lap, but they were able to arrive on the podium. It‘s a very big question mark if it would have been better if I had ridden on slicks. I had a very bad feeling on the intermediates, but nobody knows if I could have been faster with slicks, it also could have been worse. Maybe our bike in those conditions, when the track is really damp, is a little bit more difficult and gives less feeling."

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo #99

Jorge Lorenzo GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland Race Action ShotYamaha Racing

JORGE LORENZO #99:

After the warm up it was clear that we wouldn‘t be able to fight with the top guys in this race but at least I was better and faster than during the warm up. When the track started to dry I was losing positions because I didn‘t feel safe or had confidence in the front tire, neither on braking or in the corners, and then I changed bikes when the team wrote on the pit board to come in. Maybe it was a bit too late this time for the best strategy to finish a bit more at the front in the classification.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI - TEAM DIRECTOR:

It‘s a shame that, much like the Dutch Grand Prix, the weather again influenced today‘s race results. Valentino‘s side made the right tyre choice at the start of the race, but the track conditions changed so rapidly during the second half of the race that it made the strategy to change bikes a bit of a lottery. Vale rode a really strong race on his wet tires, but lost some time when he reentered the track and it‘s unfortunate that his result for today doesn‘t reflect how strong he was during the majority of this weekend. Jorge struggled to find a good feeling in today‘s mixed conditions and gave all he had to increase his points total in the championship standings. We will regroup and look forward to coming back stronger at the next race in Austria.

RACE RESULTS - 17/07/2016:

  1. M. MARQUEZ REPSOL HONDA TEAM 47'03.239
  2. C. CRUTCHLOW LCR HONDA + 9.857
  3. A. DOVIZIOSO DUCATI TEAM + 11.613
  4. S. REDDING OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH + 11.992
  5. A. IANNONE DUCATI TEAM + 22.755
  6. D. PEDROSA REPSOL HONDA TEAM + 25.920
  7. J. MILLER ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS + 26.043
  8. V. ROSSI MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP + 26.449
  9. H. BARBERA AVINTIA RACING + 26.614
  10. A. BAUTISTA APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI + 31.274
  11. E. LAVERTY ASPAR TEAM MOTOGP + 41.208
  12. M. VIÑALES TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR + 42.158
  13. B. SMITH MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 + 1'03.129
  14. A. ESPARGARÒ TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR + 1'06.091
  15. J. LORENZO MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP + 1'17.694
  16. T. RABAT ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS After 1 laps
  17. L. BAZ AVINTIA RACING After 2 laps
  18. Y. HERNANDEZ ASPAR TEAM MOTOGP After 3 laps
  19. P. ESPARGARÒ MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3 N.C. (13 laps)
  20. D. PETRUCCI OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH N.C. (18 laps)

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATION - RIDER:

  1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 170
  2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 122
  3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 111
  4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 96
  5. Maverick Viñales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 83
  6. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 72
  7. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing 65
  8. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team 63
  9. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 59
  10. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Team MotoGP 53
  11. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 51
  12. Scott Redding (GBR) Octo Pramac Yakhnich 45
  13. Jack Miller (AUS) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 42
  14. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda 40
  15. Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 37
  16. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 35

For more information: www.yamahamotogp.com