Video: MotoGP Race Weekend Highlights From The Sachsenring

All of the talk on the grid at the Sachsenring before the start of Sunday’s German Grand Prix was about front tires. The Hondas of Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow, and Scott Redding, as well as Yonny Hernandez’s Ducati, were purportedly fitted with Bridgestone’s black-sidewalled, medium-option symmetric front slick.

The rest of the field, including the factory Yamahas of championship leaders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, had opted for the blue-banded asymmetric front, whose right side was two steps softer than the left. During Thursday’s press conference, Rossi said the race at the predominately left-hand 13-turn circuit could be decided on the choice of front tire.

Because all of the machines were fitted with tire warmers, however, no one actually knew which rubber the teams had selected until the blankets were removed moments before the warm-up lap. Behold! The RC213Vs of Marquez and Pedrosa were on the red-striped hardest option, which Bridgestone had added to its allocation only days earlier.

“There will be a disadvantage in terms of the warm-up performance for the right-handers,” Bridgestone MotoGP Press Officer Carmine Moscaritolo warned, “but the Hondas seem to like a more stable front end, so it will help them.”

Track temperature peaked at 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) just before the start of the race. “If it cools down later in the race,” Moscaritolo said, “they might feel they are lacking a bit of grip. The guys running the asymmetric fronts will be able to get the right side up to temperature quicker, and that could be an advantage in the early laps.”

Nicky Hayden Sachsenring MotoGP

Nicky Hayden was caught up in a chaotic start. “I came back on track second to last and made up a few positions,” he said. “I got with Hector Barberá and thought we could catch the group ahead of us, but I lost so much grip that I just had to concentrate on making the finish.” The American finished 16th.

At the start of the 30-lap race, pole-sitter Marquez and second-placeman Pedrosa dove to the apex of right-hand turn one, while Lorenzo swept across the track and—following a pulse-quickening nudge from Marquez—leapt into the lead entering the first of the track’s 10 lefts. The leading quartet quickly distanced itself from the rest of the pack, with Rossi twice setting a new lap record from row two running down Pedrosa in third.

Entering the final corner at the end of lap five, Marquez slipped past Lorenzo and immediately pulled away. The Spaniard then lowered the lap record again en route to his second victory of the year and sixth successive win at the German track. Pedrosa worked his way past Rossi and finished 2.226 seconds behind Marquez. The Italian was third, with Lorenzo fading almost out of view in fourth.

Officially, 19 of 25 starters used the asymmetric front slick, with the aforementioned quartet selecting the medium front and Marquez and Pedrosa opting for the hard. Rear tire choice for the race saw a more even split across the field: 14 riders selected the medium compound and the remaining 11 chose the soft.

Marc Marquez Dani Pedrosa podium Germany

At the beginning of the weekend, Marc Marquez had just one victory in the first eight races and trailed championship leader Valentino Rossi by 74 points. With Marquez’s win, that gap is now 65 points.

At the post-race press conference, Marquez and Pedrosa discussed their decision to use the harder front tire. “With the ‘33’ (medium),” Marquez said, “I was faster in the first 15 laps but then it was a question mark.

“When I tried the ‘38’ (hard), I was maybe one-tenth slower. But on the last laps, it looked slightly more consistent. Thirty laps pushing on the left side is a lot. I saw in the warm-up that if I increased my rhythm one-tenth, I was also able to fight for the victory.”

Pedrosa said the harder tire offered less grip, but it was more stable and durable. “I knew the 33 has more feeling,” he said, “but I decided 38 just to be more sure at the end of the race. For me, it was a good choice.”

For Marquez, any tire shortcomings were history after the first few laps. “Both of us were unsteady in the first corner because it’s downhill,” he said. “If you lose the front there, it’s dangerous. When I passed Lorenzo, I did the same rhythm like in practice.”

Following his ninth consecutive podium, Rossi heads into the summer break with a 13-point championship lead over Lorenzo. Round 10 of the MotoGP World Championship is scheduled for August 7-9 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in conjunction with round eight of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship.

All of the talk on the grid at the Sachsenring before the start of Sunday’s German Grand Prix was about front tires. The Hondas of Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow, and Scott Redding, as well as Yonny Hernandez’s Ducati, were purportedly fitted with Bridgestone’s black-sidewalled, medium-option symmetric front slick.

The rest of the field, including the factory Yamahas of championship leaders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, had opted for the blue-banded asymmetric front, whose right side was two steps softer than the left. During Thursday’s press conference, Rossi said the race at the predominately left-hand 13-turn circuit could be decided on the choice of front tire.

Because all of the machines were fitted with tire warmers, however, no one actually knew which rubber the teams had selected until the blankets were removed moments before the warm-up lap. Behold! The RC213Vs of Marquez and Pedrosa were on the red-striped hardest option, which Bridgestone had added to its allocation only days earlier.

“There will be a disadvantage in terms of the warm-up performance for the right-handers,” Bridgestone MotoGP Press Officer Carmine Moscaritolo warned, “but the Hondas seem to like a more stable front end, so it will help them.”

Track temperature peaked at 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) just before the start of the race. “If it cools down later in the race,” Moscaritolo said, “they might feel they are lacking a bit of grip. The guys running the asymmetric fronts will be able to get the right side up to temperature quicker, and that could be an advantage in the early laps.”

Nicky Hayden Sachsenring MotoGP

Nicky Hayden was caught up in a chaotic start. “I came back on track second to last and made up a few positions,” he said. “I got with Hector Barberá and thought we could catch the group ahead of us, but I lost so much grip that I just had to concentrate on making the finish.” The American finished 16th.

At the start of the 30-lap race, pole-sitter Marquez and second-placeman Pedrosa dove to the apex of right-hand turn one, while Lorenzo swept across the track and—following a pulse-quickening nudge from Marquez—leapt into the lead entering the first of the track’s 10 lefts. The leading quartet quickly distanced itself from the rest of the pack, with Rossi twice setting a new lap record from row two running down Pedrosa in third.

Entering the final corner at the end of lap five, Marquez slipped past Lorenzo and immediately pulled away. The Spaniard then lowered the lap record again en route to his second victory of the year and sixth successive win at the German track. Pedrosa worked his way past Rossi and finished 2.226 seconds behind Marquez. The Italian was third, with Lorenzo fading almost out of view in fourth.

Officially, 19 of 25 starters used the asymmetric front slick, with the aforementioned quartet selecting the medium front and Marquez and Pedrosa opting for the hard. Rear tire choice for the race saw a more even split across the field: 14 riders selected the medium compound and the remaining 11 chose the soft.

Marc Marquez Dani Pedrosa podium Germany

At the beginning of the weekend, Marc Marquez had just one victory in the first eight races and trailed championship leader Valentino Rossi by 74 points. With Marquez’s win, that gap is now 65 points.

At the post-race press conference, Marquez and Pedrosa discussed their decision to use the harder front tire. “With the ‘33’ (medium),” Marquez said, “I was faster in the first 15 laps but then it was a question mark.

“When I tried the ‘38’ (hard), I was maybe one-tenth slower. But on the last laps, it looked slightly more consistent. Thirty laps pushing on the left side is a lot. I saw in the warm-up that if I increased my rhythm one-tenth, I was also able to fight for the victory.”

Pedrosa said the harder tire offered less grip, but it was more stable and durable. “I knew the 33 has more feeling,” he said, “but I decided 38 just to be more sure at the end of the race. For me, it was a good choice.”

For Marquez, any tire shortcomings were history after the first few laps. “Both of us were unsteady in the first corner because it’s downhill,” he said. “If you lose the front there, it’s dangerous. When I passed Lorenzo, I did the same rhythm like in practice.”

Following his ninth consecutive podium, Rossi heads into the summer break with a 13-point championship lead over Lorenzo. Round 10 of the MotoGP World Championship is scheduled for August 7-9 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in conjunction with round eight of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship.