Think you know everything you need to know before the lights go out? Think again!
The 2017 German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring will be the 79th Grand Prix event to be held on German soil – so here’s a hew things to know before we go racing at the #GermanGP.
MotoGP™ in Germany:
– The first motorcycle Grand Prix to be held in Germany was the West German Grand Prix held at the Solitude circuit in 1952, when it was reported that 400,000 spectators turned up to watch. Ireland’s Reg Armstrong won the 350cc and 500cc races riding Nortons. The home crowd had plenty to cheer, with Rudi Felgenheier winning the 250cc race on a DKW and Werner Haas winning the 125cc race on a NSU.
– The first East German Grand Prix was held at the Sachsenring road circuit in 1961. The original circuit used for this event was a closed road circuit 8.73km in length. The East German GP continued to be held at the Sachsenring each year until 1972, after which the original road circuit was considered too dangerous for Grand Prix racing.
– The West German Grand Prix was held every year from 1952 through to 1990, when East and West joined to become a unified Germany. Four different circuits were used during this period 1952 to 1990: Solitude, Schotten, Nurburgring and Hockenheim.
– There has been a German Grand Prix held every year since unification, from 1991 to 1994 at the Hockenheim circuit, followed by three years at the Nurburgring and since 1998 at the new Sachsenring circuit.
– In addition to those mentioned above, one other Grand Prix event has been held in Germany: the Baden-Wurtemberg GP held in 1986 at the Hockenheim circuit, for just the 80cc and 125cc classes.
– The newly built Sachsenring circuit was initially just 3.508km long with one short section of track from the old road circuit. Major modifications to the circuit in 2001 and then additional slight alterations in 2003 resulted in the current 3.671 km track layout.
– The Sachsenring is one of just five circuits on the current grand prix schedule that run in an anti-clockwise direction, along with Austin, Aragon, Phillip Island and Valencia.
– This will be the 20th successive year that a Grand Prix event has been held at the new Sachsenring circuit.
– Since Grand Prix racing returned to the Sachsenring circuit in 1998 there have been seven podium finishes by home riders: Ralf Waldmann was third in the 250cc race in 1999, Steve Jenkner was third in the 125cc race in 2002, Stefan Bradl finished second in the 125cc category in 2008, Sandro Cortese finished third in the 125cc race in 2010, Stefan Bradl was second in 2011 in Moto2™, in 2012 Sandro Cortese won the Moto3™ race and last year Jonas Folger was 2nd in the Moto2™ race.
– The best result by a German rider in the premier-class at the Sachsenring since racing returned to the circuit in 1998 is fourth by Stefan Bradl in 2013.
– Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP™ class in 2002, Honda have been the most successful manufacturer at the Sachsenring with eleven wins, including the last seven years. Yamaha have had three, the last of which was with Rossi in 2009. Ducati’s single MotoGP™ victory in Germany was with Casey Stoner in 2008.
– Honda riders have also qualified on pole for the German GP for the last six years; the last non-Honda rider to start from pole for a MotoGP™ race at the Sachsenring was Jorge Lorenzo in 2010 on a Yamaha.
– The rider with most victories at the new Sachsenring circuit is Marc Marquez with seven wins (1 x 125cc, 2 x Moto2, 4 x MotoGP™), followed by Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa with six wins (2x 250cc, 4 x MotoGP™).
– The Moto2™ race winner in Germany last year, Johann Zarco, crossed the line just 0.059 seconds ahead of second place finisher Jonas Folger – the closest finish in a full-length Moto2™ race since the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2010.
…and the season so far:
– After winning the Dutch TT, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has an opportunity to win back-to-back races for the first time since 2009 when he won in Catalunya and at the Dutch TT. If he stands on the top step in Germany he will be the second oldest rider of all time to win back-to-back premier class Grand Prix races, after Les Graham who won the final two races of the 1952 season at Monza and Montjuich Park at the age of 41 years 21 days.
– In each of the last seven years at the Sachsenring Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has qualified on pole and won the race; 2010 in the 125cc class, 2011 & 2012 in Moto2™ and for the last four years in MotoGP™.
– Sachsenring is the only circuit on the 2017 schedule where Honda have won in the MotoGP™ class for each of the last seven years.
– Following the Dutch TT, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso leads the MotoGP™ championship standings with a score of 115 points. This is the lowest score for a rider leading the championship after the opening eight races of the year since the current points scoring system was introduced in 1993.
– Marc Marquez has not qualified on pole since the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin. This is the first time since moving up to the MotoGP™ class that he has gone five successive races without starting from pole.
– After scoring points in the first seven races of his rookie season in the MotoGP™ class, Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) failed to score any points at the Dutch TT after crashing out of the race. This means that there are now no riders in the MotoGP™ class who have scored points in all eight races of 2017; the last time this occurred was 1995.
– Just 11 points cover the top four in the MotoGP™ championship classification. This is the smallest margin covering the top four riders in the premier-class after eight races since the current scoring system was introduced. The previous record for the smallest margin at this stage of the season was in 1998 when 29 points covered the top four riders: Mick Doohan, Max Biaggi, Alex Criville and Carlos Checa.
– Just 0.063 seconds separated Valentino Rossi and Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) at the end of the Dutch TT. This is the sixth closest finish of the MotoGP™ era, after: 2006/Portugal (0.002 seconds), 2011/Valencia (0.015 sec), 2016/Italy (0.019 sec), 2003/Czech Republic (0.042 sec), 2003/Germany (0.060 sec).
– At the Dutch TT, Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) became just the second British rider (after LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow) in the MotoGP™ era to set a fastest lapin a race.
– That fastest lap set by Scott Redding was a time of 1 minute 34.617 seconds. During the course of the race another nineteen riders set lap times within one second of this fastest lap time; the first time ever in a premier class Grand Prix race that twenty riders have posted lap times within one second of the fastest lap of the race.
– Petrucci has stood on the podium twice in the last three races. This is the first time that a Ducati rider from an Independent Team has had two podium finishes in a season since Toni Elias in 2008.
– With Andrea Dovizioso winning in Italy and Catalunya and Valentino Rossi at the Dutch TT, Italian riders have won three successive MotoGP™ races for the first time since 2009 when Rossi’s victories in Germany and Brno were separated by a victory for Dovizioso in Britain. This is also the first time there have been three successive MotoGP™ races without a Spanish winner since 2011 when Casey Stoner won at Laguna Seca, Brno and Indianapolis.
– Valentino Rossi’s win at Assen made it five different winners in the first eight MotoGP™ races of the year for the first time since 2006.