The GP of Germany ended spectacularly with both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales fighting with each other in the final laps and finally finishing a close 10th and 11th place at the flag.
The race itself was a great show for the fans, with many riders fighting for positions in the middle of the pack; and with the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders well-up in the battle. The overall performance of the Factory GSX-RRs has constantly improved during the whole weekend, although it has been a pretty hard three-days for the team’s engineers and mechanics to find the most-effective set-up on both bikes.
At the start, both Espargaro and Viñales had some trouble keeping their starting positions (7th and 12th) and entered the first corner having lost some places, so both Spaniards needed to recover. Espargaro immediately hit the gas to regain some places, while Viñales took a little more time to find an effective race-pace. At mid-race their fight together was settled around 10th place and their battle together became closer, lap-after-lap, until in the closing stages of the race, with the younger rider being closer to more experienced Espargaro. During the final two laps they fought hard with some overtaking moves, until the last corner where Espargaro won over Viñales, taking 10th position and 11th place going to his younger team-mate.
The weekend gave important data to Suzuki engineers about the areas which are most important to focus-on before the next round. The first chance to test this will be this week with a two-day private test session at Misano in Italy on Wednesday and Thursday.
Satoru Terada – Project Leader:
“This has been a hard weekend for us. We struggled to find a proper set-up to make the riders comfortable and this meant that we couldn’t make a weekend as good as the last few ones. Espargaro did not have a good feeling on front, especially in slow corners and Viñales couldn’t find effective rear-grip and acceleration. We thought that this circuit would have been suitable for us and on the contrary this is probably one of the weekends where we struggled most. Of course we know that acceleration is one of our weaknesses and our development team is working to find a solution, the seamless gearbox is probably one of the most effective solutions and I hope we will be able to introduce it pretty soon. This will not only improve the pure performance on lap-time but also give more confidence to the riders. The test in Misano we are going to make this week will be important as well because we will try some new ideas in the chassis department but mainly look for some more effective set-ups, as the track is pretty similar to this one; so therefore we will try to capitalise on the experience we got here.”
“I am sorry for the weekend because for the entire three days we couldn’t find a proper set-up. I felt very uncomfortable with the front in slow corners and we couldn’t find a proper way to improve. In the race, at the end, I’m happy I hit the top-10; it is important to think of the points, because I took many risks and I had to think about the championship and, most of all, the development process. We will go into Misano after this weekend and we will test as much as possible, with Tom - the Chief Technician. We already have some ideas about where to work on. Indy will not be easy for us and also the second half of the season we need to make a big step forward.”
“Well at the end I really enjoyed fighting with Aleix. I’m proud to be so close to him because he is my point of reference as he has the same machine and a lot more experience and even though I would have preferred to be ahead of him, at the end of the day the real thing is that we both would like to be fighting with other riders at the top rather than with each other. In the race I felt the very same problems I’ve encountered the whole weekend; a bad feeling with the rear and a lack in acceleration due to a lot of spin. This was a problem at such a tight circuit as Sachsenring as it has so many slow corners and we definitely need to improve on this. I’m positive for the test we will do in the week and I trust my engineers can find some solutions to develop the bike still further so we can be more competitive after the summer break."
GP of Germany – Race Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team - 41'01.087
2. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team - +2.226
3. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - +5.608
4. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - +9.928
5. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team - +20.785
6. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - +23.215
7. Cal CRUTCHLOW, CWM LCR Honda - +29.881
8. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - +34.953
9. Danilo PETRUCCI, Octo Pramac Racing - +35.875
10. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +37.253
11. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +37.274
Riders World Championship Classification (after GP of Germany):
1. Valentino ROSSI - 179
2. Jorge LORENZO - 166
3. Andrea IANNONE - 118
4. Marc MARQUEZ - 114
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO - 87
6. Bradley SMITH - 87
7. Dani PEDROSA - 67
8. Cal CRUTCHLOW - 66
9. Pol ESPARGARO - 64
10. Maverick VIÑALES - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 57
11. Danilo PETRUCCI - 51
12. Aleix ESPARGARO - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 44