German GP: Ducati preview

STONER AND HAYDEN TAKING CONFIDENT STRIDES TOWARDS SACHSENRING Sachsenring is an unusual circuit, extremely tight in places and for the most part slow, twisty and largely unsuitable for the characteristics of a MotoGP bike. However, it...

STONER AND HAYDEN TAKING CONFIDENT STRIDES TOWARDS SACHSENRING

Sachsenring is an unusual circuit, extremely tight in places and for the most part slow, twisty and largely unsuitable for the characteristics of a MotoGP bike. However, it remains extremely popular amongst riders and fans alike, with one of the largest and most passionate crowds of the year set to descend on the German track this weekend.

Amongst its keenest admirers are the two Ducati Marlboro Team riders, who head into the German Grand Prix with confidence and motivation this weekend. Casey Stoner took the first podium of his career at Sachsenring in the 125cc race in 2003 and eventually followed up with MotoGP victory in 2008. Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, loves the anti-clockwise nature of the track and was on the podium here four times in a row between 2004 and 2007.

CASEY STONER, Ducati Marlboro Team

"We have always had pretty good races at Sachsenring, I got my first-ever podium there and I'm definitely looking forward to it. We're a little more confident with the bike, everything has worked well enough in the last three races and we just need to find a bit more speed - just a few tenths of a second. We have to try a few different things to get some grip without losing the good feeling we have with the bike at the moment. You definitely need good side grip at Sachsenring because through a lot of those long corners you need to keep the gas open as long as possible. Also when you come over the top at turn 12 the rear gets very light and wants to wriggle around, so you really need some traction over the top there. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next race because if we can find a good set-up it can give us the opportunity to do well. I want to put some good results together and both myself and the team will be working hard and giving 100% to get them."

NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Marlboro Team

"It is a very short lap at Sachsenring and the first part of it is very tight and technical, with probably the slowest run of corners on the whole calendar. Turns 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all in first gear -- it's like a car park! The back section is really fast though, with one of the coolest corners in MotoGP, which we call the 'Waterfall' - you arrive in fifth gear and nosedive into a blind corner... you have to be decisive there or you can easily lose a few tenths. It is a track I like a lot and on paper it is one of the best on the calendar for me. I really like left-hand corners and this track is full of them, so it is also important that we have dual compound tyres here."

VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager

"Anything is possible at Sachsenring because our team has the ability to do well there. Both our riders like the track and even though it is not one of the fastest it always seems to have favoured the characteristics of the Desmosedici. Nicky has been on the podium there four times in the past and it was at this circuit last year where he began to show signs of progress with an excellent qualifying result. Unfortunately he wasn't able to repeat it in the race but I would like him to do that this Sunday and I think he has every chance. Casey has always been strong at this track, he won in 2008 and after a tough start to this season he now has a good feeling with the bike and is highly motivated to finish his time with Ducati at the level we have become accustomed to."

THE TRACK

The history of MotoGP World Championship racing at Sachsenring began in 1961, when it was one of the fastest and most popular races on the calendar. However, it was also one of the most dangerous and as a result it was removed from the schedule in 1972. It returned in 1998 as one of the slowest tracks, with an average speed of just 143km/h, but modifications introduced in 2000 brought that speed up to over 150km/h and further adjustments in 2001 increased it to around 159km/h. However, the circuit, which runs anti-clockwise, remains tortuous and twisting - especially in the first sector, and requires good mid-range engine performance. Later in the lap a faster series of left-handers that lead into an incredible blind right require good side grip from the tyres.

-source: ducati

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Casey Stoner