German GP: Repsol Honda preview

Pedrosa Aiming To Cement Points Lead Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa will be aiming to cement his World Championship points lead at the Sachsenring where last year he scored a dominant win and team-mate Nicky Hayden took third place to give ...

Pedrosa Aiming To Cement Points Lead

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa will be aiming to cement his World Championship points lead at the Sachsenring where last year he scored a dominant win and team-mate Nicky Hayden took third place to give Repsol Honda its first double podium of 2007.

Pedrosa retook the 2008 points lead with a fine ride to second place at the recent Dutch TT, while Hayden came close to completing the team's first double podium of the year.

This is the busiest time of year for the Repsol Honda Team -- the German GP is the fifth MotoGP round in just seven weeks and is immediately followed by next weekend's US GP. Pedrosa, Hayden and their crews are thus working very hard. Pedrosa knows he needs to find a few extra tenths to strengthen him World Championship charge while Hayden is getting to grips with Honda's pneumatic-valve engine which he raced for the first time at Donington Park, the weekend before Assen.

The German GP sees the MotoGP circus switch from one historic race venue to another. The original Sachsenring street circuit was first used for racing in the late 1920s and hosted the first GP behind the Iron Curtain in 1962. The track regularly attracted crowds of 350,000 and was last used for World Championship racing in 1972. Following reunification a Sachsenring short circuit was constructed. The venue hosted its first GP in 1998 and since then has undergone substantial upgrades. It is now a complex and challenging circuit, with an ultra-tight first section that leads into a rollercoaster series of high-speed left-handers that are its dominant feature.

Dani Pedrosa

"We are working very hard at the moment, trying to improve our performance. We will do our best to repeat my 2007 German GP win but we know it won't be easy. Sachsenring is quite a slow track, most of the corners aren't so fast. My favourite section is the final, faster part: the fast, downhill right-hander near the end of the lap and then the uphill run into the final corner. There is always a good atmosphere at this race with a lot of fans and overflowing grandstands. The track was resurfaced for last year's race which made it a lot better because before it was very bumpy. Set-up is always difficult at Sachsenring because it's a long race, so you need a harder-than-normal compound on the left side of the tyres. You use quite a static riding style here, riding more gently and making fewer movements than usual on the bike."

Nicky Hayden

"The bike is working good, the engine is running plenty good, but we just had that little issue at the end of Assen which stopped me getting third. I'm sure the guys at HRC will have the electronics all fixed for this race because I quite like the Sachsenring and I've always gone pretty well there. It's a short little lap and some people complain it's too tight and twisty but I like fast left-hand corners and it's got a lot of them. I'm a dirt tracker so I like going left! The first bit is quite technical, then you've got that fifth-gear drop-off round the back which is really good, definitely one of the best. The key for going down that hill is getting the bike so you're confident in the front. The next right-hander (Turn 12) is a big one, it's blind and it's downhill, so you can't go tip-toeing through there if you want a good lap, you've got to be committed and charge it. Last year the track had a new surface because tyre wear had been a big issue there."

-credit: repsol honda

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Dani Pedrosa
Teams Repsol Honda Team