Valentino Rossi is looking to continue where he left off at Mugello as he continues to develop the updated Ducati machine in Germany. The nine-time World Champion raced well to finish sixth from a poor grid position and believes they are gradually starting to improve the set-up of the GP11.1.
'The Doctor' is a six-time winner at the Sachsenring and is looking forward to another productive weekend as he celebrates his 250th Grand Prix.
“At Mugello we started working with the setup in a direction that we had never tried before. We used it Sunday in the warm-up, so we weren't able to spend much time on it. The bike worked better in the race than it had in practice, but we still need to do more experiments with these settings, so at the Sachsenring we'll see if they might be a good starting point. The track is tricky in some spots, but it's a circuit that I like. Last year I returned to racing in Germany after the injury to my leg, and it was a nice race. We hope the weather and temperature will be good because we need to work on the setup as much as possible before the race.”
Ducati teammate Nicky Hayden is eagerly anticipating this weekend's event for one reason in particular, as he prepares to tackle the corner he has described as one of the best on the calendar.
“Sachsenring is a tight, scrappy little track, but it's one I quite like. It's got the shortest lap time the whole year apart from Laguna, but it's a long race, and we're on the left side of the tire for much of the time. There are a lot of big left-handers, which I always enjoy, and I've had some good results there. The thing that sticks out for me is that it's almost two parts: the first bit is really tight and slow, and then the last bit is really fast and open, especially with what they call the Waterfall corner, which is fifth-gear, downhill and blind. That's about as good as it gets, and I'm not sure there's a better corner on the entire calendar.”
With both riders boasting impressive records around the Sachsenring, team manager Vittoriano Guareschi is optimistic the team can have a strong weekend, although he has his fingers crossed that the weather doesn't complicate matters again.
“The Sachsenring is very different from Mugello, and it will be interesting to learn whether the latest changes to the setup that we tried on the GP11.1 during the Italian GP will be a good starting point. We'll see if those settings can also adapt to features like those of the German track, which is narrow and winding. Vale has won there on many occasions, and last year he rode well on his return from injury. Nicky has also made the podium there a number of times. We hope it will be nice for the entire weekend so that we can finally do all the practice sessions and the race with the same weather conditions.”