Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi made a welcome return to the Sachsenring podium today with third in the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Today’s podium finish is his first at the Sachsenring circuit since his victory with Yamaha in 2009 and is a mark of his continued return to form following his Assen victory two weeks ago.
Starting from third on the grid the nine-time World Champion took the hole shot into turn one and led local German rider Stefan Bradl into the first lap. As Rossi struggled to find grip from the rear Bradl was able to pass on turn 12. As the laps wound down pole man Marc Marquez squeezed for the lead. Rossi was able to pick up the pace again with 22 laps to go, re-passing Bradl for second position. Mid-race distance saw tyre wear drop dramatically and with 15 laps remaining Rossi was forced to allow satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow to pass. Despite the lack of grip he was able to build a gap of nearly 4 seconds to Bradl in fourth to secure third place and a second successive podium finish of the season.
The result puts Rossi on 101 Championship points, six behind Crutchlow in fourth.
Valentino Rossi 3rd / +9.620
“It's a good result, to stay on the podium is always a good result but I expected something more and to do a better race. During the weekend we made some choices, yesterday we decided to set up the bike in one way and today after some laps I started to suffer too much. The first ten laps were not so bad but after I started to have problems and it was too difficult to turn the bike, especially on the left I was sliding too much. We have to work to try and make another step to stay with the top guys. Next we will have Laguna, a very special track, and we will try to have better results there. We are five very fast riders and we are closer now because unfortunately Dani and Jorge are injured and we have another race next week. If I want to fight for the Championship I have to go faster and I have to be constantly faster so I have to make another step.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“We worked the entire weekend to manage the tyre life in the best way possible but we couldn't make it as we wanted. We had a decent pace and in the end we got a podium, that is an important result and we got points. We knew at the beginning that this circuit was not one of the favourites for us and we had to manage it. We are looking forward to Laguna to fight for the positions that we are used to be fighting for.”