MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi arrives at Sachsenring for this weekend’s German Grand Prix determined to get his championship bid back on track after crashing at Assen.
The Italian’s quest for a tenth title and seventh in MotoGP took a knock at the Dutch Grand Prix when the 37-year-old Yamaha star came unstuck in the rain.
That misfortune coming on top of bike failure at Mugello has left Rossi trailing Marc Marquez in the riders’ championship by 42 points, with an 18-point gap to reigning champion and teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
Rossi, the last non-Honda rider to win at Sachsenring back in 2009, knows another pointless weekend could fatally floor his bid for a first MotoGP crown in seven years.
“I really want to get back on track,” said Rossi, who won his first title in 1997 when Marquez was only four-years-old, on Wednesday.
“In Assen we worked well throughout the weekend and we were really fast, both in wet and dry conditions, but the race was not very lucky for us.
“At the Sachsenring circuit we will have to work well as we have been doing during all weekends this season.
“We are fast and I‘m comfortable with the YZR-M1 and with the Michelin tyres. I like this track and Sunday I will do my best to make it a good race.”
Marquez kept the wheels firmly on his championship bid with a second to Australian rank-outsider Jack Miller in Holland.
The Spanish Honda rider will start favourite at a circuit where he is unbeaten since 2010 in all classes.
The double world champion wrote in his official team blog: “The Sachsenring circuit is one that I like.
“It isn’t my favourite like the one in Aragón, but it is true that I race well on it and I usually have good results.
“I’ve won the last three MotoGP races there and I think it’s because it suits my riding style really well. It has a good number of left turns, a bit like a dirt track!”
Lorenzo, with three wins to his name this season, was relieved to come away with something after a tricky time at Assen.
“I didn’t expect such a difficult race in Assen but ultimately we were able to get some valuable points for the championship. Now we are visiting Sachsenring, a circuit where I’ve never won,” he said.
“It’s always a challenging track for both me and the YZR-M1, but this year – with different electronics and tyres – you never know.”
Marquez’ Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, fourth in the rider’s standings, is another hoping to make an impact on the last MotoGP outing before the four-week break.
Pedrosa like Marquez has a great record at the circuit, with four MotoGP wins at the Sachsenring where over 200,000 fans are expected to watch this ninth leg of the 18-race season. – Agence France-Presse