Tyres to the test at German MotoGP

By Simon Hancocks
HancocksToad Rides a KTM 125 Duke, mad keen race fan, in fact, mad keen about everything about biking,

After a couple of weeks of down time, the MotoGP circus is back in action this weekend from the tight and technical Sachsenring circuit for the German Grand Prix.

Sachsenring is a notoriously tough circuit on the front tyre with one particular corner, turn 11, infamous for its front end crashes. The fast right hander, also known as ‘The Waterfall’ sees the bike thrown from left to right through a fast downhill section. It has been the scene of numerous crashes over the years, so how the still developing Michelin tyres will cope is likely to be one of the big stories of the weekend.

The cope with the unique demands of the circuit, the French manufacturer has developed a new asymmetric tyre for the track, which features just three right hand corners to 10 left. That means that the right hand side of the tyre often has trouble reaching optimum temperature, as the bike is cranked over on the left hand side for much of the lap.

Speaking ahead of the event, Michelin MotoGP boss Piero Taramasso said: “These new compound tyres have been specifically designed to meet the stresses expected at Sachsenring and with 10 left-hand turns, the left shoulder of the front tyre will feature a harder rubber to cope with the high temperatures this track is expected to produce.” 

For the first time, Michelin has built an asymmetric rear to aid the riders as they try to coax 250bhp through the tiny contact patch of the tyre. Taramasson continued, “To match the front allocation Michelin will have another first at the German track, as it will offer a rear slick which also features a harder left shoulder in its asymmetrical design”

Marc Marquez

Marquez on target

History suggests that championship leader Marquez will be the man to beat at Sachsenring, having won the last three races there. Despite the 2016 Honda’s reputation as a recalcitrant beast, Marquez retains a 24 point advantage over world champion Jorge Lorenzo after eight races. The Spaniard reckons that his love of dirt track racing helps him at the left handed circuit but is not counting any chickens. He said: “We’re going to the German GP aiming for a podium position and of course possibly to fight for the win. The Sachsenring is normally a very good track for me that I like very much, maybe because it has so many left-hand corners, a bit like a dirt track! On the other hand, it’s another one on the calendar where the weather has sometimes played a crucial role in the past, so we’ll see how it goes there. We’ve learned from the past and we’re approaching this season race by race, trying to be ready and make the most of what we have and what the situation requires. In any case I’m happy we’ll be back in action shortly and I’ll do my best to get another positive result before the summer break.”                                                                                                                                                                     

Track Facts

Race Laps


Total Distance

69 miles

2015 Result

1st Marquez - 2nd Pedrosa - 3rd Rossi

Fastest Lap

1’20.336 Marc Marquez – 164.5kph

Most Wins

Dani Pedrosa - 4

Most Poles

Casey Stoner - 4



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