The Ducati Team is racing in Germany in the slowest race of the season

 
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The Ducati Team is making the trip to the Sachsenring, the racetrack located in Saxony, in what was once East Germany. The tradition of motorcycling is a very strong one in this part of Germany; just think that more than 100,000 spectators attend the race. The track where the race currently takes place was built in 1996, underwent radical changes in 2001, and is located amid the hills that encircle the small town of Oberlungwitz. Before the permanent track was built, the races used to be held a short distance away on a road track in the Chemnitz area, which was later abandoned as it was clearly unsuitable from the point of view of safety.

Despite its being of recent construction, the characteristics of the German racetrack are completely unique, making it the slowest track in the whole world championship. In fact much of the track winds through continuous left-hand bends that must be tackled in second and third gear, where places for overtaking are completely non-existent. The continuous left-hand turns in the first part of the course cause severe stress on the left-hand shoulder of the tyre, which results in the right-hand side, conversely, not reaching optimum operating temperature. But the German track totally changes configuration at bend 11, with a fast right-hand bend just before a vertiginous descent.

Obviously at this difficult spot it is essential to bear in mind that the right side of the tyre hasn't reached optimum temperature for use, which creates a fair number of problems for riders, given that exiting this bend leads straight into the fast part of the track. The following descent really conveys what a MotoGP today can express in terms of power, as the bikes seem to be literally shot out towards the next bend. The final stretch includes two more left-hand bends, the first one very fast and the setting for thrilling attempts to overtake, while the other, which leads into the final straight, offers a stiff upward slope to reach the finish line.

So it's a very unusual racetrack, where finding a good balance will be very tricky, particularly for the Desmosedici GPs, which do not, on paper, seem to have the necessary characteristics to excel in Germany. However, all the signs from the previous race at Assen suggest that MotoGP Ducati's capacity to adapt has evolved. In fact the Dutch track had never been particularly kind to the Desmosedicis, but, in addition to what Iannone and especially Dovizioso were able to achieve in the race, they managed to be very competitive in both dry and wet conditions throughout the weekend. Another factor to be assessed will be the behaviour of the Michelin tyres, in their first outing on this track, given the weak points that the Saxon racetrack can highlight.
Differing opinions about the track for the Ducati riders: for the "maniac from Vasto" the racetrack is short but sweet and his two previous MotoGP experiences on this track have brought him two fifth places. Desmo Dovi completely disagrees, considering this race track a bit too short and narrow to race on with MotoGPs.

We have already mentioned the huge audience that comes to the race in Germany and of course the Ducati Grandstand will be there, full of local Ducatisti as usual. It isn't just a grandstand that's made available to fans of the Borgo Panigale brand, but a complete village to celebrate in, especially on Saturday afternoon when, at the end of the qualifying rounds, the official riders are scheduled to pay a visit. And needless to say, in perfect German style the village will be buzzing with life until late into the night thanks to the beer and local culinary specialities.

The riders will be busy on the track from Friday, with FP1 at 9.55 am and FP2 at 2.05 pm. On Saturday it will again start at 9.55 am with the final practice (FP3), useful for establishing entry to the qualifying rounds, followed by the 30 minutes of FP4 at 1.30 pm. The qualifying rounds in which grid positions are decided will take place at 2.10 pm (Q1) and 2.35 pm (Q2).
On Sunday, the warm-up will begin at 9.40 am while - as is tradition - the race will get under way at 2 pm.(All times are CET)

 

All Ducatisti can follow the live updates from the track and post comments on the races with us on Twitter and on our official Facebook and Instagram: don't forget to use the hashtag #forzaducati and read all the news and updated results on the Ducati Corse App and in the Racing Ducati section.

 

 

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