Escaping with sixth place in Catalunya after a pair of post-race penalties, including the much-discussed ‘wardrobe malfunction’ with his leathers, Fabio Quartararo takes a 14-point MotoGP title lead into Germany this weekend.
With the slow German circuit absent from last season’s calendar, the Monster Yamaha rider has only made one premier-class appearance at the Sachsenring, in 2019.
It would prove to be the scene of Quartararo’s first race fall as a MotoGP rider, during a brilliant rookie season of few mistakes, and he returns as the only rider in the championship top five to have scored points in all seven rounds so far.
“Thanks to the work we did at the Catalan Test we have been able to prepare a setting for the Sachsenring that we feel quite confident about,” said Quartararo. “This is not my best track, but I‘m looking forward to start riding here anyway. We have had a good pace all season so far, so I‘m happy with that, and I hope to be able to get a good result this weekend.”
While Yamaha hasn’t won a race at the Sachsenring since Valentino Rossi in 2009, Quartararo’s team-mate Maverick Vinales was runner-up to Marc Marquez in 2019 and returns fresh from leading the Catalunya post-race test, his first with new crew chief Silvano Galbusera.
“We‘ve made another step at the test in Barcelona, so little by little we are improving. I really can’t wait to see if the changes we‘ve made during the test will help us at the Sachsenring,” said Vinales, who like Quartararo has scored points in every race but has sunk to sixth overall (-40 points) after struggling to back-up his Qatar win.
“It‘s a track that‘s quite narrow and different from other circuits, but I have scored good results here in the past. In the last two races at the Sachsenring, in 2018 and 2019, I finished in third and second place respectively, so I hope that this year we can also do a good job.”
“This is a peculiar circuit in that it‘s not to every rider‘s taste, but a good set-up and the M1‘s nimble characteristics have proven to be effective for this track,” added team director Massimo Meregalli.
“We are keen to get going and continue the work done at the Catalan Test, which we hope will be beneficial to us.”
Pramac Ducati’s Johann Zarco is currently Quartararo’s nearest title rival, despite not winning a race.