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Sarron on his win at the '85 German GP

Sarron on his win at the '85 German GP

Sarron on his win at the '85 German GP

The Sachsenring circuit has featured intermittently on the MotoGP World Championship calendar since 1961 but Grand Prix racing in Germany has a rich and colourful history at a variety of legendary circuits. The Solitude, Nürburgring and Hockenheim circuits all played host to the series before it moved back to its current venue in 1998, and it was at Hockenheim that Yamaha enjoyed most success.

Giacomo Agostini, Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey all took famous victories there, but perhaps the most remarkable was that of Christian Sarron in 1985. After winning the 250cc title for Yamaha with fifteen wins the previous year, Sarron stepped up to 500cc racing in impressive style, finishing on the podium in the second round at Jarama and then ending a 30 year premier-class victory drought for France with a masterful wet display that left Lawson and Freddie Spencer trailing in his wake.

"For some people it was a surprise that I won but for me it wasn't," recalls Sarron, who scored a total of 18 podiums for Yamaha in the premier-class. "I had won a lot of wet races in the 250cc class and also on a 750 at Hockenheim so I expected to do well. The only surprise was that I got a really bad push-start and ended up in last place. It was so hard to see in all the spray but I just kept passing people and passing people. I didn't even know I was at the front until my team held out the pit board!"

"Of course it was a great feeling and I will always remember my only 500cc win, although to be honest I don't think it was my best performance and it isn't my best memory as a rider. That would be the Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp in 1989. It was a similar performance but it was in the dry and I came through to take second place behind Eddie Lawson. In my opinion, the performance is always more important than the result."

"I have a lot of happy memories from my career with Yamaha and I am so glad to see them on top of the World Championship again. I think they took a lot of unfair criticism when the M1 came out but I always believed it was a good bike – it just needed a rider with the confidence and skill to push it hard enough to find the right setting. Valentino Rossi has shown himself to be exactly that man and I am so happy that they found each other."


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