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Sachsenring Grand Prix history

Sachsenring Grand Prix history

Although this weekend's Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland is just the tenth World Championship visit to the current modern circuit, the history of Grand Prix racing at the Sachsenring is much longer.

Although this weekend's Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland is just the tenth World Championship visit to the current circuit, the history of Grand Prix racing at the Sachsenring is much longer, with twelve East German Grand Prix events being held on the original road circuit between the years of 1961 and 1972.

The original circuit was 8.73km in length and the East German Grand Prix attracted larger crowds than any other date on the calendar, with race day attendances being estimated in some years at greater than 300,000.

Here motogp.com selects some of the highlights from Grand Prix racing at the Sachsenring:

1961 – Gary Hocking was the star of the first East German Grand Prix winning both the 350cc and 500cc races riding for MV Agusta. Mike Hailwood won the 250cc race on a Honda on his way to winning his first world title. The home crowd had plenty to cheer about when East German rider Ernst Degner won the 125cc race on the locally built MZ.

1963 – Mike Hailwood dominated the event winning the 500cc and 350cc races riding MV Agusta machinery and the 250cc race riding an MZ.

1966 – Czech rider Frantisek Stastny won the 500cc class after a chaotic end to the race. Giacomo Agostini had been leading the race on his last lap having lapped the entire field when he fell. The flag marshal then gave the chequered flag to Stastny one lap early before realising his mistake and sending the riders on an additional lap. Subsequently a meeting of the international jury discounted the last lap and the results were taken from when the chequered flag was first displayed.

1967 – Each of the four races were won by great riders of the era; 500cc – Agostini, 350cc – Hailwood, 250cc – Phil Read, 125cc – Bill Ivy. These four riders between them eventually amassed 32 world championship titles and 271 Grand Prix victories.

1969 – This event will sadly be remembered for the tragic death of Bill Ivy, who suffered fatal injuries after crashing his 350cc Jawa during practice.

1971 – The 250cc race ended in an emotionally charged victory for West German rider Dieter Braun in front of 250,000 mainly East German fans. This resulted in the playing of the West German national anthem which was much frowned upon by the East German authorities and to make matters worse a large section of the crowd joined in with singing the anthem.

1972 – The final Grand Prix to be held at the old circuit which was subsequently considered to be too dangerous to stage a World Championship event. Agostini won the 500cc race for the sixth successive year while new team-mate Read scored his first win riding the MV Agusta. Jarno Saarinen won the 250cc race on his way to taking the world title.

1998 – After a gap of 25 years, racing returned to the Sachsenring at a newly built circuit which was initially just 3.508km long with one short section of track from the old road circuit. Mick Doohan took victory ahead of Max Biaggi in the 500cc race with Alex Criville third. Follow the video link on the left to see highlights from the race.

2001 –Biaggi won the 500cc race from Carlos Checa and Shinya Nakano. This was the last occasion at which all three podium finishers were riding Yamaha machinery. Follow the video link on the left to see highlights from the race.

2006 - The MotoGP race in Germany last year resulted in the closest ever top four finish in the premier-class, with just 0.307 seconds covering the first four riders across the line. Valentino Rossi took the win ahead of Marco Melandri, Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa. Follow the video link on the left to see highlights from the race.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, ALICE MOTORRAD GRAND PRIX DEUTSCHLAND

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