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Varying perspectives in Sachsenring press conference

Varying perspectives in Sachsenring press conference

The official Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland press conference saw five riders provide varying perspectives on the championship scenario and the German track.

World Champion and standings leader Valentino Rossi was the first man to speak in Thursday’s press conference at Sachsenring, as he, Dani Pedrosa, Chris Vermeulen, Nicky Hayden and Mika Kallio commented on their 2009 experiences to date and offered their views on riding at the hilly German venue.

On his Sachsenring record Rossi stated, “It is always a difficult track for me personally but I have had some good victories here in the past, one in the 250cc class, one in MotoGP in 2002 and two in a row with Yamaha more recently. In 2007 I made a mistake in the race and lost a lot of important points in the championship, but last year was good in difficult conditions. It was very cold and there was a lot of rain but arriving in second position was an important result.”

Moving on to explain his approach the ninth GP weekend of the year, which he goes into with a nine point championship lead, Fiat Yamaha rider Rossi added, “This year we arrive here with a good pace and having got some good results. We also have a clear idea on our setting so we hope to start well from Friday.”

Meanwhile, Repsol Honda’s ‘comeback kid’ Pedrosa, who finally returned to full form with victory last time out at Laguna Seca less than two weeks ago, referenced his U.S. win saying, “It was a good result for me and for all our team, so we went out afterwards for dinner to celebrate and it was nice.”

Currently fourth in the classification, Pedrosa turned his focus to Sachsenring, where he dramatically crashed out last year, but normally goes well, adding, “I’ve also had some good times here but last year especially was not the greatest moment! It is a track where things are tight, the lap times are very close between the riders, so you have to work very hard to get on the front row.”

Rizla Suzuki representative Vermeulen, who lies eighth in the championship and was on the podium in 2008’s wet race in Germany despite starting 14th on the grid, stated, “Like Valentino said last season it was a very tough in the race, with conditions so different to practice and qualifying. We had struggled to get the most out of one lap on the tyre but I was very happy to be back on the podium in the race. It looks like the weather could be unstable again this weekend so it will be important to be fast in all conditions.”

Ducati’s fast-improving former World Champion Hayden arrives at round nine having boosted his confidence in his home race at Laguna. The American remarked, “In my last four races I’ve gone twelfth, tenth, eighth and fifth, so we know we are going in the right way. The next step, to put myself in with the front group, is the hardest one, but there is a lot of racing to go this year. We just have to keep our heads down and see what happens.”

Having missed the chance to make his Laguna Seca debut last time out, due to a nasty finger injury sustained when he crashed out late in the race at Assen in round seven, Pramac Racing rookie Kallio is ready to ride again. Having lost a significant portion of the finger in question he is unable to wear his wedding ring at present, but joked, “I didn’t plan it like that!”

“There is not much of the finger left, but it is better than it looks. It is not painful any more and if it starts to get uncomfortable when I’m on the bike I’m sure it will be ok with a painkilling injection.”


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