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Classics: Relive 3 of the best German GPs

Ahead of the 2016 GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland relive three of the best races from previous years at the Sachsenring.

In total there have been 78 Grand Prix events held on German soil since the World Championship began back in 1949, with 2016 the 19th successive year that the Sachsenring has played host to a race. Here are three of the best from the modern era to get you in the mood for the 2016 German GP:

In 2003 Valentino Rossi was looking to make it three premier class titles in a row. His main rival that year would be Spaniard Sete Gibernau and when they arrived at the Sachsenring for round nine of the season both riders had recorded 3 wins apiece. Rossi though, had been more consistent and had been ever-present on the podium in the previous rounds. This had led to the Italian opening up a 54-point lead over Gibernau in the championship, with the Spanish rider knowing he needed to take the fight to Rossi in Germany if he was to have any chance of denying him the title.

Only three hundredths of a second separated them in qualifying with Rossi lining up on the front row in fourth and Gibernau starting behind him in fifth. What unfolded next turned out to be a classic duel between the two championship contenders…

MotoGP Race - Full Video

The 2006 season had seen Nicky Hayden emerge as the title favourite by the time of the German GP, which was round 10 of the championship that year. The American had opened up a 26-point lead over Dani Pedrosa in the standings, with Rossi a further nine points back in third and Marco Melandri in fourth; just 39 points separating the four. It was one of the most open seasons ever that eventually saw seven different race winners over the course of the year, but the scrap at the Sachsenring was a particular highlight.

Pedrosa secured pole with Hayden on the front row, while Melandri was sixth on the grid and Rossi would have to fight his way through the pack after qualifying in 11th. All four title contenders became involved in an amazing battle for the win, with incredibly with just 0.307s separating them when the crossed the line, but who would come out on top?

Sachsenring 2006 - MotoGP Full Race

The 2009 German GP would once again see the top four men in the championship standings involved in an excellent battle. As they arrived at the Sachsenring for round 9 of the season, Rossi enjoyed a nine-point lead over his teammate Jorge Lorenzo, with Casey Stoner just seven points further back in third and Pedrosa completing the top four, although the Spaniard was 59 points adrift of Rossi. The four would also line up side by side on the grid as Lorenzo secured pole ahead of Rossi and Stoner on the front row, with Pedrosa heading up the second row in fourth.

As the race commenced, they became locked in a titanic four-way fight for the victory. In the closing stages two riders broke away at the front and the last-lap fight between them became legendary, with less than a tenth of a second separating them as they crossed the line.

Sachsenring 2009 - MotoGP Full Race