MotoGP Scenes: Sachsenring 2015 Race Day 1
Note: this is a No Spoiler article, showing images and details including the warm-ups and grids but not the races at the German GP.
Above, Aleix Espargaro had some trouble with his #1 bike in the warm up and was fiddling with something on the dashboard as he approached Turn 1. He then pulled off the racing line and stopped his bike halfway through the turn. The yellow flags waved and riders slowed as they passed, most taking little or no interest in what was going on with the senior Espargaro brother. But when the younger Espargaro brother arrived, he took so great an interest that he missed the turn and had to take the scenic route through the stones before rejoining the race track.
I’ve asked riders if they notice anything beyond the track while they’re riding, like photographers or the crowd or crashes. I’ve always received the same answer. Each has said that riding a MotoGP bike requires so much concentration they don’t notice anything like that, and sometimes they don’t even see yellow flags being waved. I suppose you do tend to notice a rider at the side of the track when he’s your brother.
Things you seldom see at a MotoGP race: Sachsenring is an unusual track in several ways, one of them being how much circuit is crammed into such a small area. A by-product of this is that the paddock in Germany is divided into two sections. Paddock 1 is behind the garages and is full up, containing the MotoGP team trucks, Bridgestone and Dunlop tire supply areas, IRTA, Dorna, and some Moto2 and some Moto3 team trucks.
Paddock 2 is on the inside of the circuit and contains the team and sponsor hospitalities, the remainder of the Moto2 and Moto3 team garage areas (in temporary structures), and rider motorhomes, among other things. The Red Bull Rookies Cup garage is in another area altogether because even Paddock 2 is full.
So those teams who didn’t get assigned to a pit lane box have to move from Paddock 2 to pit lane by crossing the circuit before the entrance to Turn 1. It makes for an odd parade of bikes, riders, mechanics, tool kits, tires and so on, between each session. For example, why isn’t Matteo Ferrari on his Moto3 bike and his mechanic on the scooter?
I like the optimism of wheelies done while leaving pit lane. It shows confidence. Somehow I doubt that there’s any correlation between this action and winning a race. Some riders are just wheelie fans and some aren’t. But for those who are, starting off a session with a tall one like Sam Lowes does here seems more likely a sign that the rider is feeling good about his chances, no?
I got the moves like Vale, I got the moves like Vale, I got the moo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oves like Vale!
Something else you seldom see at a MotoGP race: Aleix Espagaro gets a push along the service road from a marshal rather than wait for the truck that returns crashed bikes to the paddock.
On the next page, the grids: