Classics: Relive 3 of the best German GPs | Valentino Rossi Blog

Monday, July 11, 2016

Classics: Relive 3 of the best German GPs

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…
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?
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.

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