DRIVE M7 riders complete tricky race
Hiroshi Aoyama and Nicky Hayden place twelfth and fourteenth, respectively, in German GP held amidst mixed conditions
The MotoGP race at Sachsenring featured tremendous uncertainty at the start, as rain half an hour before the sbeginning of the contest left the track damp in places and riders undecided over their strategy. The race was declared wet, but the track was practically dry, so many participants decided to use slicks. However, after the warmup lap a total of fourteen riders changed their minds, starting from pitlane with wet setups instead. Although one of the few not to switch, Stefan Bradl was eventually caught after leading the race for the opening third, and from then on Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa led the way. Márquez went unchallenged for his ninth consecutive victory, with Pedrosa second and Jorge Lorenzo third.
Hiroshi Aoyama was brave at the last race in Assen, despite the strange track conditions, in a situation that allowed him to run high up the order until he lost steam later. Today he again showed the same courage, using slicks from the start of the race. Thanks to this he rode several laps in fifth position, before gradually being overtaken by the more regular frontrunners in MotoGP. He managed to cross the finish line in twelfth position and took four points.
Like Aoyama, Nicky Hayden had also failed to take points at the Dutch TT, so today wanted to get back to adding to his tally. He did so, thanks to a fourteenth place finish at Sachsenring. The DRIVE M7 Aspar rider was overly cautious at the start, dropping places quickly due to his prudence. Later he was able to fight back, setting a good pace past the halfway mark of the race and getting up to fourteenth.
12th Hiroshi Aoyama: "We've had two races with complicated conditions, so it’s been a pretty stressful situation. Luckily my team had done a great job over the weekend and were able to advise me well before the race. I was a little worried but our decision to use slicks from the beginning was successful. At first some parts of the circuit were very wet, so we had to use caution. Even so, I was comfortable. In contrast, in the middle of the race I lost feeling with the front and that prevented me from going as fast as yesterday. Luckily I finally regained confidence, so I was able to go faster with each subsequent lap. If I had reached the pace from the end a little earlier, I would have finished in a better position. In any case, considering the track conditions, finishing the race in twelfth position is positive for us. "
14th Nicky Hayden: "The conditions for today's race were really crazy, and racing like this is so hard because you do not see exactly how the track is at each point. I'm not happy with the start of the race; I had no confidence and I let several riders get away from me until I was down in last. At the beginning of the race, with the wet track and cold tyres, I did not have a chance to overtake anyone. It was a shame to start with so much prudence, because on the last fifteen laps I imposed a pretty good pace which allowed me to gain a lot of positions. I could have caught my teammate and Abraham, but in the end I lacked a little bit of a push. I am annoyed, because the team did a great job this weekend. We improved the performance of the bike, and that allowed us to be competitive in qualifying yesterday. I hope to perform at a higher level next time."