GERMAN GRAND PRIX – SACHSENRING :: RACE ANALYSIS

The German GP at Sachsenring saw Casey Stoner of Ducati stretch his Championship lead over Yam’s Valentino Rossi eventhough the Ducati rider didn’t even make it into the podium! Casey suffered with a high track temperature taking its toll on his Bridgestones while team-mate Loris Capirossi made better work of his different construction tyres to Casey. Valentino Rossi lost his front end and had to call it a day after his M1 had a bent handlebar and an overheated engine coutesy his low-side (crash). On this day, finally, the Michelins seemed to have an edge over the Bridgestones. The Desmosedici engine of the Ducati GP7 couldn’t enjoy its significant horsepower advantage on this tight and twisty German circuit.

The next venue is the US GP at Laguna Seca which will, in all probability, see a lower ambient than what was seen at this race. Last year, Rossi suffered over-heating problems and finally his engine blew up in the race costing him dearly in the Championship charge. This year, Yamaha’s engineers better get their act right if they want to stop the already dwindling chances of Rossi beating his Ducati rival, Stoner to the Championship. There again, Yamaha and the US riders Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden, John Hopkins will have more of an opportunity to get on terms again with Ducati and Stoner, since, the Yamaha M1 is known to have a super chassis that’s a delight to handle the tight and twisty sections that Laguna Seca has, by the bucket load. Local track knowledge is paramount to getting the hang of the circuit quickly and tune the bike properly.

Can Michelin continue its resurgence or was it a flash in the pan at the Sachsenring? We’ll find out for sure in the US. See you then. 

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3 Responses to GERMAN GRAND PRIX – SACHSENRING :: RACE ANALYSIS

  1. Srivaths says:

    Cool man! Can you throw some light on who is technical superior and in which area – Bridgestone Vs Michelin!

    Hey, another piece of info, Bajaj Auto is in look out for performance bike company for acquisition or partnership! Ducati is in their radar at the moment! As per business dailies!

    Keep writing bro! I will try to catch up with you!

  2. Sriram says:

    Up until last season Michelin had the upper hand in most of the races. A rule change with regard to tyre usage during a Grand Prix weekend has shifted the advantage in favour of Bridgestone this season. The rule change centres around two main things: the first one is the number of sets of both the dry weather and the wet weather tyres that the teams could use during a weekend (the number of sets of tyres that could be used by the teams were not restricted before). The second rule change is with regard to when the tyres can be shipped to a race. Up until last season, Michelin used to follow this procedure to select the type of tyre: they will initially ship certain constructions and compounds of dry tyres to the races based on the previous years’ data, computer simulation, weather forecasts etc. All the Michelin teams will be asked to use all those available types of the tyres during the practice sessions. Based on the data collected by the teams on tyre degradation, tyre temperatures, whether the riders report any chatter on the front end (this is a very serious factor that affects a rider’s confidence with his front-end) among others, Michelin will calculate and make adjustments to the compounds and constructions of the tyres and will arrange to manufacture the newly developed compounds and or constructions and ship them just before the qualifying session. Using this new tyre that has been tailor made to the circuit on the race track itself, the Michelin riders would blitz the field. While this was happening at the Michelin camp, Bridgestone always used to follow the traditional approach. That is to say, as already mentioned for Michelin, based on the previous years’ data and so and so forth, they would bring their tyres and will qualify and race with them. No modifications whatsoever on the track.

    This year, the FIA rules put an end to the Michelin approach by stating that all the tyres that are to be used in both the qualy and the race have to be stipulated by the teams after the practice sessions and more importantly that the tyres have to be brought to the circuit beforehand. This means, no ordering new tyres on race day. Bridgestone who already were well versed with this approach had no problems with this new rule. But, Michelin struggled to adapt. Combined with this the limited set of tyres per weekend rule, the Michelin performance that was the class field last season became history. We’ve to see when Michelin catches up with their Japanese rival.

    As for the Bajaj-Ducati alliance, wow! That would be great, unquestionably. But, will it happen? Will Ducati be prepared to shift their focus from chasing horsepower and revs to mileage and refinement? We’ll see.

  3. Srivaths says:

    Thanks for providing insights into the RUBBER WORLD… !

    Bajaj might take over Ducati or other performance bikes to augment their 200 plus cc bike segment! Not the other way around!

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