Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
Round 10: Sachsenring, Germany

Track length: 3671 m
Opened: 1966
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 24.056 (Alex Barros, 2004)
MotoGP lap record: 1' 24.056 (Alex Barros, 2004)
Last year MotoGP winner: Max Biaggi
Circuit web site:

2004 MotoGP Race Summary

Yamaha Factory rider and reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi entered the
2004 German Grand Prix, held at the Sachsenring with high expectations since the
tight and twisty circuit has traditionally suited the nimble Yamaha. But after a
determined fourth place in what was a dramatic and changeable race it was Max
Biaggi (Honda) who mounted the podium as winner.

Rossi's fourth place came after an incident-filled race, and his team-mate
Carlos Checa was one of many riders who did not make the finish. The Spaniard
tumbled out on lap five, shortly after passing a string of riders. Rossi
encountered his own challenges in the final laps, running wide on two corners
and experiencing a violent weave as he tipped into the fast left hand curve at
the top of the hill, losing places on each occasion after the rear tyre began to

Rossi chased the eventual race winner Max Biaggi in the early laps, sitting
second and harrying his fellow Italian throughout. Sete Gibernau (Honda) closed
in on the pairing until he fell from third place on lap eight, allowing fellow
Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Alex Barros to move in on the act. Rossi broke
Biaggi's lead on lap 16, 0.7 seconds ahead at one stage, heading the order for a
total of six laps. The young Italian's challenge for maximum points faded,
however, when he lost places consecutively to Biaggi, Barros and finally Hayden.

Meanwhile massive misfortune visited the Fortuna Gauloises Tech 3 team when both
riders crashed out on lap 21 of the 30-lap race. Marco Melandri lost control of
his YZR-M1 when the rear wheel touched the grass. The bike highsided the young
Italian into the air and then Norick Abe hit the stricken machine at nearly
200kmh, crashing spectacularly as a result.

Both riders were circulating the 3.671km track in close company as they both
tried to get the better of Honda runners Colin Edwards and Makoto Tamada. Marco
and Abe were both well into the points places in seventh and eighth when the
double disaster unfolded.

2005 Set-up report YZR-M1

The tight and twisty nature of Sachsenring lends itself to close racing. This is
partially influenced by its rather short overall length, only just scraping in
on the minimum allowed distance to host a MotoGP race, while the looping layout
itself has the reputation of making passing moves on fellow competitors
difficult even at the best of times. The design of the circuit, with virtually
only three pieces of straight tarmac, has seen the MotoGP machines reach their
top speeds at the back straight, with two key passing points - the final two

Like Donington Sachsenring is made up of low and high speed sections. For this
reason the Yamaha YZR-M1 will need to offer agility and a degree of stability
too - a difficult combination - although agility takes priority. For 2005 this
has become a major strength with the re-born YZR-M1 and should provide each of
the four Yamaha pilots an advantage.

Due to the long radius turns, and the low speeds a smoother power delivery is
especially useful at such an undulating circuit as much of the driving is done
off the left side of the tyre. All of this with little camber on offer.

To help the YZR-M1 in this regard Yamaha will opt for a more linear
characteristic from the rear suspension linkage - to suit the needs of the
circuit and the flatter torque characteristics likely to be used by the
inline-four. Such a linkage ratio will offer a plusher movement through the
first stage of the stroke before gradually increasing in intensity. It will not
only improve traction off the turns, allowing the rider to get on the power
harder and earlier than before, the new linkage should also reduce the effects
of the M1's front wheel pawing for the clouds. This is often an issue for the
240 plus horsepower 145kg machines.

This will be supported with a rear shock set-up that sports a setting a little
more on the softer side; offering more feel while working the rear tyre less
over the bumpy surface. It is necessary, however, to ensure the swingarm motion
is predictable, as these setting, combined with the undulating layout and lack
of grip, can lead to instability. To prevent this from becoming an issue the
shock's damping will be dialed in to compensate, while the front forks will be
set to provide the best all-round balance. This is possible with the limited
amount of hard braking that takes place at the Sachsenring.