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GP Week : Issue 161
Sandro Cortese’s Moto3 victory was the first by a German at the historic Sachsenring circuit for 41 years – and evoked fascinating memories of the last one, by 250 Yamaha rider Dieter Braun in 1971. That was on the old public-roads Sachsenring circuit, where crowds of racing-starved East Germans of 150,000 or more packed the circuit, often building towering but flimsy private grandstands. The West German’s potential victory was so distasteful to the East German Stasi that they ordered the Clerk of the Course to stop the race. He refused, and was sacked directly after wards. To prevent the West German national anthem, Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles, being played to the crowd, the Stasi disconnected all loudspeakers except that at the start-finish – but the crowd itself started to sing and the tune echoed around the hills and forests. The event was revived on the modern short circuit, using part of the old start-finish straight, after German re-unification. There is a strong motorcycle history in the area. The classic pioneering two-stroke MZs were built nearby at Zschopau, close to Karlmarxstadt, which has now re-adopted its original name Chemnitz. Cortese’s win was achieved on a KTM, an Austrian machine. CRT team on the brink of switching to Honda power MOTOGP BMW FOR THE CHOP? MotoGP veteran Colin Edwards’s NGM Forward CRT team is on the brink of abandoning the unequal struggle with the only BMW-powered machine on the grid, to switch to either a class- standard Aprilia ART or more probably an FTR Honda. Edwards has been struggling with the Suter BMW, which last year was the only CRT machine to break cover, at mid-season tests. But a lack of development from the Swiss chassis manufacturer and difficulty with developing exclusive Bosch electronics for the four-cylinder S1000RR engine has left the American struggling for results and lagging behind the other CRT machines at almost every race this year. Edwards described how hopes of support from Suter and BMW had come to naught, with only one new chassis since the start of pre-season testing. At the same time, Bosch’s first attempt at producing an electronic engine management system for motorcycles was proving highly problematic. “We have the same problems now as at the first test,” he said. “The bike is like a raging bull with a headache, with poison ivy up its arse.” (See ‘5 minutes with ....) The first choice for replacement is an FTR Honda like that used by San Carlo rider Michele Pirro, which has the benefit of electronics developed for the Honda World Superbike by Dutch entrants Ten Kate. At Assen a week ago, the NGM For ward team dumped their Moto2 Suter chassis in favour of British FTR units. Rider Alex de Angelis said “I can feel the bike much better now,” after finishing third, his first rostrum of the year at the Sachsenring. GERMAN JOY AT FIRST VICTORY FOR 41 YEARS fuchs lubricants.com Our partnership with Jason Lepley Motor- sport and the FUCHS Titan Race MkII Escort, continues to bring success in the historic rally championship events across the UK. 13 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS