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Chaz Checks In... Sachsenring

I was at home for just over a day before we had to again leave for the German GP. Casey travelled back with us from Donington as he was on the same flight as us to Germany. He rode a bit of supermoto at home whereas I sat and repaired! We stayed at Stansted Tuesday night ready for an early morning flight to Altenburg in the morning which is only 30k’s from the circuit. Sachsenring is a track I like, I like pretty much all the tracks in the second half of the season. On Wednesday and thursday I didn’t do much, my torso was feeling better each day and Dean was checking up on it.!

On Friday I was feeling ok body wise but tired. The weather was absolutely scorching, about 35 degrees which wasn’t making it easy. I didn’t feel very good on the bike on Friday morning, still a it stiff and I think my body was trying to fix quite a few things at once which was taking it out of me. About mid-way through the morning session I lost the front at the penultimate corner at the bottom of the hill and was sure I had crashed because my left hand had come off the bar. Somehow I dug my knee in and the bike picked up and I found myself still on it but in a lot of pain. I stretched my groin area again which wasn’t good so I had a break in the pit box for 5minutes. At the end of the session I was 16th with a 1.27.6.

For the afternoon we changed the setup a bit to give me a bit more feel with the front. I didn’t want too change too much until I was feeling 100% though. The change was for the better but I was feeling like crap. Randy came in to the box and told me to focus on getting stronger first and prepare for tomorrow and eventually Sunday. The weather was pretty much guaranteed as being good for the following day so I wanted to get a good nights sleep and be 100% on the ball for the morning. I finished the session 19th on a 1.27.3.

On Saturday morning I was feeling better and stronger as soon as I woke up. The session went pretty smooth. We were getting a better setup with each time we made a change and I did a lot of consistently quick times all in the low-mid 1.27’s with the quickest being a 1.26.8 which was 14th place, 1 tenth behind Locatelli in11th and 0.6 off Casey in 8th.

In the afternoon I did a lot of laps in the mid 26’s very early on. I went from 19th, to 15th, to 12th and then to 9th. In the final 15minutes I got a new rear tyre and my first flying lap was a 1.26.3 which at that time was 10th. I did a few laps on the trot all in the low-mid 26’s. On my last lap I ran into a wildcard within 3 corners which scrubbed the lap straight away. I was 12th at the start of the last lap and by the time I got back to the box I’d been bumped back to 15th which was a bit of a shame to miss the third row but the times were seriously close, just 0.2 to Locatelli in 11th. I was happy with the bike setup and felt like I had a good rhythm for the race.

Sunday morning was steady as always. Old tyres from qualifying, a full tank of fuel and running in new pistons for 5 laps. I did a couple of laps in the mid 27’s and all felt ok for the race.

As we were the last race of the day there was a lot of hanging around. I feel sorry for all the MotoGP riders who have to go through that most weekends. I was pretty nervous before the race, the better I qualify and the better I think I can do then the more nervous I get, I hate it but at least I‘m not the only one, Casey is the same! My start was so-so, I did better ones the day before in practice but we had a new clutch in for race day which didn’t feel great. At the end of the first lap I had passed a couple of riders and was in 15th. Debon got a flier from something like 20th on the grid and was holding our group up. I was third in the group and then West came by after about 5 laps and I was confident I could hang on to him because our times and consistency in qualifying had been pretty similar. On lap 6 I passed Debon and began to drop him straight away and was with West and Guintoli in 11th and 12th. I was just lining up Sylvain for a pass because I knew that West might get away and wanted to go with him. At the start of lap 7 I came out of the first corner and the bike started to mis-fire. At first I thought it was just a slight splutter from the engine but after I got out of the tight section and tried to open it up It was mis-firing badly and wouldn’t clear out. I did an extra lap just to see if the bike would come good but it didn’t change and I coasted back to the box pretty peed off. Another at least 5 points gone. After 10 minutes the mechanics found the problem, a slight crack up the porcelain in the spark plug which caused the plug to generate a spark but only a weak one. All them nerves for 7 laps, very frustrating!

So, not a successful race. Normally around the Donington/Sachsenring time of year my luck starts to change and the results pick up but it just aint there at the minute. We have another 3 week break now for which the first week I’m gonna let my body fix itself up and get some good rest in. I’ve been pretty much non-stop since I went to the tour so I think a week of rest at home is due. Apart from that I don’t really know what I’m gonna do in this break. Do some more cycling, definitely some supermoto, maybe go to Alton Towers and that’s about all I can think of at the minute!

I’m looking forward to Brno as I tend to go ok there so roll on that one. Catch ya in a few weeks!




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