MotoGP: The history of Grand Prix racing in Germany


Here are some facts and figures from the long history of Grand Prix racing in Germany:
– The first motorcycle Grand Prix to be held in Germany was the West German Grand Prix held at the Solitude circuit in 1952, when it was reported that 400,000 spectators turned up to watch. Ireland’s Reg Armstrong won the 350cc and 500cc races, riding Nortons. The home crowd had plenty to cheer about, with Rudi Felgenheier winning the 250cc race on a DKW and Werner Haas winning the 125cc race on a NSU
– The first East German Grand Prix was held at the Sachsenring road circuit in 1961. The original circuit used for this event was a closed road circuit, 8.73km in length
– The East German GP continued to be held at the Sachsenring each year until 1972, after which the road circuit was considered too dangerous for Grand Prix racing
– The West German Grand Prix continued to be held every year from 1952 through to 1990, when East and West joined to become a unified Germany. Four different circuits were used during this period: Solitude, Schotten, Nurburgring and Hockenheim
– There has been a German Grand Prix held every year since unification – from 1991 to 1994 at the Hockenheim circuit, followed by three years at the Nurburgring and since 1998 at the new Sachsenring
– In addition to those mentioned above, one other Grand Prix event has been held in Germany: the Baden-Wurtemberg GP, held in 1986 at the Hockenheim circuit for just the 80cc and 125cc classes
– The newly-built Sachsenring circuit was initially just 3.508km long, with one short section of track from the old road circuit. Major modifications to the circuit in 2001, and then additional slight alterations in 2003, resulted in the current 3.671 km track layout
– This will be the 17th successive year that a Grand Prix event has been held at the new Sachsenring circuit
– Since Grand Prix racing returned to the Sachsenring circuit in 1998, there have been six podium finishes by home riders: Ralf Waldmann was third in the 250cc race in 1999, Steve Jenkner was third in the 125cc race in 2002, Stefan Bradl finished second in the 125cc category in 2008, Sandro Cortese finished third in the 125cc race in 2010, Bradl was second in the Moto2™ race of 2011 and Cortese won the Moto3™ race in 2012
– Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP™ class in 2002, Honda have been the most successful manufacturer at the Sachsenring with eight wins, followed by Yamaha with three and Ducati with a single victory.

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