2003 German motorcycle Grand Prix

The 2003 German motorcycle Grand Prix was the ninth round of the 2003 MotoGP Championship. It took place on the weekend of 25–27 July 2003 at the Sachsenring.

Germany  2003 German Grand Prix
Race details
Race 9 of 16 races in the
2003 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season
Sachsenring (Rennkurs).svg
Date27 July 2003
Official nameCinzano Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland[1][2]
  • Permanent racing facility
  • 3.671 km (2.281 mi)
Pole position
Rider Italy Max Biaggi Honda
Time 1:23.734
Fastest lap
Rider Italy Max Biaggi Honda
Time 1:24.630 on lap 8
First Spain Sete Gibernau Honda
Second Italy Valentino Rossi Honda
Third Australia Troy Bayliss Ducati
250 cc
Pole position
Rider Argentina Sebastián Porto Honda
Time 1:25.728
Fastest lap
Rider Spain Fonsi Nieto Aprilia
Time 1:26.469 on lap 16
First Italy Roberto Rolfo Honda
Second Spain Fonsi Nieto Aprilia
Third France Randy de Puniet Aprilia
125 cc
Pole position
Rider Italy Stefano Perugini Aprilia
Time 1:27.717
Fastest lap
Rider Spain Pablo Nieto Aprilia
Time 1:28.490 on lap 7
First Italy Stefano Perugini Aprilia
Second Australia Casey Stoner Aprilia
Third San Marino Alex de Angelis Aprilia

MotoGP race reportEdit

This race was most notable for the titanic battle between Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau, with the Spaniard narrowly winning after a dramatic finale.

Valentino Rossi leads the standings with 187 points, followed by Sete Gibernau with 158 and Max Biaggi with 130 points.

Max Biaggi took pole position on Saturday - his second of the season - with Jeremy McWilliams only +0.002 seconds behind him in second. Loris Capirossi lined up third and Valentino Rossi in fourth, who suffered from a cold as well as tyre problems. Sete Gibernau took fifth place, with Troy Bayliss lining up in sixth, Carlos Checa in seventh and Tohru Ukawa in eighth place.[3][4][5] Chris Burns will not be taking part in the race, after being declared unfit due to his collarbone fracture after a crash in the previous British race two weeks ago.[6]

The pack make their way back to their respective starting positions and as the lights go out, Rossi makes a great start and moves up into the lead at Turn 1, followed by the two Ducati's of Capirossi and Bayliss. Gibernau moved up one spot to take fourth, Melandri moved from twelfth to fifth. McWilliams and pole sitter Biaggi had terrible starts, dropping from second to sixth and from first to ninth.[7] At Turn 13, Gibernau dives down the inside of Bayliss to take third from him. Olivier Jacque did likewise and overtook both Biaggi and Nobuatsu Aoki by going side-by-side with them at the short straight before Turn 13, finalising the move at the entrance after Biaggi went wide.

As lap two begins, Bayliss tries to use the superior Ducati top speed to pass Gibernau at the start/finish straight, almost bumping into him as a result. He isn't able to finalise the move and stays behind for the time being. The top six is as follows: Rossi, Capirossi, Gibernau, Bayliss, Melandri and McWilliams. Going down into Turn 1, Melandri takes fourth by going up his inside at the end of the start/finish straight. Jacque has also made up ten places on the opening lap, going from eighteenth to eighth place. Rossi opens up a gap to Capirossi during the lap.[7] Rossi's teammate and rookie Nicky Hayden tries to pass Aoki at Turn 14 but runs the bike too deep, allowing the Japanese rider to make the cutback and retake twelfth position.

Lap three and Bayliss has a big moment as he brakes for Turn 1, almost going sideways as a result. Gibernau and Melandri put some serious pressure on Capirossi, who is struggling a bit. Just as Gibernau makes his move going down at the short straight before Turn 13, Melandri does the same, overtaking both Gibernau and Capirossi and moving from fourth to second, with Gibernau also taking third from Capirossi. Gibernau then takes second at the braking zone at Turn 14, moving up into second place as a result.[7]

As lap four begins, Melandri goes side-by-side with Gibernau, taking second back from the Spaniard after he outbraked him. Right behind the duo, Bayliss closes up and tries to take fourth place from his teammate Capirossi around the outside of Turn 1, but goes wide and has to slow back behind him. This fighting has allowed Rossi to ride away, creating a huge gap to the second rider. Gibernau is still all over the back of Melandri, with the Telefónica Movistar Honda rider overtaking Melandri at the left-hand kink at Turn 9 for second. [7]Biaggi meanwhile has passed Jacque for eighth place further back, then taking McWilliams for seventh before the entrance of Turn 13. At Turn 14, Bayliss overtakes Capirossi and moves up into fourth position as he goes down his inside.

On lap five, Gibernau slowly starts to ride away from Melandri. Biaggi - who has been slowly making up the lost ground - is now right behind his Camel Pramac Pons teammate Ukawa and overtakes him at the fast right-handed Turn 12 effortlessly, moving him up to sixth. Bayliss also takes third spot from Melandri by going up his inside at Turn 14.

Lap six and Melandri tries to get back at the Australian by trying a very late lunge down his inside, only narrowly avoiding the Ducati rider as they go down into Turn 1. Exiting Turn 4, it looks like Melandri managed to grab the position back, but Bayliss still managed to stay in front after he went a bit wide. Biaggi also takes fifth position from Capirossi at Turn 13. Hayden passes McWilliams for eleventh at Turn 14 by going up the inside of the Northern Irishman before the climb back up to the start/finish straight.

On lap seven, Biaggi quickly catches up to Melandri. He takes third from him as he outbreaks the Italian going into Turn 13.

Going into lap eight, Rossi leads Gibernau by +1.827 seconds. Going into the fast Turn 12, Gibernau had a bit of a wobble but no harm is done. No overtakes happen at the front.

Lap nine and the top six is as follows: Rossi, Gibernau, Bayliss, Biaggi, Melandri and Capirossi. Noriyuki Haga has crashed out at the last corner on the last lap, his bike losing grip going into Turn 14 and sliding out of contention at high speed. The Japanese rider is then seen running onto the track in a dangerous manner, with one of the marshalls trying to stop him but failing to do so. Biaggi meanwhile is closing up on Bayliss at the front.

On lap ten, Biaggi has caught Bayliss for third but is unable to make a move so far.[7]

Lap eleven and the gap Gibernau has to Rossi has been brought down - from +1.827 seconds on lap eight to +1.495 at the beginning of this lap. Biaggi tries to pass Bayliss by going side-by-side at the straight before Turn 13, then it looked like he had passed him but the Italian ran a bit too wide, allowing Bayliss to dive down the inside at the uphill Turn 14, blocking his way and retaking third place.

As lap twelve starts, Biaggi is still trying to get past Bayliss. At Turn 1, he takes a much shorter inside line and goes side-by-side with Bayliss exiting the turn, but still doesn't finalise the move going into Turn 2. Biaggi is still hounding the Australian all throughout the lap.

On lap thirteen, Biaggi tries the same move down at Turn 1 but still isn't able to get through. At Turn 4 however, Bayliss goes a bit wide, with the Italian now finally able to pass him by going down his inside, taking third spot from Bayliss.[7]

Lap fourteen and Gibernau is slowly starting to catch Rossi, with the gap on the last lap being +1.165 seconds. At the fast Turn 9, Biaggi loses his bike and crashes out by sliding into the gravel, ending his good comeback.[7] Distraught, he walks off as the marshalls remove the bike from the gravel. This now means that Bayliss has pretty much secured third position. The gap to Rossi has meanwhile been shrinking and is now only +0.873 seconds.

On lap fifteen, Melandri is now forming a train behind him consisting of Capirossi, Checa, Ukawa and - further back - Hayden. Gauloises Yamaha rider Alex Barros is out of the race, crashing out at the end of Turn 1 after fighting with McWilliams for tenth place. The rider is unhurt and walks away in a disappointing manner. At Turn 13, Ukawa tries to make a move but isn't able to but with Checa going wide, he can get side-by-side with the Spaniard, positioning his Camel Pramac Pons Honda at his inside at Turn 14 and making the move, moving up to sixth place.

As lap sixteen begins, Hayden is now eyeing Checa as well. He looks to be making a move at Turn 1 but instead stays behind for now. At the front, the gap Gibernau has to Rossi has decreased even further and is now only +0.478, which then increases to +0.480 seconds.

Lap seventeen and the gap to Rossi has increased to +0.706, then decreased again to +0.621 seconds.

On lap eighteen, the gap is once again cut and now is only +0.591 seconds, then decreasing again slightly to +0.511 seconds.

Lap nineteen and Gibernau just puts the fastest lap of the race with a 1:24.8. The gap is +0.364 seconds but halfway into the lap, he has caught Rossi and is all over the back of him.

As lap twenty begins, the Spaniard goes side-by-side with the Repsol Honda rider, even looking at him as they blast down the start/finish straight, with Gibernau taking over the lead at the end of the straight.[7][8] Rossi tries to fight back but eventually decides to stay behind in second position. Rossi then shadows Gibernau for half the lap, then tries to dive down the inside at Turn 13 with the Spaniard closing the door on him.

On lap twenty-one, Rossi is still all over the back of Gibernau but does not try to make a move. Both riders now start to slide around a bit as the tyres start to wear off.

Lap twenty-two and Rossi looks to be making a move at the downhill Turn 1 hairpin, but thinks better of it and stays behind Gibernau. The Italian is still shadowing Gibernau, maybe trying to pressure him into a mistake.

On lap twenty-three, Rossi is still right behind Gibernau, eyeing him but not making a move yet.

Lap twenty-four and the top six is now as follows: Gibernau, Rossi, Bayliss, Capirossi, Hayden and Ukawa. The top two encounter some backmarkers - who get out of the way causing no problems and Melandri has also crashed out from fourth place. Suzuki Grand Prix Team rider John Hopkins is also standing still in the gravel due to engine problems, coming to a standstill in the gravel in a cloud of expensive smoke.[8]

On lap twenty-five, Hayden is catching the Marlboro Ducati of Capirossi in fourth position, with Ukawa being a distant sixth. The duo up front is still very close to each other, Rossi eyeing Gibernau as both begin to slide around the circuit. Rossi looks to be making a move at Turn 13 but still does not finalise it and sticks behind Gibernau.

Lap twenty-six and no overtakes happened at the front. Rossi is still right on the tail of Gibernau, shadowing his every move.

On lap twenty-seven, the top six is as follows: Gibernau, Rossi, Bayliss, Capirossi, Hayden and Ukawa. Rossi is still eyeing Gibernau, looking up his inside at Turn 9 but still staying behind.

Lap twenty-eight - the penultimate lap - and Rossi is still waiting for the right moment to pass. He's all over the back of Gibernau, but still does not make a move.[7]

On the final lap - lap twenty-nine - Gibernau opens a slight gap to Rossi at the start/finish straight after the Italian made a small error exiting Turn 14. Rossi however almost immediately catches back up to him and, after a lot of waiting lap after lap, he finally overtakes Gibernau exiting Turn 12, going side-by-side with him at the straight and finalising the pass going into Turn 13. Many thought that Rossi had secured the race win, but as he closed off the inside to prevent Gibernau from making a final move, the Spaniard instead took a very wide line going into Turn 14. Using the superior traction and exit speed, he blasted past Rossi - just enough to win the race by a mere +0.060 seconds.[7][8][9] Just as Rossi wanted to start the celebrations, he sees that Gibernau pipped him on the line, with the Spaniard erupting into joy as he just realised he won the race, with his pit wall doing likewise. Bayliss came home in a lonely third, doing a wheelie in the process, Capirossi in fourth, Hayden in fifth and Ukawa in sixth. This win was Gibernau's fourth and last of the season, and Rossi's second place now meant that he has a winless streak of four races.

On the parade lap back to parc-fermé, he stops at the edge of the track next to the pits, with two of his pit crew members coming up to him to celebrate his victory. The Repsol Honda pitwall meanwhile, looked on in disbelief as to what just happened. As Gibernau celebrates in absolute glee, Rossi is unhappy and does not wave at the celebrating marshalls or the crowd, choosing to immediately ride back to parc-fermé. [7]

At parc-fermé, Bayliss gets a hug from one of the Ducati crewmembers, with a disappointed Rossi looking down and probably thinking to himself what just happened. As Gibernau arrives, he gets a lot of hugs from his team as he celebrates on, still hardly believing he just beat Rossi. Bayliss is already being interviewed by the press meanwhile.

The trio is announced, with Troy Bayliss the first to step onto the podium, followed by a bitterly disappointed Rossi and a jubilant Gibernau, with the audience applauding both Rossi and Gibernau. On the podium, Rossi shakes hands with Bayliss, with Gibernau doing likewise to Rossi and Bayliss as he comes onto it.[7]

The important figures hand out the trophies - with the fans of Gibernau wildly celebrating as he receives his trophy - and dedicates his victory to the Japanese rider Daijiro Kato, who died after a freak accident in the opening round in Japan. The Spanish national anthem plays and the riders spray the champagne on the podium once the grid girls hand them the bottles, Rossi cheekily spraying one of the girls before spraying the rest of the podium finishers. The trio then bunches up for the group photo.[10]

Gibernau's win now meant that he's still alive in the championship hunt. Rossi still leads with 187 points, followed by Gibernau with 158 (29 points behind) and Max Biaggi with a now distant 130 points (57 points behind).[7]

MotoGP classificationEdit

Pos. No. Rider Team Manufacturer Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 15   Sete Gibernau Telefónica Movistar Honda Honda 30 42:41.180 5 25
2 46   Valentino Rossi Repsol Honda Honda 30 +0.060 4 20
3 12   Troy Bayliss Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 30 +13.207 6 16
4 65   Loris Capirossi Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 30 +16.521 3 13
5 69   Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda Honda 30 +16.563 15 11
6 11   Tohru Ukawa Camel Pramac Pons Honda 30 +18.743 8 10
7 56   Shinya Nakano D'Antin Yamaha Team Yamaha 30 +18.885 10 9
8 7   Carlos Checa Fortuna Yamaha Team Yamaha 30 +26.165 7 8
9 19   Olivier Jacque Gauloises Yamaha Team Yamaha 30 +28.281 18 7
10 17   Norifumi Abe Yamaha Racing Team Yamaha 30 +29.159 16 6
11 9   Nobuatsu Aoki Proton Team KR Proton KR 30 +29.316 9 5
12 99   Jeremy McWilliams Proton Team KR Proton KR 30 +30.427 2 4
13 6   Makoto Tamada Pramac Honda Honda 30 +49.580 19 3
14 45   Colin Edwards Alice Aprilia Racing Aprilia 30 +53.444 13 2
15 10   Kenny Roberts Jr. Suzuki Grand Prix Team Suzuki 30 +57.512 14 1
16 8   Garry McCoy Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki 30 +59.580 20
17 66   Alex Hofmann Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki 30 +1:05.240 21
18 23   Ryuichi Kiyonari Telefónica Movistar Honda Honda 30 +1:05.348 23
19 88   Andrew Pitt Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki 29 +1 lap 24
20 52   David de Gea WCM Sabre V4 29 +1 lap 25
Ret 33   Marco Melandri Fortuna Yamaha Team Yamaha 23 Accident 12
Ret 21   John Hopkins Suzuki Grand Prix Team Suzuki 23 Retirement 22
Ret 4   Alex Barros Gauloises Yamaha Team Yamaha 15 Accident 11
Ret 3   Max Biaggi Camel Pramac Pons Honda 13 Accident 1
Ret 41   Noriyuki Haga Alice Aprilia Racing Aprilia 7 Accident 17
WD 35   Chris Burns WCM ROC Yamaha Withdrew

250 cc classificationEdit

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 3   Roberto Rolfo Honda 29 42:06.199 2 25
2 10   Fonsi Nieto Aprilia 29 +0.150 4 20
3 7   Randy de Puniet Aprilia 29 +0.287 5 16
4 5   Sebastián Porto Honda 29 +5.305 1 13
5 21   Franco Battaini Aprilia 29 +13.097 3 11
6 14   Anthony West Aprilia 29 +18.289 10 10
7 24   Toni Elías Aprilia 29 +20.881 9 9
8 54   Manuel Poggiali Aprilia 29 +20.927 6 8
9 6   Alex Debón Honda 29 +45.171 13 7
10 26   Alex Baldolini Aprilia 29 +48.701 12 6
11 28   Dirk Heidolf Aprilia 29 +57.078 18 5
12 57   Chaz Davies Aprilia 29 +57.268 17 4
13 96   Jakub Smrž Honda 29 +57.459 19 3
14 36   Erwan Nigon Aprilia 29 +1:17.467 14 2
15 62   Max Neukirchner Honda 29 +1:29.139 22 1
16 52   Lukáš Pešek Yamaha 29 +1:29.338 23
17 11   Joan Olivé Aprilia 28 +1 lap 11
18 98   Katja Poensgen Honda 28 +1 lap 29
19 66   Vesa Kallio Yamaha 28 +1 lap 27
Ret 63   Tomas Palander Honda 28 Accident 25
Ret 18   Henk vd Lagemaat Honda 27 Accident 26
Ret 65   Norman Rank Honda 25 Retirement 28
Ret 34   Eric Bataille Honda 24 Accident 21
Ret 50   Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia 21 Accident 8
Ret 16   Johan Stigefelt Aprilia 9 Accident 20
Ret 9   Hugo Marchand Aprilia 3 Retirement 16
Ret 15   Christian Gemmel Honda 0 Accident 24
Ret 33   Héctor Faubel Aprilia 0 Accident 15
Ret 8   Naoki Matsudo Yamaha 0 Accident 7
DNQ 64   Nico Kehrer Honda Did not qualify

125 cc classificationEdit

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 7   Stefano Perugini Aprilia 27 40:11.124 1 25
2 27   Casey Stoner Aprilia 27 +0.212 5 20
3 15   Alex de Angelis Aprilia 27 +0.375 2 16
4 3   Dani Pedrosa Honda 27 +0.774 7 13
5 22   Pablo Nieto Aprilia 27 +5.877 13 11
6 79   Gábor Talmácsi Aprilia 27 +11.791 17 10
7 34   Andrea Dovizioso Honda 27 +12.070 6 9
8 4   Lucio Cecchinello Aprilia 27 +12.212 4 8
9 24   Simone Corsi Honda 27 +12.645 10 7
10 36   Mika Kallio Honda 27 +16.369 12 6
11 6   Mirko Giansanti Aprilia 27 +16.370 11 5
12 58   Marco Simoncelli Aprilia 27 +16.825 20 4
13 42   Gioele Pellino Aprilia 27 +21.622 16 3
14 80   Héctor Barberá Aprilia 27 +27.161 3 2
15 32   Fabrizio Lai Malaguti 27 +41.028 18 1
16 88   Robbin Harms Aprilia 27 +45.131 21
17 23   Gino Borsoi Aprilia 27 +45.377 8
18 10   Roberto Locatelli KTM 27 +54.576 22
19 90   Dario Giuseppetti Honda 27 +55.177 29
20 31   Julián Simón Malaguti 27 +1:11.657 25
21 48   Jorge Lorenzo Derbi 27 +1:22.753 19
22 78   Péter Lénárt Honda 27 +1:36.455 37
23 21   Leon Camier Honda 26 +1 lap 36
Ret 19   Álvaro Bautista Aprilia 25 Accident 23
Ret 12   Thomas Lüthi Honda 25 Accident 15
Ret 41   Youichi Ui Aprilia 23 Accident 14
Ret 54   Patrick Unger Honda 18 Retirement 35
Ret 17   Steve Jenkner Aprilia 17 Accident 9
Ret 8   Masao Azuma Honda 14 Accident 32
Ret 52   Jarno Müller Honda 14 Retirement 34
Ret 91   Jascha Büch Honda 12 Accident 30
Ret 33   Stefano Bianco Gilera 11 Retirement 33
Ret 1   Arnaud Vincent KTM 9 Accident 24
Ret 53   Manuel Mickan Honda 7 Accident 27
Ret 26   Emilio Alzamora Derbi 7 Retirement 28
Ret 63   Mike Di Meglio Aprilia 2 Accident 31
Ret 25   Imre Tóth Honda 2 Retirement 26
DNS 11   Max Sabbatani Aprilia Did not start

Championship standings after the race (motoGP)Edit

Below are the standings for the top five riders and constructors after round nine has concluded.[16][17]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ "2003 British MotoGP". Motorsportmagazine.com. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  2. ^ Mitchell, Malcolm. "Sachsenring - The Motor Racing Programme Covers Project". Progcovers.com. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  3. ^ Sports, Dorna. "Biaggi takes second straight pole | MotoGP™". www.motogp.com.
  4. ^ "Biaggi tames McWilliams for Sachsenring pole". Crash. July 26, 2003.
  5. ^ "Biaggi Takes Pole at German Grand Prix". Arab News. July 27, 2003.
  6. ^ "Battered Burns withdraws from German GP". Crash. July 25, 2003.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Gibernau defeats Rossi in photo finish". Crash. July 27, 2003.
  8. ^ a b c Sports, Dorna. "Gibernau defeats Rossi in sizzling German duel | MotoGP™". www.motogp.com.
  9. ^ Sachsenring, Erik Kirschbaum at (July 27, 2003). "Gibernau compounds Rossi misery with last-corner pass" – via www.theguardian.com.
  10. ^ "2003 #GermanGP | Vintage MotoGP". YouTube. 2020-04-03. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  11. ^ "2003 German MotoGP - Motor Sport Magazine Database". Motorsportmagazine.com. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Cinzano Motorrad GP Deutschland – MotoGP – Race Classification" (PDF). Motogp.com. Dorna Sports. 27 July 2003. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  13. ^ "GERMAN GRAND PRIX · MotoGP Race Classification 2003". Motogp.com. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Cinzano Motorrad GP Deutschland – 250cc – Race Classification" (PDF). Motogp.com. Dorna Sports. 27 July 2003. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Cinzano Motorrad GP Deutschland – 125cc – Race Classification" (PDF). MotoGP.com. Dorna Sports. 27 July 2003. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  16. ^ "World Championship standings". Crash. July 27, 2003.
  17. ^ "Standings" (PDF). resources.motogp.com. 2003. Retrieved 2019-08-22.

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2003 British Grand Prix
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2003 Czech Republic Grand Prix
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2002 German Grand Prix
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2004 German Grand Prix