The Saxon ring

4 minutes

Located in what was previously East Germany, the circuit is not a permanent one. It can only accommodate events that exceed 96 decibels for ten days a year, due to its proximity to homes in the area -in some cases houses are within the perimeter of the circuit.

Marc Márquez rodando frente a las gradas
The Saxon ring

Sachsenring is the shortest circuit on the World Championship calendar, at 3.671km


The first race at Sachsenring was held on May 26th, 1927, on an 8.7km long circuit that ran along the highways of the local area.

Whilst inhabitants of the neighbouring town of Hohenstein-Ernstthal doubted that such an event would be repeated, since they considered that it did not make sense to ride motorbikes in a circle, it has held races every year, besides the period around the Second World War from 1939 to 1949.

Ten years later, the circuit was named Sachsenring, which in German means ‘the Saxon ring’ (Saxony is one of the 16 German states).

Sachsenring was part of the Motorcycle World Championship for the first time in 1961, hosting the East German Grand Prix.

The West German Grand Prix was held in Solitude (six times between 1952 and 1964), Schotten (in 1953), Nurburgring (18 times between 1955 and 1997) and Hockenheim (23 times between 1957 and 1994).

Sachsenring has hosted the World Championship on 31 occasions: 12 under the name of the East German Grand Prix between 1961 and 1972, and in uninterrupted fashion since 1998 as the German GP.


In 1971, after the victory by West German rider Dieter Braun, the government of East Germany decided to play the national anthem only in the podium area. The fans in the main stand reacted by singing the West Germany anthem and, from 1973, the West German government only allowed riders from the communist block to participate in the event. This decision motivated the elimination of Sachsenring from the World Championship calendar.

For several years, the rider who sets the fastest lap in the race receives a gold ring as a gift: the ‘Golden Sachsenring.’

Last year’s race had the second highest attendance of the season. More than 212,000 people visited the track during the weekend. The German GP had the most spectators on a Saturday: More than 93,000.

The circuit is also a road safety centre. During the rest of the year it hosts driving courses, and even a driving school for children, in which there are currently around 20 students.

Sachsenring is not a permanent circuit. Due to the proximity of some private homes to the track, it is only allowed to host events that exceed 96 decibels for ten days per year.

In the vicinity of the circuit there are several buildings: Car dealerships, spare parts stores, warehouses, factories and even homes. Therefore, during the days of the Grand Prix, the organisers of the event must distribute tickets to several people so they can access their homes, businesses or workplaces.


One of the three families living within the perimeter of the circuit is Patrick Unger. He was a telemetrist for Marc Márquez in 2010, when the Spaniard won his first world title with Aki Ajo’s 125cc team. Patrick has a motorcycle shop, Motorrad Unger, close to the last corner of the track.

The circuit has a maximum incline of 10% and decline of 18%.

This year the track has been resurfaced and, due to the few days of activity available, it has not been possible to undertake a test there. For this reason, Friday’s MotoGP Free Practice sessions will be extended by 10 minutes.

In the years 2010, 2011 and 2013 there were Spanish victories in all three classes: In 2010 Dani Pedrosa won in MotoGP, Toni Elias in Moto2 and Marc Márquez in 125cc; In 2011, Pedrosa repeated the win in MotoGP and Márquez triumphed in Moto2, while Héctor Faubel won in 125cc; In 2013, Márquez achieved his first MotoGP victory at the circuit, after Jordi Torres and Álex Rins’ wins in Moto2 and Moto3, respectively.

Sachsenring is the shortest circuit on the World Championship calendar, at 3.671km, and is the only track to measure less than 4 kilometers.

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