A mix of pure talent, tactics, teamwork and a cool head earned Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team one of the best wins in one of the most difficult, mixed-conditions races so far this season. Marc has therefore maintained his perfect record at the Sachsenring, winning the German GP from pole for the fourth year in a row in the premier class, the seventh across all classes, only leaving fellow Honda RC213V rider Cal Crutchlow the satisfaction of setting the fastest lap on his way to the second step of the podium.
With heavy rain intermittently hitting the Sachsenring into the afternoon, the MotoGP race was declared wet and teams prepared for the high probability of another flag-to-flag GP. The choice of a front Michelin rain super soft, the same tire chosen by almost the entire grid, didn’t prove to be the best one for Marc, who progressively lost ground from the front in the first phase of the race, dropping back to ninth position after an excursion in the gravel in turn 8.
But the track was drying, and Marc had planned a strategy with the team for such a case: switching to slick tires as soon as conditions were safe enough to allow it. And so he did, entering the pit and changing bikes on lap 18. He was careful in the first few laps after that but quickly began recovering ground and positions from 14th place.
The Spaniard was already sixth and chasing the front riders when they pitted to swap bikes. It was on lap 24 that Marc, second at that point, quickly overtook Jack Miller and assumed the lead in the race, finally crossing the line with almost a 10 second advantage on runner-up Crutchlow.
Lap after lap the track dried and lap after lap Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) got faster and faster. The Brit found himself in fourth on the 19th lap as several riders began to pit, Crutchlow still pushing his wets around. He followed Dovizioso into the pits soon after, re-joining with his former teammate to battle for the podium. Having opted for slicks, Crutchlow found himself right behind Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) and in the hunt for second place. There was no love lost between the Brits, Crutchlow breaking Redding to secure second place and return to the podium for the first time since Argentina in 2015.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Known for his ability in the wet, Andrea Dovizioso shot straight into podium contention as the race began, pressuring for the lead. ‘Desmo Dovi’ sat behind Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) for several laps, gifted the lead when the Italian fell on lap 11. He continued to forge ahead on wets, his lead rapidly depleting. After multiple laps struggling on wets he finally made the call to pit, prompting every rider behind to follow him. The group re-joining to battle for third place, unable to match the pace of Crutchlow the factory Ducati man did well to pass Redding on the final lap and take his second podium of the year.
The disappointment was clear to see on Scott Redding’s face after holding onto third until the very last lap. Fourth is still a great result for the Brit, his second best finish of a year plagued by technical issues. Like Redding, Iannone opted to switch to intermediate tires and while he made progress, was ruled out of the final podium battle and settled for fifth.
|Marquez leads at wet start|
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) took a solid sixth ahead of Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), the Australian the last to swap tires.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was strong from the start of the race but waited until Dovizioso and Crutchlow, with whom he was battling with, had pitted for tires to come in. As a result he came home in eighth, closing in on his teammate in the championship but losing out to Marquez once more.
Jorge Lorenzo’s (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) weekend didn’t get any better. The World Champion was inside the top ten as the race got underway, but as in Assen he began to fade as the race went on and slowly dropped back. It was even worse than in Assen, Lorenzo taking a single point for 15th place.
Danilo Petrucci’s reputation as a wet-weather specialist continued to grow in Germany. ‘Petrux’ was on a mission and quickly took the lead, comfortably sitting at the head of the race. That was until he crashed at Turn 3 on lap 11, he pitted for his second bike just as the one he was on burst into flames. He eventually retired from the race, another disappointing end to a race with so much potential.
Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) crashed while chasing Marquez after pitting for new tires, ending his run of scoring points in every race.
Local rider Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was forced to miss him home race after a fall in Warm Up. He was taken to the local hospital for a CT scan after suffering a concussion in the crash.
Marc Marquez At a certain point today, I thought my run at this circuit was going to come to an end, but in the end we succeeded and earned a very good result, especially considering how Valentino [Rossi] and Jorge [Lorenzo] finished the race. I’m very happy with how we worked with the team today: they did a great job preparing my bike after my crash in the warm-up, and then in the race our strategy proved to be perfect. It was a very difficult race, with it being flag-to-flag and the track conditions so delicate. In the first part of the race, in the wet, I found things a little difficult. I had picked the wrong front tire for my riding style, but I was able to switch to slicks. I was very careful in the opening laps after changing bikes, because the dry line was very narrow and there was still a lot of water on the surface. It’s always very difficult to decide when to change bikes, and perhaps we made our switch very early—I think I was the second rider to do so—but I decided to take a chance and it went well. We end the first half of the season with our homework done and off the back of a good race, but we must not forget to prepare well for the second half of the year.
|1||MARQUEZ Marc||93||SPA||25||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||47'03.239|
|2||CRUTCHLOW Cal||35||GBR||20||LCR Honda||Honda||9.857|
|3||DOVIZIOSO Andrea||4||ITA||16||Ducati Team||Ducati||11.613|
|4||REDDING Scott||45||GBR||13||Octo Pramac Racing||Ducati||11.992|
|5||IANNONE Andrea||29||ITA||11||Ducati Team||Ducati||22.755|
|6||PEDROSA Dani||26||SPA||10||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||25.920|
|7||MILLER Jack||43||AUS||9||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||26.043|
|8||ROSSI Valentino||46||ITA||8||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||26.449|
|9||BARBERA Hector||8||SPA||7||Avintia Racing||Ducati||26.614|
|10||BAUTISTA Alvaro||19||SPA||6||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||31.274|
|11||LAVERTY Eugene||50||IRE||5||Aspar MotoGP Team||Ducati||41.208|
|12||VINALES Maverick||25||SPA||4||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||42.158|
|13||SMITH Bradley||38||GBR||3||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1'03.129|
|14||ESPARGARO Aleix||41||SPA||2||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||1'06.091|
|15||LORENZO Jorge||99||SPA||1||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1'17.694|
|16||RABAT Tito||53||SPA||0||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1 lap|
|17||BAZ Loris||76||FRA||0||Avintia Racing||Ducati||2 laps|
|18||HERNANDEZ Yonny||68||COL||0||Aspar MotoGP Team||Ducati||3 laps|
|19||ESPARGARO Pol||44||SPA||0||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||13 laps|
|20||PETRUCCI Danilo||9||ITA||0||Octo Pramac Racing||Ducati||18 laps|
|1||MARQUEZ Marc||93||SPA||170||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|2||LORENZO Jorge||99||SPA||122||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha|
|3||ROSSI Valentino||46||ITA||111||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha|
|4||PEDROSA Dani||26||SPA||96||Repsol Honda Team||Honda|
|5||VINALES Maverick||25||SPA||83||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki|
|6||ESPARGARO Pol||44||SPA||72||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha|
|7||BARBERA Hector||8||SPA||65||Avintia Racing||Ducati|
|8||IANNONE Andrea||29||ITA||63||Ducati Team||Ducati|
|9||DOVIZIOSO Andrea||4||ITA||59||Ducati Team||Ducati|
|10||LAVERTY Eugene||50||IRE||53||Aspar MotoGP Team||Ducati|
|11||ESPARGARO Aleix||41||SPA||51||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki|
|12||REDDING Scott||45||GBR||45||Octo Pramac Racing||Ducati|
|13||MILLER Jack||43||AUS||42||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda|
|14||CRUTCHLOW Cal||35||GBR||40||LCR Honda||Honda|
|15||BRADL Stefan||6||GER||37||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia|
|16||SMITH Bradley||38||GBR||35||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha|
|17||BAUTISTA Alvaro||19||SPA||35||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia|
|18||PETRUCCI Danilo||9||ITA||24||Octo Pramac Racing||Ducati|
|19||PIRRO Michele||51||ITA||19||Ducati Team||Ducati|
|20||RABAT Tito||53||SPA||18||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda|
|21||BAZ Loris||76||FRA||8||Avintia Racing||Ducati|
|22||HERNANDEZ Yonny||68||COL||3||Aspar MotoGP Team||Ducati|
|1||Repsol Honda Team||266|
|2||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||233|
|3||Team Suzuki Ecstar||134|
|5||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||107|
|7||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||72|
|8||Octo Pramac Racing||69|
|9||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||60|
|10||Aspar MotoGP Team||56|