Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completes a decade of dominance at the Sachsenring after cruising to a 4.5 second victory at the 2019 HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, the reigning Champion makes it 10 wins in a row in Germany to beat Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol)…
Marquez was sluggish off the line and it looked like he would get swallowed up heading into Turn 1 but the number 93 was last of the late brakers to dive back into the lead. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) slipped back from second to sixth at the start as Viñales, Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), Rins and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) all got past the Frenchman. And then, Quartararo’s race ended at Turn 3. The rookie went to get back past Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci on Lap 2 but the front of his Yamaha washed away from him as the 20-year-old crashed out of a race for the first time this season.
At the forefront of the MotoGP freight train, Marquez was conducting the pace from Viñales, with Crutchlow and Rins demoting Miller down to fifth as the top four started to edge clear of the rest. Edging clear of everyone though was King of the Ring Marquez. A 1:21.228 – a new lap record – on Lap 5 saw Marquez’ lead creep up to just under a second over Rins, with the latter also stretching his advantage over Viñales and Crutchlow to the same distance.
Marquez was in the groove as the seven-time Champion showed exactly why the Sachsenring is his playground. The Repsol Honda man wasn’t powering away at a rapid rate, but a tenth a lap on Laps 8 and 9 saw his lead go up to 1.5, but then the hammer was well and truly down. Lap 10 saw Marquez go 0.4 faster than Rins as the gap rose above the two-second barrier and from then on, there was no stopping the nine-time Sachsenring winner.
The battle for the podium was well and truly on though. Crutchlow was shadowing Viñales who in turn was sitting a second back from Rins, with the gap remaining constant between the trio as we passed the mid-stage of the race. At this point, the battle for fifth place was also hotting up as Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Petrucci were going head-to-head with fellow GP19 rider Miller, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro.
In the race for P2, disaster then struck at the top of ‘The Waterfall’. Rins remained 0.9 clear of Viñales and Crutchlow but at the Ralf Waldmann corner, the Suzuki slid out of contention for his second consecutive DNF. This left Marquez with an unassailable 4.9 lead with 12 to go.
The last ten laps was just about controlling the gap for Marquez as he saw a 10th Sachsening win appear ever closer, but who would finish second? Crutchlow had been attached to Viñales’ back wheel for the entirety and with two laps to go, the duo were separated by nothing. However, the number 35 then had a front-end scare at Turn 10. A warning sign to the British rider that the left-hand side of the tire wasn’t far away from throwing in the towel, with Crutchlow running wide and subsequently giving up the second place chase.
Marquez crossed the line to win his fifth race of 2019, the seventh consecutive year he’s won five or more races in a season – a record that sees him surpass MotoGP Legend Giacomo Agostini and nine-time Champion Rossi who both managed to do it for six straight years.
Viñales crossed the line to take his second straight podium of the season with Crutchlow getting his equal best result of the year in third, his first rostrum since the Qatar GP after battling a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a small fracture to the top of his tibia this weekend. The podium may have been decided but there were important points in the Championship to be decided just down the road.
Rossi had lost touch on the battle for fourth in the latter stages as it was Mir vs the three GP19s. with Marquez out in front, second in the Championship Dovizioso needed to limit the damage as much as possible. But Petrucci wasn’t going to let his teammate have it all his own way, the Italians exchanged P4 at the bottom of ‘The Waterfall’ before Dovi went to get back past Petrucci into Turn 1 with three to go. They both ran wide as Miller dived beneath them both, but the number 04 was aggressive and claimed P4 from the Australian as the battle between the Ducatis went down to the wire. Petrucci led them onto the last lap and he would hold fourth as the checkered flag came out, a terrific performance after his big get-off in Q2, Dovi produces another fine fightback to take P5, with Miller settling for a solid sixth.
Mir picked up his third consecutive top ten in seventh, a great ride from the rookie, with Rossi ending his run of three-straight DNFs with a P8 at the Sachsenring. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) finishes ninth in Germany to build on his fifth place in Assen as Jorge Lorenzo’s replacement Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) grabbed his second top ten of the season, a cracking effort from the German rider in front of his home fans.
Was it ever in doubt? Marquez King of the Ring reign stretches to a decade. The seven-time Champion goes into the summer break with a 58-point buffer over Dovizioso in the Championship standings, with Petrucci just six points off his teammate.
The MotoGP riders have three weeks off now, time to recharge the batteries ahead of the Czech GP.
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team)
2. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 4.587
3. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) + 7.741
4. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) + 16.577
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) + 16.669
6. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) + 16.836
7. Joan Mir (Team Ecstar Suzuki) + 17.156
8. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 19.110
9. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 20.634
10. Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) + 22.708
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Alex Marquez has re-assumed control of the Moto2 World Championship after a Sachsenring masterclass at the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland that his brother would have been proud of. The Spaniard is now eight points clear of Dynavolt Intact GP’s Thomas Lüthi in the title chase after he broke clear of the Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) halfway through the race to ease to a fourth win of the season.
Marquez becomes the first rider to win a Moto2 race from pole position since Francesco Bagnaia took victory in Japan last year, however, he didn’t take advantage of pole position. The number 73 got a poor start before then getting pushed wide by American Racing KTM’s Iker Lecuona at the first corner to end up down in fifth.
Luca Marini of SKY Racing Team VR46, meanwhile, got the perfect jump from second on the grid to take the holeshot. The Italian’s lead wouldn’t even last a lap though, with Dynavolt Intact GP’s Marcel Schrötter barging through into the final corner to make sure he leads a race at his home Grand Prix.
A mistake, however, from Schrötter through Ralf Waldmann Curve allowed Lecuona to hit the front as the Spanish teenager aimed for a first Moto2 win of his young career. Marquez would recover from his opening lap antics though by battling his way back through to second place before then asserting his revenge on Lecuona by squeezing past into the first corner.
Behind the leading duo, Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder was on a real charge after the South African recovered from 17th on the grid to then join the podium fight, all thanks to a fastest lap of the race, before fronting the podium fight with an aggressive move on EG 0,0 Marc VDS’ Xavi Vierge into the first corner.
Back at the front and Lecuona would squeeze his way back into the lead after a mistake from Marquez at Turn 3, but the three-time race winner put all that confidence to good use by biting back at the bottom of the Waterfall.
The leading duo’s scrap allowed Binder to move further into contention and continued his ride through the field with a move on Lecuona into Turn 1. Suddenly the South African looked favorite having claimed fifteen places by half race distance but moments later he ran wide at Turn 3 and Lecuona pounced to retake second.
Schrötter having slipped slightly further back began battling back through, with a firm move on Vierge at Turn 1, before the German’s teammate, Tom Lüthi, followed suit but the Swiss rider was in too and took out the Spaniard; a move he would later get handed a long lap penalty for.
At the front, the fight between the factory KTM of Binder and the customer KTM of Lecuona allowed Marquez to edge half a second clear after Lecuona took full advantage of the smallest gaps left open by Binder at the Omega Curve. Their battled allowed Marquez to very quickly turn his lead into one second and then two, as the Kalex rider began to look certain he would continue the love affair between the Sachsenring circuit and the Marquez family.
Schrötter seeing Marquez escape quickly darted through to second place, with Binder now unable, it appeared, to make an apex as his tire life started to fade following his monster effort to fight through from the sixth row of the grid. But Binder would somehow find a second breath and reclaimed second place, with the South African fortunate to be able to escape even further clear by Schrötter and Lecuona fighting behind.
As we entered the final laps, Lecuona took third at Turn 13 before Schrötter hit back just a corner later into Turn 1, meaning the pair would have to settle their fight for the final podium place on the last lap. Schrötter would hold strong with a podium at home up for grabs and there was heartache for Lecuona as he crashed out at the final corner, ending what would have been his best result of the finish.
The checkered flag came out, which Marquez would take for the fourth time this season to edge eight points clear in the title chase. Binder finished second, his best result of the year, ahead of the German Schrötter, to the delight of the home crowd.
MB Conveyors Speed Up’s Fabio Di Giannantonio took full advantage of Lüthi’s long lap penalty to edge past the former Championship leader to fourth, the best result of his rookie season, with Lüthi hanging on ahead of FlexBox HP40 teammates Augusto Fernandez and Lorenzo Baldassarri in sixth and seventh. Rounding out the top ten were Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up), Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46).
So, leaving the Sachsenring and heading into the summer break it’s Alex Marquez who sits pretty at the top of the table after he bounced back from Dutch disappointment in perfect style. A Marquez winning at the Sachsenring, now where have we heard that before?
Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) held off a stunning comeback from title rival Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) at the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland to finally win a race in 2019, the Italian beats teammate Marcos Ramirez to P1 as the latter edges out Canet for P3 on the last lap in another brilliant Moto3 race.
After a wet Warm Up, the Moto3 German GP was declared dry. Polesitter Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) didn’t get the launch he would have been looking for as fifth place Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) made the best start of all – the Italian grabbed the holeshot ahead of Ramirez and Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia), Sasaki slotted into fourth. Then, coming out of Turn 3 on the opening lap, Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) highsided, leaving Kömmerling Gresini Moto3’s Gabriel Rodrigo with nowhere to go as the Spaniard and Argentinian crashed out.
At the front, Fenati was holding the baton as the leading six had a slight gap due to the crash behind, but John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) quickly bridged the gap to make it a group of nine battling for the lead. The lead was changing all the time with the two Leopard machines at the forefront, but the likes of McPhee, Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrüstelGP) and Fenati were swarming. Then, on Lap 11, Ramirez took the lead and found himself with a half-second gap and he held it for a handful of laps, with mistakes at the bottom of ‘The Waterfall’ and Turn 1 meant the chasers were back with him, Dalla Porta and McPhee took P1 and P2 ahead of the Spaniard.
At this stage, with 13 laps to go, title contender Canet had made good progress to get himself inside the lower ends of the points from P22 on the grid, but it looked unlikely that the Spaniard would be able to challenge for the podium with the top seven now over a second clear of Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) in P8. However, the Japanese rider – dragging Canet with him – then put in a lap half a second quicker than the leaders. Seven became nine heading into the final five laps and Canet was fired up. It didn’t take long for the number 44 KTM rider to pick off the top nine as he made a particularly feisty move stick at Turn 13 – a popular passing place – on Fenati.
Canet was now into fourth and at Turn 1, he was up to second. A title contender scrap between Dalla Porta and Canet was well and truly on, but it was Ramirez who again help P1 on the penultimate lap. The Spaniard had a slight gap but heading around Turn 7, the Honda rider got a bit out of shape and heading down ‘The Waterfall’, Canet and Dalla Porta pounced. Canet had the lead heading onto the last lap with Dalla Porta second – who would come out on top?
Canet held the advantage but, as the Moto3 leaders dropped down the hill, Dalla Porta pulled out from the tailpipes of Canet to dive into the lead, with teammate Ramirez following him through – Canet down to P3. Would Ramirez make a move on his teammate into the last corner? He thought about it, but the answer was no. Dalla Porta drove up the hill to win his first race of the season after four P2s, the Championship lead was his heading into the summer break as Ramirez did a sterling teammate job to beat Canet. Nevertheless, it was an incredible fightback from the latter to claw his way onto the podium in Germany.
Fenati picked up his best result of the season in fourth having battled for the win throughout, with Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto) taking P5 – the reigning Moto3 Junior World Champion collecting his best Grand Prix finish. McPhee settled for sixth, the Scotsman now sits P6 in the Championship to continue his good run of form, with Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) takes P7 after two consecutive P6s in Barcelona and Assen. Ogura heads a trio of Japanese riders inside the top ten, Suzuki managed P8 after clawing back the gap to the leaders on the latter stages, Sasaki took ninth from pole. Kornfeil, a threat throughout, completed the top ten.
Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team), Toba, Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), teammate Dennis Foggia and Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) crashed at Turn 1, with Tom Booth-Amos (CIP Green Power) going down at Turn 3 on Lap 2.
After finally winning this season, making it eight winners in nine races – already the same number of winners as we saw last season – Dalla Porta takes a two-point Championship lead heading into the summer break. Canet will take confidence from his fightback at the Moto3 title race heats up.