Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) continued his astonishing Sachsenring record today, scoring his eighth consecutive race victory at the challenging, undulating German venue. Yesterday he had taken his eighth successive pole position at the track. This is a unique performance in 69 years of motorcycling’s World Championships, with Marquez scoring the pole/win double in the 125cc class in 2010, in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012 and in MotoGP in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Most importantly, the 24-year-old Spaniard’s second win of the year moved him into the World Championship lead for the first time this season. The reigning World Champion now leads the title chase by the narrowest of margins, with the top four riders separated by ten points, an all-time record in premier-class history.
Marquez led away from pole position ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V). But local hero Jonas Folger (Yamaha) soon closed in on the pair to take the lead on lap six. He stayed there for several laps but then Marquez went back ahead. The two stayed within meters of each other until the last few laps when Marquez’s pace on used tires pulled him three seconds clear of Folger.
Marquez has an incredible record not only here but at other anti-clockwise tracks like COTA, Indianapolis and Laguna Seca. He prefers left-hand corners because he spends much of him time training on dirt-track ovals, which also run anti-clockwise.
Pedrosa also rode a great race to third place for the final position on the podium. The 31-year-old ran with Marquez and Folger, but then dropped back to a lonely third, struggling with excess wheelspin. Pedrosa had won the three MotoGP races here before Marquez’s spree, giving the Repsol Honda Team an amazing run of eight consecutive MotoGP wins at the Sachsenring.
Pedrosa crossed the line 11 seconds down on his team-mate but was happy enough with his fifth podium result from the first nine races of the season. The former 125cc and 250cc World Champion remains fifth overall in the championship, but has significantly closed the gap on the leading pack of four riders.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda RC213V) had a more challenging race. The Briton, who finished just a fraction of a second off the podium at Assen last Sunday, ran with the lead group in the early stages but as the race went on he began to lose ground because he was unable to defend his position due to a very high temperature in his front tire.
Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) scored the final World Championship in 15th, after qualifying 13th quickest. The young Australian didn’t have the grip he had hoped for and was disappointed with the result. Team-mate Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) also struggled with traction and completed the race in 18th.
Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) scored a magnificent victory in the Honda CBR600-powered Moto2 race, beating Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) by just six hundredths of a second. The Italian’s second win in eight days and his sixth of the season increased his World Championship lead to 37 points after closest title challengers Thomas Luthi (CarXpert Interwetten Kalex) and team-mate Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) both crashed while challenging for the lead.
In the closing stages Morbidelli came under increasing pressure from Oliveira who shadowed the leader lap after lap, finally getting ahead as they attacked turn 12 for the penultimate time. But 22-year-old Morbidelli wasn’t prepared to accept a safe second to protect his points lead. He retook the lead at turn one on the last lap and put enough space between himself and the 22-year-old Portuguese to avoid a last-gasp counter-attack.
The battle for the final place on the podium was just as exciting, with three Italians right together during the closing stages. The winner of the three-way fight was Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) who got the better of Simone Corsi (Speed Up Speed Up) in the final two laps. Mugello winner Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) was right behind them in fifth place, the trio separated by less than a second.
Sixth-place finisher Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex) just held off Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM), who is now just about fully recovered from an early season injury.
Local hero and front-row starter Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter) slipped to eighth at the finish, well clear of Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter) and Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex), who made a brilliant comeback from 25th on the grid, the legacy of yesterday’s tricky rain-affected qualifying.
Joan Mir (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) won a thrilling three-way contest for Moto3 victory, banishing memories of his last-lap mistake that cost him a possible win at Assen last Sunday. This was the 19-year-old Spaniard’s fifth success of the season, which increases his title lead to 37 points with nine of 18 races done. Honda riders occupy the six top positions in the championship.
Mir spent most of the race in a tight battle with Grand Prix of the Americas winner Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda NSF250RW) and first-time podium finisher Marco Ramirez (KTM). Positions changed constantly, Mir timing his final attack to perfection, diving past Fenati at the penultimate corner. The trio was just two tenths of a second apart at the flag.
Fenati’s third consecutive second-place finish moved him into second overall, past Assen winner Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW), who struggled to find his usual pace today and crashed out while in the midst of a frantic 14-rider skirmish for sixth place.
That particular contest was won by Canet’s team-mate Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW), who diligently worked his way to the front of the group. He was followed over the line by Canet’s team-mate Livio Loi (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW).
Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) took a strong ninth-place finish, making up somewhat for the exit of rookie team-mate Tony Arbolino (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) who stunned the paddock by running with the leaders until he fell without injury.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Racing Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) also finished in the middle of the pack fighting over sixth place, crossing the line in 11th spot. His team-mate Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Racing Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) was absent after falling and breaking a fibula during practice
Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team Honda NSF250RW) and Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda NSF250RW) scored points in 13th and 14th. Rookie Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team Honda NSF250RW) was also in the group, ending the race 17th, just two tenths of a second outside a points-scoring finish.
After four races in five weekends the MotoGP paddock now takes a well-earned rest, reconvening for the Czech Grand Prix at Brno on August 6.
Honda MotoGP Rider Quotes
- Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 5th
- “I’m very, very happy. I knew before the weekend that this was an important moment in the Championship and that the Sachsenring was an important circuit for us. It was the place to take a risk if necessary and to try to win. So I’m happy we took these 25 points and the lead in the Championship before the summer break. I wish to dedicate this win to Nicky [Hayden] and his family. I had promised this to myself after his incident because we had some very good moments together and he was a friend. The race was very tight. Honestly, before the start I thought I would have to battle with Dani, but actually there was also another very fast opponent. I was very surprised at the beginning to see Jonas there, and I thought he might stay in between with the other riders, but he actually remained there! He was quite a tough opponent! The Championship is very close with four riders within 10 points and with Dani also not far away. Everything is open, so we’ll keep the same mentality, the same positivity and hard work. Now we have a few days of holidays, but not too much to be ready for Brno!”
- Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: 6th
- “I’m happy enough with this podium. We worked very well this weekend, trying to manage every situation. In the race I felt really strong in the first laps and was able to stay close to Marc. Then I started to lose grip in the rear tire, but I thought, okay, no problem; it’s going to be a long race and it’s normal to lose some grip. But when Jonas passed me, I tried to follow and I couldn’t keep contact. I tried to manage but when I felt the tire was spinning too much I settled for a podium. I expected to be a little bit stronger but all in all it was a positive result, as we gathered some good points for the Championship. I feel positive, we have two days to test during the summer, and we’ll work on the areas we know we must improve, especially to make the tires work well no matter the conditions in order to be more consistent in the second part of the championship.”
- Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda: 10th
- “That was probably the most disappointing race of the year for me. I’m glad it’s over and I’m looking forward to the summer break. After three laps we had a front tire temperature way higher than at any other race, so I had to manage that for 27 laps. I nearly went down two or three times in the early laps. I made a pass on Valentino [Rossi] and he came past again. When I rode my own pace in the middle of the race I was fast, but I finished tenth and that’s it. We live and learn.”
- Jack Miller, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 15th
- “The front tire was fine for the race distance but the rear was a different matter, it just didn’t work the way I expected it to after practice. The tire was spinning on both sides from the start and three laps into the race it felt like it had already done the 30-lap race distance. And with so many left-hand turns with ten laps to go I was pretty much out of grip, it was a strange feeling. I was expecting a really strong race here so this is a disappointing result but I go to the summer break determined to return with a strong finish to the season.”
- Tito Rabat, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 18th
- “It was strange because we tested the same tire in FP3 and it worked fine but after four or five laps in the race it was completely finished and I had to be so careful opening the gas, it was dangerous and easy to crash. So I just tried to finish the race by changing the engine map, which helped a lot, but I was still forced to ride slower than I wanted to, it was strange. Now I am looking forward to a good summer break and coming back stronger in Brno.”
Honda Moto2 Rider Quotes
- Franco Morbidelli, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 1st
- “After this sixth win of the season I am living the dream and don’t want to wake up. It was a very difficult race, especially to defend the lead against Miguel who caught me very fast in the middle of the race. But then he did not overtake and if he had done I would have been struggling. I was getting ready for a big battle over the final two laps. It was not easy but I did a very good final lap and that gave me the victory. Thanks to my team for all the hard work.”
- Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 2nd
- “Today Franco was very strong under braking. I tried to overtake him on the downhill section a couple of times and also during the last lap, but it wasn’t to be. In any case, we are very strong and have already taken many top-five finishes this year. I had been wanting to return to the podium for the last two races, and here we have taken another small step forward towards the top positions. The whole weekend has been amazing; I am very happy for the whole team and for myself. Now we will use the holidays to rest and to analyze what we have done so far. It is incredible that we are third in the World Championship; it is something we weren’t expecting and we will try to continue with this positive dynamic to continue to take good results.”
- Francesco Bagnaia, Sky Racing Team VR46: 3rd
- “That was a great battle. I knew that Corsi was very strong in practice and so I had to push so hard to pass him. I pushed when I felt right on the bike and we were going very fast; quick enough to close the gap on the two guys in front from two seconds to half a second. Anyway, I’m very happy to be third because this is no my favorite track. Also, it is my mum’s birthday, so I have to say happy birthday to her!”
Honda Moto3 Rider Quotes
- Joan Mir, Leopard Racing: 1st
- “This victory means a great deal! I wanted to leave Assen’s fault behind and prove I could win: and I wanted to win here. It was a long and difficult race, I immediately tried to make a break with a small group. I had a good pace and in the end our strategy worked perfectly. I would never have imagined getting to the Championship’s break with this margin of an advantage, but there are still many races. Now, a week of vacation, then I’ll get back to training.”
- Romano Fenati, Marinelli Rivacold Snipers: 2nd
- “This second place is like a victory for me and it’s a special result considering that we had problems for the whole weekend and the podium seemed to be not reachable this time. Instead we did a great job with the team, we did the right choice with the medium rear, because I was fast and strong even in the final part of the race. It was a correct battle and I fought until the end. Now the summer break and from Brno we’ll stay focused on the Championship, race by race.”
- Enea Bastianini, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 6th
- “It was a good race. At first it was difficult for me to go fast because I was riding with a very large group. As the laps went by, I felt better and regained positions. I set a very fast lap at the end of the race. We have to work on being more competitive on the opening laps, so as not to lose contact with the front group, because we have shown that we can be very fast towards the end of the race.”
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|3||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|4||Maverick VIÑALES (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)|
|5||Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)|
|6||Alvaro BAUTISTA (Pull&Bear Aspar Team)|
|7||Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|8||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|9||Johann ZARCO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|10||Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda)|
|11||Jorge LORENZO (Ducati Team)|
|12||Danilo PETRUCCI (OCTO Pramac Racing)|
|13||Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|14||Bradley SMITH (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|15||Jack MILLER (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|1||Franco MORBIDELLI (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|2||Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|3||Francesco BAGNAIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|4||Simone CORSI (Speed Up Racing)|
|5||Mattia PASINI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|6||Jorge NAVARRO (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|7||Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|8||Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|9||Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|10||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|11||Hafizh SYAHRIN (Petronas Raceline Malaysia)|
|12||Remy GARDNER (Tech 3 Racing)|
|13||Fabio QUARTARARO (Pons HP40)|
|14||Xavier SIMEON (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)|
|15||Stefano MANZI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|1||Joan MIR (Leopard Racing)|
|2||Romano FENATI (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers)|
|3||Marcos RAMIREZ (Platinum Bay Real Estate)|
|4||Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|5||Philipp OETTL (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing)|
|6||Enea BASTIANINI (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|7||Livio LOI (Leopard Racing)|
|8||Bo BENDSNEYDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|9||Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|10||Darryn BINDER (Platinum Bay Real Estate)|
|11||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)|
|12||Juanfran GUEVARA (RBA BOE Racing Team)|
|13||Adam NORRODIN (SIC Racing Team)|
|14||Jules DANILO (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers)|
|15||Marco BEZZECCHI (CIP)|