A convincing win by Marc Marquez in the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland in Sachsenring on Sunday, gave the Honda Repsol Team rider his second MotoGP victory and seventh podium finish from eight races. Injured Cal Crutchlow finished second ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi.
Sachsenring delivered plenty of drama with the exit of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, both the victims of a heavy highside crash; Lorenzo bent the titanium plate in his shoulder while Pedrosa sustained a small fracture to the left collarbone. Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech3) went into the race with injuries to his arms, hands and left leg.
Marquez, starting on his third pole position of the season, knew that a second race win (after Austin, Texas) would allow him to snatch back the advantage in the title race. A poor start saw the 20-year-old drop to fourth place, but he picked off those ahead of him one by one and took the lead from Stefan Bradl at the end of the sixth lap. Once Crutchlow took second, the Spaniard would manage the gap and win by 1.5 seconds.
Crutchlow’s own race started from second. Fighting the pain of his injuries after two large accidents on Friday, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider dispatched Alvaro Bautista and Bradl before stealing second from Valentino Rossi in a strong move at Sachsen Kurve on Lap 16.
Crutchlow then looked to threaten for a career-first victory, but Marquez had been looking after his tyres and was able to comfortably control the gap until the end of the 30th and final lap; nevertheless, Crutchlow becomes the first British rider since Barry Sheene in 1982 to collect four podium finishes in one season.
Having returned to winning ways at Assen, Rossi has now claimed consecutive rostrum placings. From his first front row start since the Portuguese Grand Prix of 2010, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider seized the lead as the red lights went out.
He proceeded to battle with local favourite Stefan Bradl but was overhauled by Marquez on Lap 5. Three laps later, Rossi passed Bradl moving into second position, but then fell back to the final podium spot when Crutchlow made his move.
“I am very happy with this victory. It was important to have a good race under the circumstances this weekend, without Dani and Jorge on-track. I wish them a speedy recovery, because winning is important but without them the triumph isn’t quite the same.
“Even so, it is a good result, since we have taken the maximum points available and ridden a completely different race to those that we’ve had before. We led the race and maintained the gap to second place. It was good experience, although I perhaps prefer races that are a little more of a battle! We should be happy and we have also held up well, physically, at a circuit where there is no time to rest on the bike.
“We’ll see how it goes at Laguna Seca, which will be a hard Grand Prix for me because I’ve never ridden there. We’ll take it step-by-step and remain calm whilst we get up to speed.”
“I tried my best and I got as close to Marc as I could,” Crutchlow explained. “I initially got a good start and then Marc came across but and I rolled off and was into sixth position and I had to make some passes. But I’m pleased with this results and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 have done a fantastic job here. We are now consistently challenging towards the front in MotoGP.”
It’s good to be up here and it is good to be back on the podium. I’m physically drained after this weekend in which I’ve had two bad crashes. I want to say thanks to my fans. I never gave up and hopefully we can see more of that in Laguna Seca.”
“It’s a good result, to stay on the podium is always a good result but I expected something more and to do a better race. During the weekend we made some choices, yesterday we decided to set up the bike in one way and today after some laps I started to suffer too much. The first ten laps were not so bad but after I started to have problems and it was too difficult to turn the bike, especially on the left I was sliding too much. We have to work to try and make another step to stay with the top guys.”
Bradl’s fourth place for LCR Honda MotoGP has again equalled his career-best result. GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista completed the top five from eighth on the grid, while Tech 3’s Bradley Smith ended his day sixth – confirming two British riders in the top six of a premier race for the first time in two decades.
Starting from an impressive fifth on the grid, Aleix Espargaro the Power Electronics Aspar rider rode his CRT-specification bike in as high as third place before feeling the wrath of the prototypes.
Further down the order, the final points went to 13th-placed Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) and the two riders who a day earlier had passed through to the Q2 shootout from Q1, with Danilo Petrucci and Claudio Corti 14th and 15th for Came IodaRacing Project and NGM Mobile Forward Racing, respectively.
Two riders failed to see the end of the race, as there were crashes for both PBM’s Yonny Hernandez and Gresini’s Bryan Staring.
After a disappointing weekend Aussie Bryan Staring said: “My confidence is on the floor right now! Four crashes in a weekend is four too many and the one in the race was particularly stupid. I was letting the front three lap me and lost concentration going into Turn One and ended up crashing. I am really sorry to the team, who are doing so much to help me.”
1 Marc Marquez 41’14.653 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Cal Crutchlow +1.559 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
3 Valentino Rossi +9.620 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Stefan Bradl +13.992 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
5 Alvaro Bautista +21.775 SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
6 Bradley Smith +25.080 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Andrea Dovizioso +30.027 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
8 Aleix Espargaro +30.324 SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
9 Nicky Hayden +45.355 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Michele Pirro +47.142 ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
11 Hector Barbera +47.824 SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
12 Randy De Puniet +48.523 FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
13 Colin Edwards +54.428 USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
14 Danilo Petrucci +1’00.323 ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
15 Claudio Corti +1’05.530 ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
16 Michael Laverty +1’09.153 GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
17 Hiroshi Aoyama +1’15.601 JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
18 Karel Abraham +1’19.683 CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
19 Lukas Pesek +1 lap CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
20 Bryan Staring DNF AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
21 Yonny Hernandez DNF COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
22 Dani Pedrosa DNS SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
23 Jorge Lorenzo DNS SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
1 Marc Marquez 138 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 136 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo 127 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Cal Crutchlow 107 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
5 Valentino Rossi 101 pts ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
6 Andrea Dovizioso 74 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
7 Stefan Bradl 64 pts GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
8 Alvaro Bautista 58 pts SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
9 Nicky Hayden 57 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Aleix Espargaro 52 pts SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
11 Bradley Smith 51 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
12 Michele Pirro 36 pts ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
13 Andrea Iannone 24 pts ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
14 Randy De Puniet 19 pts FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
15 Hector Barbera 18 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
16 Danilo Petrucci 15 pts ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
17 Colin Edwards 13 pts USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
18 Ben Spies 9 pts USA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
19 Yonny Hernandez 6 pts COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
20 Claudio Corti 5 pts ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
21 Michael Laverty 3 pts GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
22 Karel Abraham 3 pts CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
23 Bryan Staring 2 pts AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
24 Javier Del Amor 1 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
25 Hiroshi Aoyama 1 pts JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
26 Ivan Silva 0 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
27 Lukas Pesek 0 pts CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
28 Blake Young 0 pts USA APR CRT Attack Performance
Moto3 – Aussies take top ten finishes in Sachsenring
Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) had a strong ride to seventh in the Moto3 race – won by Alex Rins (KTM) – after running with the leading group during the early stages. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) finished tenth.
Miller’s spectacular, aggressive riding saw him move into second on lap three but as the race wore on he was unable to match the pace of the leaders, losing touch through the track’s faster sections. During the latter stages he found himself all alone. His result puts him seventh overall in the World Championship with Sissis sitting in 12th place.