Marc Marquez returns to reign the Sachsenring – and recovers the lead
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has taken an incredible eighth win in a row at the Sachsenring, extending his run from the 125 World Championship to another year of the premier class – with all those wins from pole. It was anything but easy, however – with German rookie Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) pushing the reigning Champion on home turf throughout the race in a stunning ride to his first podium. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) completed the podium to get back in contention following a more difficult Dutch GP.
Marquez took the lead into Turn 1 from pole, with teammate Dani Pedrosa slotting into second as Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) sliced through from P6 on the grid to third, pushing Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and Jonas Folger back.
Marquez and Pedrosa began to pull away in the lead as Folger charged through to get himself into third – and then started threatening the Repsol Honda duo in the lead. Choosing his moment, the German rookie then took Pedrosa and prepared to attack Marquez – pushing through soon after and below lap record pace.
With Petrucci through on Lorenzo into fourth, it was the ‘Doctor’ Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who struck next, with the number 46, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Petrucci then battling for fourth as Pedrosa began to drop back from the lead duo. Folger then headed wide and Marquez took the opportunity, but couldn’t shake the German.
That’s the way it stayed – with Marquez’ pitboard remaining +0.1 lap after lap, and the rookie not for giving up. Facing down the reigning Champion – chasing his eighth consecutive win at the track – Folger kept calm under incredible pressure, and even created some himself.
Finally it was a small mistake that saw Folger run deep, and Marquez pulled the pin to stretch the gap – eventually crossing the line for win number eight just over three seconds clear.
Folger kept it safe in the final laps to cross the line in second for his first premier class podium, sealing the deal in an incredible performance at his home race. Dani Pedrosa completed the podium after a more lonely ride in the latter stages, also bouncing back from a tough Dutch GP.
As the top ten battled it out further, Rossi had found his fourth under attack from Dovizioso, with Viñales then joining the fight and Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) soon on the scene. After some stunning wheel-to-wheel action, it was Viñales who took P4, with teammate Rossi for close company to complete the top five.
Bautista took P6 after proving a formidable force in the fight, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) crossing the line in seventh for a good haul of points for the Noale factory ahead of the summer break.
Championship leader going into the race, Dovizioso crossed the line in P9 and remains third in the standings – ahead of a stunning comeback from Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) to move through from P19 on the grid. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) completed the top ten, with Jorge Lorenzo crossing the line in P11 after running at the front earlier in the race.
Danilo Petrucci was another who fell back, taking twelfth ahead of another double points finish for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith. Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top fifteen.
The summer break now awaits, with MotoGP™ next on track at the beginning on August. And the Championship? The reigning Champion has one hand back on the throne after his German GP win, now five points clear of key rival Maverick Viñales. Dovizioso is now third – one point behind Viñales as the upcoming Brno and Red Bull Ring shine with promise for Ducati. Rossi lurks in fourth, only another four points off, with Pedrosa still very much in the fight in fifth.
MotoGP Race Results
1 – Marc Márquez (SPA – Honda) 40’59.525
1st Independent Team Rider:
Pos 2 Jonas Folger (GER – Yamaha) + 3.310
3 – Dani Pedrosa (SPA – Honda) 11.546