Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has re-written another piece of history in the Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, storming the Sachsenring from a 9th pole in a row to take his 9th win in a row across all classes. Valentino Rossi took 2nd and maintains his 2nd place in the standings after an impressive bounce back after a tough Friday at the track, with the podium completed by teammate Maverick Viñales.
At lights out it was Jorge Lorenzo from Ducati Corse who got the holeshot from pole as usual, moving from 3rd into the lead as Alma Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci slotted into 2nd – with Marquez shuffled back into 3rd. Rossi made a good start from 6th to move into 4th ahead of teammate Viñales, with Andrea Dovizioso the key man to lose out from 5th. Once at the front, Lorenzo set about putting the hammer down, making it the sixth race in succession the Mallorcan has led. It didn’t take too long for Marquez to make his way through to be the man behind his compatriot, however, and a game of cat and mouse began at the front as Marquez reeled in the rhythm ahead of him.
Meanwhile Rossi attacked Petrucci for 3rd and moved through, as Cal Crutchlow of LCR Honda, as expected, then crashed out at Turn 12, the Brit’s say in the podium fight over early. Lorenzo was holding firm at the front, but Marquez then chose his moment and struck – taking over in the lead and leaving Lorenzo to be reeled in by Rossi. That the Italian did, and the rider from Tavullia got his own hammer down once past to try and claw back some time to Marquez, but it wasn’t to be. The number 93 pulled the pin with perfect timing, with enough grip left to see him make a gap and keep it until crossing the line for stunning ninth win in a row at the Sachsenring – and all from pole.
Rossi was then safe in 2nd for another podium finish, but teammate Viñales left it late to complete the rostrum. First Petrucci was the man pushing to pass a Lorenzo struggling with grip, before Viñales arrived on the scene and attacked the Mallorcan and then the Italian to take 3rd and a second successive podium. That made Petrucci top Independent Team rider in a well-fought 4th, just ahead of Alvaro Bautista’s stunning ride to 5th. Bautista was the fastest man on track for a good number of laps and kept that incredible form to the end, the final man able to muscle past Lorenzo by the flag.
Lorenzo took P6 ahead of a tough day for teammate Andrea Dovizioso, with Dani Pedrosa putting in a solid ride to 8th. Johann Zarco of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 improved from his worst qualifying of the season so far to take 9th despite the difficult weekend, with an incredible ride from Bradley Smith putting the Brit in 10th to take KTM’s first Top Ten of the season.
Hafizh Syahrin, also from Monster Yamaha Tech 3 was top rookie in 11th and takes over at the top of the Rookie of the Year standings, ahead of Andrea Iannone , who was caught in an early incident that saw Pol Espargaro make contact with Alex Rins and both go down; also affecting Iannone and Jack Miller, who finished P14, with Tito Rabat between him and Iannone. Scott Redding completed the points.
Now summer awaits but it’s not too long until we’re back at Brno for the Czech GP – where the second half of the Championship will hit top gear straightaway as the pressure starts to ramp up towards the season finale.