Round 09 Germany

  • King Of The ’Ring Marquez Takes Magic Win To Extend Points Lead

     Marc Marquez had a perfect day at the sun-blessed Sachsenring, taking his ninth consecutive victory at the German track in the ninth race of the 2018 season and the 99th race of his MotoGP career.


Report

King Of The ’Ring Marquez Takes Magic Win To Extend Points Lead

SACHSENRING, Germany, July 15, 2018

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) had a perfect day at the sun-blessed Sachsenring today, taking his ninth consecutive victory at the German track in the ninth race of the 2018 season and the 99th race of his MotoGP career.

The 25-year-old’s fifth win from the first nine races of the year moves him 46 points ahead of his closest challenger as MotoGP heads into its brief midseason break. And his ride around this unique anti-clockwise circuit was remarkable. Marquez and his rivals knew that tire wear would be critical today, so he chose a hard front and a soft rear and worked his strategy around that choice.

After starting from pole position – for the ninth time in a row here! – the reigning MotoGP World Champion ended the first lap in third place, then worked his way into second and followed early leader Jorge Lorenzo, while he waited for his hard front tire to reach optimum temperature.

He took the lead from Lorenzo just before half-distance, all the while riding intelligently to save his tire to ensure he had enough grip for the final stages of the 30-lap race. When the race reached two-thirds distance he knew it was time to use the grip he had saved, so he worked hard to steadily open the gap. During this stage of the race he was very much in a class of his own, so by the time he took the checkered flag he was more than two seconds ahead of Valentino Rossi, who also lies second in the championship standings.

Marquez’s latest success was his 40th win in the premier class and his ninth at this track across the 125cc Moto2 and MotoGP classes. It also increased the Repsol Honda Team’s incredible run of wins here to nine consecutive victories. Today’s result also increased Honda’s advantage in the Constructors World Championship. Both Marquez and Honda are chasing their respective title hat-tricks this year. And Marquez was so delighted that he climbed into the turn-one grandstand to celebrate with the fans!

Although Marquez was in dominant form aboard his RC213V, today proved more of a challenge for his fellow RC213V riders. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) finished in eighth place, after finally getting the better of Frenchman Johann Zarco. The former 125cc and 250cc World Champion, who qualified tenth quickest yesterday, chose hard front and medium rear, but all weekend he had searched unsuccessfully to find a set-up that would allow him to fight for a top finishing position.

On Thursday Pedrosa announced his retirement from MotoGP at the end of this season. The 32-year-old will be given MotoGP legend status at the Valencia season finale. He has currently won 54 Grand Prix races aboard Honda machinery across three classes, making him first equal among Honda winners with five-time 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan, who was here today to witness Marquez’s latest success. 

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) had high hopes of fighting for a podium result today and was battling in the lead group when he ran slightly wide off the grippy line and fell at turn 12 on lap ten. The 32-year-old was bitterly disappointed with this tumble, which ended a fine run of results.

Former Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) took over from the injured Franco Morbidelli from FP2 on Friday and rode an excellent race considering he hadn’t even sat on a race bike for several weeks. The German, who currently works as HRC’s MotoGP test rider, finished 16th, just one place outside the World Championship points. His team-mate Thomas Luthi (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) was 17th at the flag.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) had a great Saturday, qualifying from Q2 for the second time in his rookie MotoGP season, but today didn’t go so well for the 26-year-old Japanese. He got away well at the start and was fighting for 11th place when he fell on lap five. Unlike his rivals, Nakagami gets no summer break. He flies immediately to Japan to continue testing for the Suzuka 8 Hours which takes place on July 29. He will ride a CBR1000RR in the race, the final round of the 2017/2018 Endurance World Championship

 

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) made a little history in the Honda-powered Moto2 race, scoring his first victory in the class, which is also the first success by a South African in the 250cc/Moto2 category since four-times World Champion Kork Ballington won the 1980 West German 250cc Grand Prix at the old Nurburgring long circuit.

Binder came through to take the lead from star rookie and reigning Moto3 World Champion Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex) and controlled the race from then on. The 22-year-old tried to make the break straight away, but soon realized he might gave gone too early, because he was running out of rear tire at this track which demands so much from the left side of the rear tire. Nonetheless he carefully protected his advantage, finally besting Mir to the finish line by 0.779 seconds.

Mir was delighted with second, his best result so far and his third podium since graduating to the class in which all riders use identically prepared CBR600 engines. During the final laps he came under pressure from Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex), who had led the first three laps, before Mir attacked. Marini was riding with a recent shoulder injury but managed to go the distance, chasing Mir over the line for his first Grand Prix podium. Marini is the younger half-brother of nine-times World Champion Valentino Rossi.

Italian Moto2 race winner Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) chased home the leading trio after starting from 15th on the grid. The Portuguese did superbly to come through the pack, but didn’t quite get close enough to make a podium challenge. Nevertheless, this was a crucial result for Oliveira, who closed in on championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46 Kalex) who ran off the track after making contact with the fallen machine of pole-sitter Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex). Bagnaia, winner of four of the opening eight races dropped to 25th on lap three and carved his way through to 12th at the finish. The Italian now holds a seven-point lead over Oliveira, with ten races to go.

Briton Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors KTM) beat local star Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter) for fifth by a fraction of a second, the pair well ahead of a thrilling seven-rider skirmish for seventh place. This battle was won by Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP Suter), just ahead of Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex), Catalan GP winner Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up Racing Speed Up), Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex), Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing Tech 3), Bagnaia and Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex), who rode in some pain following a high-speed crash yesterday.

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) won a superb victory in the Moto3 race to strengthen his World Championship lead. During much of the race the 20-year-old Spaniard was in the midst of the frantic multi-rider lead battle, fighting back and forth with his fastest rivals and nearly falling when his team-mate Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) tagged his machine and crashed out.

That incident seemed to convince Martin that he needed to break clear from the skirmish and ride all on his own. He dug deep to eke an advantage over the next few laps and by the end of the 27-lap race he had a clear 2.5-second lead over his closest pursuer and title-rival Marco Bezzecchi. This has been an impressive comeback from Martin, following three crashes in four races (two of which weren’t his fault). After six poles and five victories, Martin goes into the midseason break holding a seven-point lead over Bezzecchi. Honda also leads the Constructors World Champion, with nine races done and ten to go.

Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) did a great job to haul himself back into the lead group after a difficult first few laps. Like many of his rivals, he had several contacts with other riders, which left his front brake guard badly bent. Despite that the 18-year-old from Valencia took the checkered flag in fifth place, just three seconds behind the winner.

Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) had a good ride to tenth place, in the midst of a four-rider group fighting for eighth place. The 17-year-old from Yokosuka had qualified ninth and finished less than three second behind Canet, with the entire top ten covered by 5.486 seconds. Sasaki finished just over a tenth ahead of Malaysian team-mate Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW). Honda’s other points scorer Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) crossed the line in 13th, after having to drop three places due to a rider infringement.

Several other Honda riders were in the mix in this hectic race, only to slide out of contention. Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) qualified on the front row but had a problematic first few laps and fell with five laps to go. Two laps later sensation wild-card entry Ai Ogura (Asia Talent Team Honda NSF250RW) also went down, through no fault of his own. The 17-year-old Tokyo rider had been riding a brilliant race until he fell when two other riders made a mistake. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) also crashed out.

The MotoGP paddock now gets two enjoy two weekends off before returning to action at Brno in the Czech Republic on August 5.

 

Brad Binder

Brad Binder

Comments

MotoGP

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st

“Of course I’m very happy, as nine wins in a row here is incredible! But every year the pressure increases, because beginning on Thursday, everyone starts asking about winning on Sunday! Anyway, we have the experience to handle that as well. Today I expected the race to have different phases, with the first tire drop happening after around nine laps and a final one seven to five laps from the end. I was prepared to manage the different situations, but in the beginning it wasn’t easy because my start wasn’t perfect. I expected that Lorenzo might pass me but not Petrucci. I lost two positions and then overtaking them wasn’t easy. When I did it, I started to push in order to pull a gap but without being ‘crazy’ so that I could manage the tire consumption until the end of the race. But then they signaled me that Valentino was closing in very fast, and when I saw 0.6 in the board I understood that I had to push again and completely use my tires for two or three laps, so I did my fastest lap of the race. I was able to open a gap again and then manage it. Then, when I was celebrating I saw a marshal with a No. 26 cap, so I took it and went to celebrate in front of the fans because I think this weekend Dani was the protagonist, and we’ll miss him. We and Honda are working very well and we need to continue like this in the second part of the Championship with the same feeling we’ve had so far.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: 8th

“It was a disappointing race because this is a track where I’ve always been faster, but we’ve been struggling all weekend with the bike set-up. We managed to improve here and there a little bit but I never felt really comfortable. I did more or less the same lap times for the entire race, but not fast enough. We can’t do anything else but continue working to try to improve the setting and feeling on the bike.”

Stefan Bradl, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 16th

“I am happy to finish the race and it was good weekend, it was a dream come true to be back in MotoGP at my home race, it was an amazing feeling with the fans. Considering the short amount of practice I think I did a good race and still have the performance level for MotoGP. Now I hope Franco will be back even stronger in the next race at Brno.”

Thomas Luthi, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 17th

“In the first part of the race I felt OK and was able to save the tires and catch some guys but in the second half of race it was difficult. The rear tire went down a lot and I struggled to push to get into the points. I expected a little more from this first half of the season but now I’m looking to the next race in Brno where did a test last week.”

Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: DNF

“When we crash with the front of the Honda we don’t seem to understand why, because three laps before I went in deeper than that and faster than that and had no problem. I felt good, I felt nice in that group and had made the split that had gone. It’s easy to say that I should have managed the situation better, I felt I was managing that well there, but in the end I lost the front at turn 12 and that’s always a risk when you’re sitting in a group like that. Our team and our bike are working very well, obviously I’m disappointed to crash before the summer break, but we’ll have to try again in Brno and see if we can improve there. Again, it’s good to be up there and competitive, but also disappointing because I was ahead of (Maverick) Vinales, who finished on the podium, at that time and who had the soft rear tire. But that’s the way it goes, sometimes you have good races and sometimes you have bad ones.”

Takaaki Nakagami, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: DNF

“I’m very disappointed about today’s race. It was tricky on the first lap because in between turn three and four there was an incident in front of me and I was really close to hitting them. But that was ok and then I was fighting with Johan (Zarco) and each corner we were battling. I tried to follow him but unfortunately I made a mistake in the last corner and braked too much. I lost the front grip and that was it, I crashed, and it was my mistake. It’s easy to say after the race, but if I had finished I could have been maybe ninth or tenth. But I’m very sorry to the team because this had been a good weekend and I’m very disappointed it ended up like this. Now we must think about the next race.”

Moto2

Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 1st

“I tried not to do anything crazy at the start, because I knew our rivals would be a little faster than us, and everything went perfectly. I was able to overtake most of the riders on the first laps and then, seeing that I had enough pace, I went after the lead. At the end of the race I had to be careful, because my rear tire was practically worn out and I suffered a lot on the final laps. I controlled the lead but it was very tough, as even on the last lap I almost had a highside at Turn 1. It was amazing to get the victory, and I can’t thank my team enough for their help. Honestly, I still can’t believe it – it doesn’t seem real to me. This year we have been suffering a lot and now we have a victory to our name. We couldn’t have finished this first half of the championship any better."

Joan Mir, EG 0,0 Marc VDS: 2nd

“I am super happy for this result, we are making progress and the good results are coming. I was pushing hard all the race and trying to put pressure on Brad Binder but congratulations to him, he did an amazing job. I had a good pace all weekend and even though qualifying was not the best I knew I had the potential to fight for the podium and that’s how it turned out.”

Luca Marini, Sky Racing Team VR46: 3rd

“I'm really happy to have scored my first podium. On Thursday I did not even know in what conditions I would have finished the race or if I would have been competitive on the long run due to the shoulder injury and now I have just come down from the podium. An almost perfect weekend, we worked hard from the free practices, we made a big step in qualifying and I have to thank all the team and the people who have supported me in this years. To reach the top it is important to start from the first steps and not stop, but continue with commitment and believe in it. A tough and long race, we had a great start and in the last laps I tried to overtake Mir, but I did not succeed. A pity, but I'm happy!”

Moto3

Jorge Martin, Del Conca Gresini Moto3: 1st 

“It’s been a great weekend, one where we had a perfect bike and a strong pace. The idea was to save the tires for the final leg of the race and then attack. I stayed within the group at the beginning and there were some aggressive riders, including Fabio who touched me. I miraculously managed to stay upright and when I saw that Arenas and Rodrigo were getting closer, I decided to push. It’s a great win, but we cannot relax because Bezzecchi is really strong, but we are heading into the break as leaders and that’s the most important thing.”

Aron Canet, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 5th 

"I think we could have done better than fifth position. I had a better pace than several of my rivals, but it was very difficult to overtake them on the straight. There were several touches with other riders during the race, and I was a little far back so overtaking them again was very tough. I could only recover a few meters on the brakes, but not overtake. I would have liked to have achieved a much better result in the race.”

Ayumu Sasaki, Petronas Sprinta Racing: 10th

“Overall we have had a good weekend here in Germany. During practice we were able to set up the bike really well and I felt good in qualifying too. Throughout the race I had a good feeling with used tires and I could maintain my pace. We fought a lot the whole way through but around the last six laps a rider crashed in front of me and I lost contact with the front group. I tried to catch them again and on the last lap I had nearly closed the gap to eighth place, but it just wasn’t enough before the checkered flag. I think we could have done better today but at the same time I am happy to come back into the points and take a top-ten finish. We have to keep working like this now; stay focused during the break and come back in strong form for Brno.”

MotoGP Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)
3 Maverick VIÑALES (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)
4 Danilo PETRUCCI (Alma Pramac Racing)
5 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Angel Nieto Team)
6 Jorge LORENZO (Ducati Team)
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)
8 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
9 Johann ZARCO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
10 Bradley SMITH (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
11 Hafizh SYAHRIN (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
12 Andrea IANNONE (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)
13 Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)
14 Jack MILLER (Alma Pramac Racing)
15 Scott REDDING (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)
16 Stefan BRADL(Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
17 Thomas LUTHI (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
18 Karel ABRAHAM (Angel Nieto Team)
19 Xavier SIMEON (Reale Avintia Racing)
RT Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)
RT Takaaki NAKAGAMI (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)
RT Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)
RT Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)

Moto2 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2 Joan MIR (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
3 Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
4 Miguel OLIVEIRA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
5 Sam LOWES (Swiss Innovative Investors)
6 Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)
7 Xavi VIERGE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
8 Simone CORSI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
9 Fabio QUARTARARO (MB Conveyors - Speed Up Racing)
10 Jorge NAVARRO (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)
11 Remy GARDNER (Tech 3 Racing)
12 Francesco BAGNAIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
13 Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)
14 Dominique AEGERTER (Kiefer Racing)
15 Augusto Fernandez(Pons HP40)
16 Romano FENATI (Marinelli Snipers Team)
17 Khairul Idham PAWI (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
18 Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP)
19 Iker LECUONA (Swiss Innovative Investors)
20 Bo BENDSNEYDER (Tech 3 Racing)
21 Eric GRANADO (Forward Racing Team)
22 Joe ROBERTS (NTS RW Racing GP)
23 Federico FULIGNI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)
24 Xavi CARDELUS(Team Stylobike)
25 Stefano MANZI (Forward Racing Team)
RT Isaac VIÑALES (SAG Team)
RT Danny KENT (MB Conveyors - Speed Up Racing)
RT Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
RT Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Pons HP40)
RT Mattia PASINI (Italtrans Racing Team)
RT Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)
RT Jules DANILO (Nashi Argan SAG Team)

Moto3 Class

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Jorge MARTIN (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)
2 Marco BEZZECCHI (Redox PruestelGP)
3 John MCPHEE (CIP - Green Power)
4 Marcos RAMIREZ (Bester Capital Dubai)
5 Aron CANET (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
6 Jaume MASIA (Bester Capital Dubai)
7 Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)
8 Philipp OETTL (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing)
9 Raul Fernandez(Red Bull KTM Ajo)
10 Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
11 Adam NORRODIN (Petronas Sprinta Racing)
12 Andrea MIGNO (Angel Nieto Team Moto3)
13 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)
14 Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
15 Kazuki MASAKI (RBA BOE Skull Rider)
16 Niccolò ANTONELLI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
17 Tony ARBOLINO (Marinelli Snipers Team)
18 Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)
19 Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
20 Luca GRÜNWALD(Freudenberg Racing Team)
21 Stefano Nepa(CIP - Green Power)
RT Gabriel RODRIGO (RBA BOE Skull Rider)
RT Ai Ogura(Asia Talent Team)
RT Enea BASTIANINI (Leopard Racing)
RT Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
RT Albert ARENAS (Angel Nieto Team Moto3)
RT Vicente Perez(Reale Avintia Academy 77)
RT Nakarin ATIRATPHUVAPAT (Honda Team Asia)
RT Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)
RT Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)

Photos