The Marc Marquez reign continues. No matter what the circumstances, he appears to be well and truly unbeatable.
Despite starting from the pit-lane at the Sachsenring circuit and as a result his pole position invalid, the Spaniard dominated the German Grand Prix making it 9 wins out of 9 races.
The heavens opened and threw down a massive rain shower before the race forcing all the riders to line up on the starting grid with a wet setup. However, the conditions soon dried up and after the warm-up lap over half of the riders came into the pits and changed to slicks. With a divided starting grid a battle of tyres, setups and conditions emerged.
It was Stefan Bradl who led his home race from the start line on a slick tyre-wet-setup-shod Honda with the remainder of the wet setup bikes following. In the pitline, 13 fire breathing MotoGP machines scrambled to get out onto the track first to hunt down the leaders. It looked as if Valentino Rossi was going to be the first man out but he was quickly overtaken by the tenacious Marquez.
As the track continued to dry, the slicks excelled with Marquez and the rest of the pack soon overtaking the leader Bradl and the proceeding Open class bikes. As a result, the German was forced to settle for 16th position come the chequered flag.
Dani Pedrosa stayed with Marquez throughout the race but couldn’t quite get close enough to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre and dampen the reign of the current World Champion. He crossed the line 1.466 seconds behind his teammate in second. It was Yamaha racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who completed the podium crossing the chequered flag a further 9 seconds behind Pedrosa.
Rossi didn’t manage to beat his teammate for the final step on the podium and had to settle for fourth place.
It was a disappointing race for some of the Brits as Bradley Smith had his fifth crash of the weekend slipping off his Monster Tech3 Yamaha in the early stages of the race but continued to soldier on to the flag, by which time his pace was matching that of 5th placed Andrea Iannone. Rapid Solicitors PBM machine rider Michael Laverty crashed out in turn 11 with 12 laps to go, having ran in second place in the opening laps. However, Cal Crutchlow crossed the line in 10th followed closely by Scott Redding in 11th place, both picking up crucial championship points.
After his win in the wet in Assen, Marquez admitted he was still worried about the conditions at the beginning of the race. He said: “It looked like Assen but in the end everyone came in the pits because we all saw it was dry. I was worried about the back of the track initially and in the end my strategy was to copy Dani and Rossi, my main rivals for the championship. I followed them. The race was nice in the beginning because I overtook several riders and then I had a good battle with Dani. I’m really happy for this victory. Now we can relax a bit!”
Pedrosa rode to his seventh podium this season. He said: “I think it was really tough in turn 1 with slicks. We did a good job in the pits. I tried to make it up to Marc but the gap always stayed at 0.5, 0.6. The rhythm was very similar and I wasn’t really gaining or losing at all. I’m happy overall though.”
Lorenzo who didn’t do too well at Assen last time out in the wet picked up the pace and completed the race in third. He said: “The conditions were similar to Assen but this time finally we went with the slick tyres, which were even more scary because the corner before the last one was really wet. So we had be very careful to not to crash. Finally when it dried, there were a few places where we could go fast. Some laps I could keep the distance, but on some they were one or two tenths quicker. So finally it is not too bad to do well at this track I’d never liked too much.”
The race proved how much race setup and conditions can affect a rider’s fortune and how a race pans out. MotoGP will return on the 10th of August in Indianapolis where the riders will be hoping for dry weather and no more pit lane scraps.
Post first featured on paddockchatter.com; republished with permission