Marc Marquez is like that annoying kid in class who always gets 10 out of 10 for every test and exam, with the rest of the class trying their utmost to get on this level.
This weekend Marquez proved to the world why he is indeed the “King of the Ring” and top of the MotoGP class with his 10th consecutive win at the German Grand Prix.
Top of the class
Going into the qualifying session on Saturday Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was undoubtedly the one to beat. With nine successive wins from nine successive pole positions, one win in 2010 on the 125cc, two wins in Moto2 between 2011 and 2012 before his winning streak started in the premier MotoGP class. Marquez has dominated the Sachsenring since 2010 and by the looks of things will be dominating for many years to come.
On race day Marquez didn’t have the best start from pole position, with the flying Frenchman Fabio Quartararo from Team Petronas Yamaha SRT finding himself in front of Marquez as they approached Turn 1 but the reigning world champion and current championship leader outbraked the Yahama rookie and took the lead from the outside line.
It was a double victory for the Marquez family as both brothers, Alex and Marc finished in P1 in their respective Moto2 and MotoGP races. Alex Marquez is younger brother to the world champ and rides for Team Marc VDS in Moto2. The older Marquez brother, Marc, won his fifth race of the season and stretched his MotoGP lead to 185-points, a 58-point advantage over his nearest competitor.
The class clown
Coming from a near perfect DutchGP where he finished in P2 after overcoming several obstacles during the race, Quartararo was looking to keep up his dominance as top rookie in MotoGP this year. It was, however, a bad day at the office for the Frenchman who crashed out of a premier class race for the first time after he lost the front of his YZR-M1 bike. Considering all the attention the rookie has been getting and in the MotoGP world, everyone who loves someone who challenges the top order and that is exactly what Quartararo has been doing. He is definitely the class clown (minus all the negative connotations of the word) in this case, he might not have had the race he hoped for, but he is nonetheless a popular figure in the sport and will be going down in the history books.
It was the factory Yamaha of Maverick Vinales that threatened Marquez’ chances of a 10th straight win in Germany. Before Vinales made his way to the front to give the world champ a run for his money, it was Team Suzuki’s Alex Rins who had the best pace to challenge Marquez. But it was a second consecutive crash for the Suzuki rider who could have finished the race in second place. He was clear of Vinales and Crutchlow who were in P3 and P4 respectively and was about three seconds behind Marquez who had broken away at the front. Rins said his GSX-RR gave no warning ahead of the crash, “It was such a pity because I had a good feeling, but the bike didn’t warn me at all”.
Getting back to Vinales – he finished the race in second place coming off a sensational Assen win last week. If Marquez is class captain, Vinales is the second in charge. He was just 4.5 seconds behind the race winner. Vinales did his best to chase the King of the Ring but had to settle for P2 (obviously). The Spaniard added that he struggled with corner entry making it difficult for him to keep up with Marquez with his incredible gear grip, concluding by saying, “this is the best result we could’ve hoped for”. Vinales sits fifth on the MotoGP world standings, five points ahead of his teammate and premier class veteran Valentino Rossi. Speaking of ‘The Doctor’, we need to add that this week he didn’t end up in the gravel and finished the race in P8. If Vinales is deputy class captain in school, Rossi is the student who refuses to graduate.
There were two Honda’s on the podium, no it wasn’t Repsol Honda’s Jorge Lorenzo (who is still out with an injury after that nasty crash in Assen) instead it was Cal Crutchlow from Team LCR Honda Castrol. Britain’s Crutchlow finished in third just four days after breaking his leg. Last Wednesday the Honda rider fractured his tibia and damaged knee ligaments in a cycling incident. He rode a lonely race in P3 finishing 7.7 seconds behind Marquez, therefore he shall be dubbed ‘the loner’ in the class of 2019 German Grand Prix.
The third stringers
Marquez as an A-student with all his perfect 10s would always be chosen first in any class project or any organised sporting activity – he would obviously also play for the first team. If we’re looking at this weekend’s results, Ducati would once again be playing third string after being beaten by the Yamaha and Honda teams. Teammates Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso finished in P4 and P5, respectively.
School’s out for the Summer
MotoGP heads into its summer break and will return in Brno at the Czech Republic Grand Prix – where Ducati dominated last year. Can they do it again this year? We’ll have to wait and see come August 4th.