MotoGP: Marquez takes another German win

Repsol Honda Team
GP Deutschland 2017 (Circuit Sachsenring)

As the summer break approaches in the MotoGP™ World Championship British riders packed their bags early at the GoPro German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring this afternoon. In the 30 lap MotoGP race Cal Crutchlow was the highest placed British rider in tenth place with Bradley Smith picking up some welcome points for KTM in 14th. Scott Redding was out of the points in 20th while Sam Lowes crashed out in the early stages.

Scotsman John McPhee crashed out of the early stages in the Moto3™ race on the British Talent Team Honda, while former World Champion Danny Kent returned to the class and was another faller. In the Moto2™ race Tarran Mackenzie continued his grand prix education finishing 23rd.

Marquez returns to reign the Sachsenring – and the standings

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 championship contention.

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. The Repsol Hondas began to pull away in the lead as Folger charged through to get himself into third – and then started threatening the two men ahead of him. Choosing his moment, the German rookie then took Pedrosa and prepared to attack Marquez – pushing through soon after.

Further back Petrucci was through on Lorenzo into fourth, and it was the ‘Doctor’ Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who struck next, with the number 46, Andrea Dovizioso and Petrucci then battling for P4 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. Finally it was a small mistake that saw Folger run deep, and Marquez pulled the pin to stretch the gap – eventually crossing the line 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. Dani Pedrosa completed the podium after a more lonely ride in the latter stages.

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 Rossi for close company to complete the top five. Bautista took P6, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) crossing the line in seventh.

Championship leader going into the race, Dovizioso crossed the line in P9, 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 the reigning MotoGP™ Champion now five points clear of key rival Viñales. Dovizioso is now third – one point behind Viñales. Rossi lurks in fourth, only another four points off, with Pedrosa still very much in the fight in fifth.

Morbidelli triumphs as Sachsenring shakes up the standings

Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took another impressive Moto2™ win under intense pressure at the Sachsenring: first hunted by Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) and then by Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo). The Italian kept it calm, besting Oliveira to the line with rookie Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) completing the podium.

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took the holeshot from P2 on the grid, muscling out teammate Morbidelli into Turn 1. A big winner off the line was Lüthi, and the Swiss rider put in a storming first lap to take the lead next time around. Morbidelli struck back against his teammate next, with Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) hanging on to the lead trio.

Drama hit the front as Marquez hit the gravel, leaving Lüthi and Morbidelli clear in a duel for the lead. Miguel Oliveira was next on the move, breaking free of the battle behind between Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing), Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Francesco Bagnaia to pass the German and take over in third.

Morbidelli struck soon for the lead, with Lüthi then shadowing the Italian and sizing him up – before the Swiss veteran then suddenly slid out at Turn 12, unable to get back in the race. That left Oliveira with a clear target ahead on the road as the KTM rider started to eat into Morbidelli’s lead. The battle for the podium then became a three-way battle between Corsi, Bagnaia and Pasini.

The Portuguese rider struck at the end of the penultimate lap. Morbidelli hit back, and managed to keep the door firmly closed around the last lap – the Championship leader taking another win.

Bagnaia took another incredible podium in his rookie year – with Corsi just behind his compatriot and third Italian Mattia Pasini completing the top five.

Navarro held off an impressive ride from Brad Binder as the South African to take some more honour amongst rookies, with the two taking sixth and seventh respectively. Cortese crossed the line eighth after dropping back slightly in the latter stages, with teammate Marcel Schrötter taking ninth in a solid double top ten for Dynavolt Intact GP at home.

Mir wins three-way thriller in Germany

Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) took a hard-earned Moto3™ victory at the Sachsenring, as the Championship leader made his move on the final lap to hold it over the line after a three-way fight for the win. Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) took second, with Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) completing the podium for his first rostrum finish in the World Championship.

Mir got away in the lead, with Ramirez chasing him down and soon striking to take over in the lead. Fenati slotted into third, with rookie Tony Arbolino (SIC58 Squadra Corse) staying up in the fight – and polesitter Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) the man to lose out most in the opening laps.

As the race settled into a rhythm, a front group of five saw Mir, Fenati and Ramirez just ahead of Arbolino and Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46). As Fenati, Mir and Ramirez gained some daylight behind them in the battle for the lead, Arbolino suffered a highside to leave Bulega alone on track in fourth.

The fight for fifth was headed by home hero Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing). By half distance, Oettl had pulled away from those behind to slot into a lonely ride.

Over the line, Enea Bastiaini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was close to closing down Oettl, with the Italian only taking P6 by half a second. Livio Loi (Leopard Racing) got back in the battle in P7, ahead of Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in eighth. There was also more impressive pace from Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) as the Japanese rider beat Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate) to ninth, both bagging some solid points.

Aron Canet was a high profile DNF after a crash out of good points contention, and now sees Fenati move above him in the title standings.