Marquez wins 10th straight at Sachsenring
Honda ace Marc Marquez has won the 2019 German Grand Prix, taking his seventh consecutive MotoGP win (plus his Moto2 and Moto3 wins) from pole at the Sachsenring making it 10-straight overall.
Maverick Vinales was 4.5 seconds off at the end for Yamaha, but only because Marquez was coasting to the line with his arms crossed and riding with no hands. Cal Crutchlow took third place.
Honda team boss Alberto Puig said Marquez has looked on "another planet" today.
With the win Marquez has added 14 additional points to his lead over Dovizioso today, taking it to 58 points.
A gloomy start to proceedings at the German GP didn’t deter local fans who filled the grandstands of the Sachsenring from the early hours. Mixed conditions for morning Warm Up limited running time, but Marc Marquez was able to top the session with teammate Stefan Bradl ending a strong fifth.
At the front, Marquez was controlling the pace from Vinales as he waited for the tires to reach the proper temperature, with Crutchlow and Rins demoting Miller down to fifth as the top four started to edge clear of the rest. Edging clear of everyone though was King of the Ring Marquez. A 1:21.228 – a new lap record – on Lap 5 saw Marquez’ lead creep up to just under a second over Rins, with the latter also stretching his advantage over Vinales and Crutchlow to the same distance.
Marquez was in the groove as the seven-time Champion showed exactly why the Sachsenring is his playground. The Repsol Honda man wasn’t powering away at a rapid rate, but a tenth a lap on Laps 8 and 9 saw his lead go up to 1.5, but then the hammer was well and truly down. With his tires now in proper operating range lap 10 saw Marquez go 0.4 faster than Rins as the gap rose above the two-second barrier and from then on, there was no stopping the nine-time Sachsenring winner.
The battle for the podium was well and truly on though. Crutchlow was shadowing Vinales who in turn was sitting a second back from Rins, with the gap remaining constant between the trio as we passed the mid-stage of the race. At this point, the battle for fifth place was also heating up as Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Petrucci were going head-to-head with fellow GP19 rider Miller, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro.
In the race for P2, disaster then struck at the top of ‘The Waterfall’. Rins remained 0.9 clear of Vinales and Crutchlow but at the Ralf Waldmann corner, the Suzuki slid out of contention for his second consecutive DNF. This left Marquez with an unassailable 4.9 lead with 12 to go.
The last ten laps was just about controlling the gap for Marquez as he saw a 10th Sachsenring win appear ever closer, but who would finish second? Crutchlow had been attached to Vinales’ back wheel for the entirety and with two laps to go, the duo were separated by nothing. However, the number 35 then had a front-end scare at Turn 10. A warning sign to the British rider that the left-hand side of the tire wasn’t far away from throwing in the towel, with Crutchlow running wide and subsequently giving up the second place chase. Marquez crossed the line to win his fifth race of 2019, the seventh consecutive year he’s won five or more races in a season – a record that sees him surpass MotoGP™ Legend Giacomo Agostini and nine-time Champion Rossi who both managed to do it for six straight years.
Vinales crossed the line to take his second straight podium of the season with Crutchlow getting his equal best result of the year in third, his first rostrum since the Qatar GP after battling a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a small fracture to the top of his tibia this weekend. The podium may have been decided but there were important points in the Championship.
Second in the Championship, Dovizioso needed to limit the damage as much as possible. But Petrucci wasn’t going to let his teammate have it all his own way, the Italians exchanged P4 at the bottom of ‘The Waterfall’ before Dovi went to get back past Petrucci into Turn 1 with three to go. They both ran wide as Miller dived beneath them both, but the number 04 was aggressive and claimed P4 from the Australian as the battle between the Ducatis went down to the wire. Petrucci led them onto the last lap and he would hold fourth as the checkered flag came out, a terrific performance after his big get-off in Q2, Dovi produces another fine fightback to take P5, with Miller settling for a solid sixth.
Mir picked up his third consecutive top ten in seventh, a great ride from the rookie, with Rossi ending his run of three-straight DNFs with a P8 at the Sachsenring. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) finishes ninth in Germany to build on his fifth place in Assen as Jorge Lorenzo’s replacement Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) grabbed his second top ten of the season, a cracking effort from the German rider in front of his home fans.
Was it ever in doubt? Marquez King of the Ring reign stretches to a decade. The seven-time Champion goes into the summer break with a 58-point buffer over Dovizioso in the Championship standings, with Petrucci just six points off his teammate.
“It was a perfect strategy. But I didn’t have a perfect start as I ran a little deep at Turn One. After that my plan was two slow laps to warm the front tire well and then push, and it’s exactly what I did. Step by step I opened the gap and followed the plan as I needed to. Once the gap was at three seconds I stayed there and saved the tire and enjoyed riding. It’s a great feeling to win here again and to enter the summer break in this way. Congratulations also to my brother for his win today, it’s always really nice to win together! I want to say thank you to the Repsol Honda Team for their work in this race and the first half of the season.”
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