SAXONY, Germany – Marc Marquez and Repsol Honda used the right tire choice to guide the Spaniard to his fourth-straight win in the MotoGP German Grand Prix on Sunday at the Sachsenring.
Brief bands of heavy rain hit the Sachsenring not long before the start of Sunday’s race, forcing officials to declare a wet race. When racing got underway there was almost no further signs of rain, making tire choice more important than ever.
As the race began Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi emerged as the two favorites. Dovizioso had opened up a lead of almost two seconds as the track began to dry, forcing most riders to consider a bike change. Andrea Iannone was the first rider to pit for intermediate tires on lap 12. Over the course of the following laps most of the field followed suit, choosing a variety of slick and intermediate combinations.
Marquez was unable to match the pace of the leading riders as the race began, battling with Hector Barbera for fifth. He was clearly struggling, running off at turn eight and barely stayed upright. On lap 17 he entered the pits for slicks. It proved a masterstroke as his lap times were immediately four seconds faster than those on wets leading the race. With six laps to go he took the lead and never looked back, going on to take his fourth-straight victory at the Sachsenring in MotoGP competition.
“At a certain point today, I thought my run at this circuit was going to come to an end, but in the end we succeeded and earned a very good result, especially considering how Valentino [Rossi] and Jorge [Lorenzo] finished the race,” Marquez said. “I’m very happy with how we worked with the team today: they did a great job preparing my bike after my crash in the warm-up, and then in the race our strategy proved to be perfect. It was a very difficult race, with it being flag-to-flag and the track conditions so delicate. In the first part of the race, in the wet, I found things a little difficult. I had picked the wrong front tire for my riding style, but I was able to switch to slicks. I was very careful in the opening laps after changing bikes, because the dry line was very narrow and there was still a lot of water on the surface.
“It’s always very difficult to decide when to change bikes, and perhaps we made our switch very early — I think I was the second rider to do so — but I decided to take a chance and it went well. We end the first half of the season with our homework done and off the back of a good race, but we must not forget to prepare well for the second half of the year.”
Lap after lap the track dried, and lap after lap, Cal Crutchlow got faster and faster. The Brit found himself in fourth on the 19th lap as several riders began to pit, Crutchlow still pushing his wets around. He followed Dovizioso into the pits soon after, re-joining with his former teammate to battle for the podium.
Having opted for slicks, Crutchlow found himself right behind Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) and in the hunt for second place. There was no love lost between the Brits, Crutchlow besting Redding to secure second and return to the podium for the first time since Argentina in 2015.
Dovizioso sat behind Danilo Petrucci for several laps early in the race and was gifted the race lead when the Italian fell on lap 11. He continued to forge ahead on wets, but his lead was rapidly depleting. After multiple laps struggling on wets he finally made the call to pit, prompting every rider behind to follow him. He ended up finishing third, passing Redding on the final lap to complete the podium.
CREDIT: MotoGP Communications