Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, Sachsenring: Raceday roundup – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has re-written another piece of history in the Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, storming the Sachsenring from a ninth pole in a row to take his ninth win in a row across all classes. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoG) took second and maintains his second place in the standings after an impressive bounce back after a tough Friday at the track, with the podium completed by teammate Maverick Viñales.
At lights out it was Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) who got the holeshot from pole, moving from third into the lead as Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) slotted into second – with Marquez shuffled back into third. Rossi made a good start from sixth to move into fourth ahead of teammate Viñales, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) the key man to lose out from fifth.
Once at the front, Lorenzo set about putting the hammer down, making it the sixth race in succession the Mallorcan has led. It didn’t take too long for Marquez to make his way through to be the man behind his compatriot, however, and a game of cat and mouse began at the front as Marquez reeled in the rhythm ahead of him.
Meanwhile Rossi attacked Petrucci for third and moved through, as Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) then crashed out at Turn 12, the Brit’s say in the podium fight over early. Lorenzo was holding firm at the front, but Marquez then chose his moment and struck – taking over in the lead and leaving Lorenzo to be reeled in by Rossi.
That the Italian did, and the rider from Tavullia got his own hammer down once past to try and claw back some time to Marquez, but it wasn’t to be. The number 93 pulled the pin with perfect timing, with enough grip left to see him make a gap and keep it until crossing the line for stunning ninth win in a row at the Sachsenring – and all from pole.
Rossi was then safe in second for another podium finish, but teammate Viñales left it late to complete the rostrum. First Petrucci was the man pushing to pass a Lorenzo struggling with grip, before Viñales arrived on the scene and attacked the Mallorcan and then the Italian to take third and a second successive podium.
That made Petrucci top Independent Team rider in a well-fought fourth, just ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team)’s stunning ride to fifth. Bautista was the fastest man on track for a good number of laps and kept that incredible form to the end, the final man able to muscle past Lorenzo by the flag.
Lorenzo took P6 ahead of a tough day for teammate Andrea Dovizioso, with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) putting in a solid ride to eighth. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) improved from his worst qualifying of the season so far to take ninth despite the difficult weekend, with an incredible ride from Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) putting the Brit in tenth to take KTM’s first top ten of the season.
Hafizh Syahrin (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was top rookie in eleventh and takes over at the top of the Rookie of the Year standings, ahead of Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who was caught in an early incident that saw Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) make contact with Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and both go down; also affecting Iannone and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing). Miller finished P14, with Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) between him and Iannone. Scott Redding (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completed the points.
Now summer awaits but it’s not too long until we’re back at Brno for the Czech GP – where the second half of the Championship will hit top gear straightaway as the pressure starts to ramp up towards the season finale…
The South African took an immaculate victory as the Championship takes another twist in an unpredictable race
Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) claimed the first South African intermediate class win since 1980 at the Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland after a sublime ride, beating Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) to victory as the Spaniard claimed his best Moto2™ result in second, with Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) claiming his first Grand Prix podium in third.
The opening stages of the Moto2™ race where chaotic. First, Miguel Oliveria (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had a moment on the last corner of the opening lap, luckily staying on after getting out of shape – making contact with the helpless Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) as he tried to pass. Then a lap later, Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) crashed out of P2 at the same corner, with Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) having to take avoiding action, running into the gravel and dropping down to 26th. The drama wasn’t over, with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) highsiding out of contention at T2 on lap three, leaving Marini, Mir and Binder at the front.
The Italian held station at the front, before Mir went up the inside at Turn 1 to take the lead of the race. Five laps later, Binder then made his move, first getting past Marini at Turn 1 before slicing his way through on race leader Mir at the bottom of the Ralf Waldmann corner. The South African wasn’t able to create a gap, but his lap 10 move proved to be the race winning overtake, with Binder looking like he was on rails around the Sachsenring as he eventually claimed victory by 0.779 seconds, with 0.154 splitting Mir and Marini in P2 and P3.
Further back, Oliveira had re-grouped and got himself up to fourth after passing Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) and home rider Marcel Schroetter (Dynavolt Intact GP). The Portuguese rider couldn’t bridge the gap to the front three though and settled for P4, with Lowes getting the better of Schroetter on the last lap to claim his best result of the season in fifth – the German sixth at his home Grand Prix.
After his tangle with Oliveira, Vierge crossed the line P7, with Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2), Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up Racing) and Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) rounding out the top 10.
Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing) produced a gritty ride as he continues his return from two broken legs, with Bagnaia brilliantly salvaging P12 – his Championship lead now cut to seven points though. 13th was Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) after his heavy Saturday crash, with Dominique Aegerter 14th (Kiefer Racing) and Augusto Fernandez (Pons HP40) earning another point scoring ride in 15th.
So, it was a magnificent maiden Moto2™ victory for Binder, while the Championship pendulum swings again with Oliveira cutting the gap to Bagnaia as the paddock heads for the summer break.
It’s another day of shuffling cards in the Championship but the leader emerges on top after another stunning win
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) took a perfectly-timed win in the Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, fighting at the front throughout before pulling the pin to perfection in the latter stages to escape the chasing pack. It was Championship rival Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PruestelGP) who crossed the line second in some solid damage limitation to keep close in the standings, with John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) putting some recent disappointments to bed as he got back on the podium with an impressive third.
Martin took the holeshot from pole, getting a perfect start as Marcos Ramirez (Bester Capital Dubai) moved up into second and Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) suffered off the line to fall back. Ramirez’ teammate Jaume Masia shot past the Italian to take third, with Bezzecchi pouncing early to move up and begin his attack.
From seventh on the grid the Italian was soon on the tail of Martin and the Spaniard was unable to escape in the early stages. But it was a huge train of riders fighting it out at the front, with the group stretching back outside the points and even the top twenty.
With 16 laps to go, Martin’s first little lightning bolt of drama hit as he headed wide into Turn 1 and dropped back to fourth, before another few laps later there was more drama in the same place as teammate Fabio DiGiannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) crashed and was incredibly close to collecting Martin out the lead – but the Spaniard held on and just headed a little wide.
With seven to go Martin made a break for it, pulling the pin and timing it to perfection as Bezzecchi struggled to hold on to the Honda man ahead of him. Half a second then six tenths then over a second, the gap kept growing – and McPhee hunted down Bezzecchi. Martin crossed the line for the win as Bezzecchi and McPhee dragged it out – and the Italian took it by just half a tenth.
Marcos Ramirez took fourth as he beat Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) by less than a tenth, with Masia completing his impressive weekend – despite a huge highside on Saturday – to complete the top six. Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) took seventh ahead of an improved weekend for Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) in P8, with Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) completing the top ten.
Fernandez was a victim of another key moment of drama in the race, with the Spaniard suffering contact with Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) and forced wide across the gravel. Getting back on track well outside the top twenty, the Spaniard’s ride back to the top ten was an incredible achievement as he stands in for the injured Darryn Binder.
Dalla Porta’s teammate Enea Bastianini was also protagonist of some drama as the Italian crashed in the latter laps and was collected by Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), making it a 0 in the title fight for the Italian just ahead of the summer break.
Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team), Dalla Porta after a penalty, Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) and rookie Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) completed the points.
Now it’s time for a couple of weekends off before we reconvene at Brno – and it’s Martin heading into the break with momentum, but Bezzecchi’s very much in touch.