Welcome to Germany. Thanks for Coming

It was a battered and bruised MotoGP field at the last race before the summer break. All except for Marquez. He was not bruised at all. In fact, apart from maybe a little boredom, he seemed to be in tip-top form.

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Germany MotoGP Field
Sachsenring Round 9 – MotoGP 2019

The reigning world champion made it 10 out of 10 at Sachsenring – easily. He was dominant in Practice and Qualifying, and that domination just extended all the way to the end of the 30-lap race.

He led from start to finish, hammering out 1m21s laps like a machine, which I’m sure some people are starting to think he actually might be. Meanwhile, everyone else is counting the cost of that domination.

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Germany Valentino Rossi
Sachsenring Round 9 – MotoGP 2019

No-one more so than Valentino Rossi, who was out-qualified by a bloke who needed crutches to walk (Nakagami), and then beaten by a bloke who is so clumsy, he fell over in the street and broke his knee. Yes, I’m looking at you, Cal.

Still, Crutchlow heroically managed to bring it home in third place behind Vinales. It actually looked like Cal might have a go at Maverick in the closing stages of the race, but after a stern warning from his front-end, chose discretion over valour and settled for the bottom step of the podium rather than his usual feast of fresh gravel and a trip to Clinica Mobile.

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Germany Cal Crutchlow G
Sachsenring Round 9 – MotoGP 2019

The race itself was largely processional. Once Marquez cleared off, the rest were just chasing. Quartararo and Rins certainly appeared promising, as did Miller, and Vinales looked like he might make Marquez work for it in the beginning.

But Fabulous’s promise ended fairly quickly. He crashed out on the first lap, directly in front of Dovizioso who barely avoided running over him. The young Frenchman can now spend three weeks licking his wounds – he partially dislocated a shoulder thanks to a vicious tank-slapper in Practice – and consider how he will contest the second-half of the season.

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Germany Andrea Dovizioso AX
Sachsenring Round 9 – MotoGP 2019

Zarco also came unstuck on the following lap. But no-one seemed to care much, including Zarco – who was once a shining Yamaha light, but since his switch to KTM, now rides like he’s lost all hope and interest.

Rins too dug up the gravel, but he left his ploughing a bit later in the piece. He was second at one stage, having passed Vinales and was equalling Marquez’s consistent 1m21s lap-times. But there was no catching Marquez, who was leading by a contemptuous six seconds towards the end of the race.

He dropped that lead to four-seconds, but still rolled across the line with his arms crossed in disdain. What little action there was all seemed to be happening over fourth place.

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Germany alex rinsr
Sachsenring Round 9 – MotoGP 2019

Petrucci, who must be one big purple bruise under all that hair after a spectacular high-speed dismount in Qualifying, made a race for it with his team-mate, Dovi, and Miller – and the three Ducatis came home in fourth, fifth and sixth after a largely lacklustre pissing contest. Sachsenring is tight, so their normal grunt doesn’t really come into play down any long straights. Still, it is amusing to see the Bologna pissing contest going on – and I think it will be going on for a few seasons yet.

So where was Rossi in all of this?

Nowhere. He started in 11th and finished in eighth. Mir pasted him. Morbidelli looked like he was going to paste him, but then he might never be invited back to The Ranch.
Rossi is at a loss to understand why he is 20-seconds slower this year than he was last year.

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Germany Valentino Rossi
Sachsenring Round 9 – MotoGP 2019

“We continue to suffer and we need to understand why,” he lamented post-race. “Because last year, these five races were the better part of my season, I was always very competitive and did some podiums, but always good races,” he said.

“Today I was 20 seconds slower than my race time last year. This is very difficult to understand; we need to find a way. We need to find our bike.”

I’m betting he may well go and visit Yamaha HQ over the break and see if that bike might be there under some sheets in a forgotten warehouse.

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Fri Rossi
Sachsenring Round 9 – MotoGP 2019

I’m sure he would have a serious argument if Vinales was down the back racing Rabat, and if Quartararo was duelling with Abraham. As it stands, that’s just not the case.

Vinales seems to have found what he had lost earlier, and the rookie Fabulous just doesn’t know any better. He rides Rossi’s head-shaking hand-me-down Yammy so hard his joints separate. And doesn’t care.

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Germany Maverick Vinales
Sachsenring Round 9 – MotoGP 2019

So the Doctor heads into the break somewhat discombobulated.

The injured, and there are a few of them, are now heading off to heal, doubtlessly watched by Lorenzo, who’s languishing in a body cast while his spine mends itself hopefully in time for Brno on August 4th.

Marquez, by contrast, will certainly be bathing in pools full of supermodels on Ibiza and planning his next utterly naff World Championship celebration – possibly as early as the Thailand round.

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Germany Marc Marquez
Sachsenring Round 9 – MotoGP 2019

MotoGP Results

PosRiderBike Time/Gap
1Marc MARQUEZHONDA41m08.276
2Maverick VIÑALESYAMAHA+4.587
7Joan MIRSUZUKI+17.156
8Valentino ROSSIYAMAHA+19.110
10Stefan BRADLHONDA+22.708
11Tito RABATDUCATI+26.345
13Andrea IANNONEAPRILIA+32.753
14Takaaki NAKAGAMIHONDA+32.925
15Karel ABRAHAMDUCATI+37.934
16Hafizh SYAHRINKTM+41.615
17Francesco BAGNAIADUCATI+56.189
18Miguel OLIVEIRAKTM+57.377
Not classified
DNFJohann ZARCOKTM28 laps
1Marc MARQUEZHondaSPA185
2Andrea DOVIZIOSODucatiITA127
3Danilo PETRUCCIDucatiITA121
4Alex RINSSuzukiSPA101
5Maverick VIÑALESYamahaSPA85
6Valentino ROSSIYamahaITA80
7Jack MILLERDucatiAUS70
11Franco MORBIDELLIYamahaITA52
12Takaaki NAKAGAMIHondaJPN50
13Joan MIRSuzukiSPA39
14Aleix ESPARGAROApriliaSPA31
15Andrea IANNONEApriliaITA21
16Jorge LORENZOHondaSPA19
19Tito RABATDucatiSPA14
20Stefan BRADLHondaGER12
21Francesco BAGNAIADucatiITA11
22Michele PIRRODucatiITA9
23Sylvain GUINTOLISuzukiFRA3
24Karel ABRAHAMDucatiCZE3
26Bradley SMITHApriliaGBR0
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Boris Mihailovic
Boris is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.