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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

Pos Rider Bike  Time/Gap
1 Marc MARQUEZ HONDA 41m08.276
2 Maverick VIÑALES YAMAHA +4.587
4 Danilo PETRUCCI DUCATI +16.577
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO DUCATI +16.669
6 Jack MILLER DUCATI +16.836
7 Joan MIR SUZUKI +17.156
8 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA +19.110
9 Franco MORBIDELLI YAMAHA +20.634
10 Stefan BRADL HONDA +22.708
11 Tito RABAT DUCATI +26.345
12 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +26.574
13 Andrea IANNONE APRILIA +32.753
14 Takaaki NAKAGAMI HONDA +32.925
15 Karel ABRAHAM DUCATI +37.934
16 Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM +41.615
17 Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI +56.189
18 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +57.377
Not classified
DNF Alex RINS SUZUKI 12 laps
DNF Johann ZARCO KTM 28 laps
Pos Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 185
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 127
3 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 121
4 Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 101
5 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 85
6 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 80
7 Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 70
8 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha FRA 67
9 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 67
11 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha ITA 52
12 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN 50
13 Joan MIR Suzuki SPA 39
14 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 31
15 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia ITA 21
16 Jorge LORENZO Honda SPA 19
17 Johann ZARCO KTM FRA 16
19 Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 14
20 Stefan BRADL Honda GER 12
21 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati ITA 11
22 Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 9
23 Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki FRA 3
24 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 3
26 Bradley SMITH Aprilia GBR 0
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