Round Nine – Sachsenring
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) scored 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 a great 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 on August 5th.
Marc Marquez – P1
“Of course I’m very happy, as nine wins in a row here is incredible! But every year the pressure increases, because beginning on Thursday, everyone starts asking about winning on Sunday! Anyway, we have the experience to handle that as well. Today I expected the race to have different phases, with the first tyre drop happening after around nine laps and a final one seven to five laps from the end. I was prepared to manage the different situations, but in the beginning it wasn’t easy because my start wasn’t perfect. I expected that Lorenzo might pass me but not Petrucci. I lost two positions and then overtaking them wasn’t easy. When I did it, I started to push in order to pull a gap but without being ‘crazy’ so that I could manage the tyre consumption until the end of the race. But then they signalled me that Valentino was closing in very fast, and when I saw 0.6 in the board I understood that I had to push again and completely use my tyres for two or three laps, so I did my fastest lap of the race. I was able to open a gap again and then manage it. Then, when I was celebrating I saw a marshal with a No. 26 cap, so I took it and went to celebrate in front of the fans because I think this weekend Dani was the protagonist, and we’ll miss him. We and Honda are working very well and we need to continue like this in the second part of the Championship with the same feeling we’ve had so far.”
Valentino Rossi – P2
“Usually Sachsenring is a difficult track for the M1, but today we were able to get a double podium, so we’re very happy, also about the work of the team. I‘m so happy because I did a fantastic race from the beginning, I never made a mistake. Last week, I rewatched the race from last year and I said to myself “Folger was good with the Yamaha, so we have to do the same!” In the end I got the same position as he did, so I‘m happy and it‘s a great way to start the holiday.”
Maverick Vinales – P3
“It was a tough race, honestly, but I feel happy because I think we worked well throughout the whole weekend and I think we did a good job. With the team we worked hard on the last ten laps of the race, which were the most important. I think we were one of the strongest at the end of the race, but there are still things for us to improve, also on myself. It’s good to have a break right now, to give us some time to work hard and try to improve the bike. It was almost impossible to overtake today. I tried, but I was going wide everywhere. Outside, inside, I tried everything! When the tyres started to drop I was overtaking everyone in corner 8, closing my eyes, going downhill, full gas. I gave everything, and the bike was working well. I was doing some 1’21.8s or 1’21.9s and this was the race pace that I was expecting. Honestly, congratulations to the team. We’re making the steps little by little and we just have to keep working.”
Sachsenring MotoGP Race Results 2018
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 25 Repsol Honda Team Honda 41’05.019
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 20 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2.196
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 16 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 2.776
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 13 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 3.376
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 11 Angel Nieto Team Ducati 5.183
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 10 Ducati Team Ducati 5.780
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 9 Ducati Team Ducati 7.941
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 8 Repsol Honda Team Honda 12.711
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 7 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 14.428
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 6 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 21.474
- SYAHRIN Hafizh 55 MAL 5 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 25.809
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 4 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 25.963
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA 3 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 29.040
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS 2 Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 29.325
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR 1 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 34.123
- BRADL Stefan 6 GER 0 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 38.207
- LUTHI Tom 12 SWI 0 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 49.369
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 0 Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1’01.022
- SIMEON Xavier 10 BEL 0 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1’16.692
MotoGP Championship Points Standings
- Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 165
- Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 119
- Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 109
- Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 88
- Johann ZARCO Yamaha FRA 88
- Jorge LORENZO Ducati SPA 85
- Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 8
- Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 79
- Andrea IANNONE Suzuki ITA 75
- Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 57
- Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 53
- Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 49
- Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati SPA 44
- Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA 32
- Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 30
- Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha MAL 22
- Franco MORBIDELLI Honda ITA 19
- Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 16
- Bradley SMITH KTM GBR 13
- Scott REDDING Aprilia GBR 12
- Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN 10
- Mika KALLIO KTM FIN 6
- Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 4
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.
“I tried not to do anything crazy at the start, because I knew our rivals would be a little faster than us, and everything went perfectly. I was able to overtake most of the riders on the first laps and then, seeing that I had enough pace, I went after the lead. At the end of the race I had to be careful, because my rear tyre was practically worn out and I suffered a lot on the final laps. I controlled the lead but it was very tough, as even on the last lap I almost had a highside at Turn 1. It was amazing to get the victory, and I can’t thank my team enough for their help. Honestly, I still can’t believe it – it doesn’t seem real to me. This year we have been suffering a lot and now we have a victory to our name. We couldn’t have finished this first half of the championship any better.”
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 to take 11th place.
“I was disappointed in qualifying after being close to the top ten after FP3. Everyone raised the game and we kind of hit a wall. I knew that getting a good start would be key but with everyone having to use the hard tyre I was confident. I made an average start and just focused on keeping my nose clean. It was a decent race but the first ten laps it was hard to pass people. For sure a better qualifying would have helped but even so we did a good race and had a good rhythm. I didn’t quite make it to the front of the group I was in but I made some hard passes and was close to seventh which is encouraging. Definitely a positive way to end what was a positive weekend. Am looking forward to Brno where if we can fix qualifying I am confident of an even better result. Big thanks as ever to the team and all my sponsors and supporters!”
Bagnaia brilliantly salvaged 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.
Moto2 Race Results
- Brad Binder (RSA) KTM 39’46.3067
- Joan Mir (SPA) KALEX +0.779
- Luca Marini (ITA) KALEX +0.933
Moto2 Championship Points Standings
- Francesco BAGNAIA Kalex ITA 148
- Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM POR 141
- Alex MARQUEZ Kalex SPA 113
- Joan MIR Kalex SPA 95
- Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex ITA 93
- Brad BINDER KTM RSA 91
- Xavi VIERGE Kalex SPA 79
- Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex GER 73
- Fabio QUARTARARO Speed Up FRA 72
- Mattia PASINI Kalex ITA 63
- Luca MARINI Kalex ITA 43
- Sam LOWES KTM GBR 39
- Iker LECUONA KTM SPA 32
- Simone CORSI Kalex ITA 31
- Andrea LOCATELLI Kalex ITA 27
- Dominique AEGERTER KTM SWI 24
- Jorge NAVARRO Kalex SPA 23
- Remy GARDNER Tech 3 AUS 20
- Hector BARBERA Kalex SPA 10
- Romano FENATI Kalex ITA 9
Jorge 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.
Jorge Martin – P1
“It’s been a great weekend, one where we had a perfect bike and a strong pace. The idea was to save the tyres for the final leg of the race and then attack. I stayed within the group at the beginning and there were some aggressive riders, including Fabio who touched me. I miraculously managed to stay upright and when I saw that Arenas and Rodrigo were getting closer, I decided to push. It’s a great win, but we cannot relax because Bezzecchi is really strong, but we are heading into the break as leaders and that’s the most important thing.”
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.
Moto3 Race Results
- Jorge Martin (SPA) HONDA 36’36.427
- Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) KTM +2.515
- John McPhee (GBR) KTM +2.571
Moto3 Championship Points Standings
- Jorge MARTIN Honda SPA 130
- Marco BEZZECCHI KTM ITA 123
- Aron CANET Honda SPA 92
- Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Honda ITA 91
- Enea BASTIANINI Honda ITA 84
- Gabriel RODRIGO KTM ARG 65
- Jakub KORNFEIL KTM CZE 61
- Andrea MIGNO KTM ITA 60
- Marcos RAMIREZ KTM SPA 57
- Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Honda ITA 46