Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has re-written another piece of MotoGP history by storming from a ninth pole in a row at the Sachsenring to take his ninth win in a row across all classes. Championship rival Valentino Rossi took second on the factory Yamaha and maintains his second place in the standings, with the Yamaha team-mate Maveric Viñales taking third.
As the lights went out it was Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo who got the holeshot, moving from third into the lead as Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci 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 Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso 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 the pack and catch his compatriot, however, and a game of cat and mouse began at the front as Marquez reeled in Lorenzo.
Meanwhile Rossi attacked Petrucci for third and moved through, with LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow crashing out at Turn 12.
Lorenzo was holding firm at the front, but Marquez then chose his moment and struck to take over the lead, with Lorenzo struggling to turn the Ducati in and dropping back into Lorenzo’s clutches.
Rossi pounced quickly, and once past, the rider from Tavullia put the hammer down in a bid to 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.
Petrucci claimed a well-fought fourth, just ahead of Alvaro Bautista on the Angel Nieto Ducati; 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 sixth ahead of a tough day for teammate Andrea Dovizioso, with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa putting in a solid ride to eighth. Tech 3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco improved from his worst qualifying of the season so far to take ninth despite the difficult weekend, with an incredible ride from KTM’s Bradley Smith putting the Brit in tenth to take KTM’s first top ten of the season.
Tech 3 Yamaha’s Hafizh Syahrin was top rookie in eleventh and takes over at the top of the Rookie of the Year standings, ahead of Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone, who was caught up in an early incident that saw KTM’s Pol Espargaro make contact with Suzuki’s Alex Rins and both riders go down.
Tito Rabat finished thirteenth, ahead of Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller in fourteenth and Aprilia’s Scott Redding in fifteenth.