MotoGP: Marc Marquez' Magnificent Seven

Marquez goes seven for seven at Sachsenring and expands his points lead going into the Summer break

Marc Marquez 2016

2013 Kawasaki KX250F: Silencer

Marc Marquez (93) got the hole shot but struggled in the first part of the race. The Repsol Honda rider however timed his switch to slicks perfectly to take his seventh-consecutive win at Sachsenring.Photo Courtesy of Repsol Honda

Can anyone beat Marc Marquez at Sachsenring? Not at this year’s German Grand Prix, not for the last seven. The Repsol Honda rider played the best strategy in the flag-to-flag race to score his seventh-straight win from pole position at Sachsenring.

Marquez’ win was not a foregone conclusion. The Spaniard admits himself that he nearly thought his streak would come to an end as Marquez chose the wrong front tire in the first part of the race. Although he got the hole shot, he didn’t keep the lead for long. Marquez struggled, even ran off track. But the Spaniard and his team made the right call to come in and switch to slicks. His opponents didn’t.

“At a certain point today, I thought my run at this circuit was going to come to an end, but in the end we succeeded and earned a very good result, especially considering how Valentino [Rossi] and Jorge [Lorenzo] finished the race,” Marquez said. “I’m very happy with how we worked with the team today: they did a great job preparing my bike after my crash in the warm-up, and then in the race our strategy proved to be perfect.”

Marc Marquez 2016
Victory is sweet! It's even sweeter for Marquez as the MotoGP points-leader took great gains in the title chase going into the Summer break.Photo Courtesy of Repsol Honda

So Marquez reaped the awards, not only the win, but a significant boost in the championship – 48 points over Jorge Lorenzo and 59 over Valentino Rossi. It was a big coup for the two-time MotoGP Champion, but Marquez also admits to his gamble. “It’s always very difficult to decide when to change bikes, and perhaps we made our switch very early – I think I was the second rider to do so – but I decided to take a chance and it went well. We end the first half of the season with our homework done and off the back of a good race, but we must not forget to prepare well for the second half of the year.”

Crossing the line nearly 10 seconds behind Marquez was LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow. The Brit was happy his tire choice paid off to show his true potential.

“I was fast even in the dry, I told everyone I was the fourth fastest guy and I was correct,” Crutchlow said. “For those that were watching from home and not believing me I proved that. Sitting 13th on the grid I knew it had to be a long race so I went for the harder option front tire. I don’t think many others had the balls to do it because in the first laps it wasn’t dangerous, but was difficult to manage with the Honda. I knew I would get quicker and as in Assen it was about keeping your head focused.”

Looking back on it though, Crutchlow felt his pit strategy didn’t pan out. “I pitted way too late, I didn’t look at my board for one lap. I followed the guys in front and I caught Vale [Rossi], I caught Dovi [Dovizioso] who was leading and I didn’t think anybody could beat us even if we stayed out so I took the gamble. I probably should have stayed out, even if I stayed out I would have been in a good position...”

Cal Crutchlow 2016
Cal Crutchlow (35) chased down fellow Brit Scott Redding (45) to match his career-best MotoGP finish and his first podium since Argentina last year.Photo Courtesy of MotoGP

Andrea Dovizioso led the most laps, but unfortunately not the most important one. The Ducati rider was part of the group that waited too long to come in change tires. In the end, Dovizioso was disappointed to not take away the win after leading so many laps, but was happy to take that last step on the podium.

“The track was beginning to dry out, but I stayed focused on the tires and so I missed the best time to come in and change bikes,” Dovizioso admitted. “Probably going in at least two laps before we might have to fight to win. But we will look at the positive side of today – we are at the Sachsenring, a track where we have never gone well, and now we were in the lead for several laps. We go home with a deserved podium, I want to dedicate to my team that really works hard.”

Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati’s Scott Redding didn’t wait too long to make the bike swap, it was the just the wrong tire. The intermediates proved to not pay off as Redding was chased down by Crutchlow first, then Dovizioso, losing his hard fought podium spot to finish a disappointing fourth.

Dovizioso’s teammate Andrea Iannone was fifth ahead of Dani Pedrosa on the other Repsol Honda. Marc VDS Honda’s Jack Miller also stayed out too late, dropping to seventh. But it was disaster for Rossi in eighth, even worse for his Movistar Yamaha teammate Lorenzo who finished 15th, who now see their championship hopes in serious jeopardy at the halfway mark of the season.

Rounding out the top 10 was Avintia Ducati’s Hector Barbera and Aprilia’s Alvaro Bautista.

Andrea Dovizioso 2016
Andrea Dovizioso got caught up with the race and waited too late for the tire switch, having to settle for third in the end.Photo Courtesy of Ducati

2016 MotoGP Sachsenring Results:

  1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda

  2. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda

  3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati

  4. Scott Redding (GBR) Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati

  5. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati

  6. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda

  7. Jack Miller (AUS) Marc VDS Honda

  8. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha

  9. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Ducati

  10. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia

  11. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Ducati

  12. Maverick Vinales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar

  13. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3

  14. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar

  15. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha

  16. Tito Rabat (SPA) EG 0.0 Marc VDS

  17. Loris Baz (FRA) Avintia Ducati

  18. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Aspar Ducati

DNF. Pol Espargaro (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3

DNF. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati