MotoGP Sachsenring: Marc Marquez secures sensational 11th victory in Germany
The comeback is complete. Marc Marquez returned to the top step of the MotoGP podium with a sensational victory at his beloved Sachsenring.
The Repsol Honda rider stormed up to second at the start of the race and quickly forced his way by Aleix Espargaro to take the lead. As the white flags waved and some drops of rain began to fall, Marquez pulled the pin and opened a two second advantage.
Miguel Oliveira gave it everything in order to try and close Marquez down but after managing his tyres, Marquez was able to pull away again in the closing laps. The gap never dropped below 0.9s.
It's Marquez's 11th consecutive victory at the German circuit and Honda's first since his success at the 2019 Valencia Grand Prix - 581 days ago. He becomes just the second rider ever to take eight consecutive premier class wins in the same circuit, one behind the great Giacomo Agostini, who holds the record with nine at Imatra.
Mentally, today's result will be fantastic for Marquez's and HRC's confidence moving forward. Their worst run since rejoining the premier class in 1982 is over.
Oliveira crossed the line in second to take his third consecutive podium in 2021, whilst championship leader Fabio Quartararo completed the podium for Monster Energy Yamaha. The Frenchman now holds a 22-point advantage in the championship standings.
Brad Binder ensured that both Red Bull KTM riders finished inside the top four. It's the South African's best result of the season so far, and his second top five result in three races. Francesco Bagnaia stormed through the field in the second half of the race to take fifth ahead of teammate Jack Miller.
Aleix Espargaro dropped to seventh in the closing stages after leading early on, whilst Johann Zarco, Joan Mir, and Pol Espargaro completed the top 10 in Germany. Alex Rins and Jorge Martin were 11th and 12th respectively, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami and Valentino Rossi.
Elsewhere, it was a nightmare day for Maverick Vinales and Franco Morbidelli. The latter fell to the back of the field on the opening lap and limped home in 18th, whilst Vinales, who started 21st, was unable to make any real progress and came home in 19th.
Danilo Petrucci and Alex Marquez came together at turn one on the fifth lap of the race. The duo were arguing with one another in the gravel afterwards, however no further action was taken by race direction. On the following lap Lorenzo Savadori's race came to an end at turn 10.
MotoGP Sachsenring: Johann Zarco secures his first pole of 2021
First published: 19 June 2021 by Josh Close
Johann Zarco clinched his first pole position of the 2021 season in dramatic fashion at the Sachsenring.
The Pramac Racing Ducati rider knocked championship leader Fabio Quartararo off of top spot with a 1:20.236, moments before losing the front at high-speed heading into turn four. The Frenchman looks to be a little winded but was able to walk away unaided from his Ducati.
It's Zarco's first MotoGP pole since the Czech Grand Prix at Brno last season, and his performance also ends Quartararo's run of five consecutive pole positions. It's Zarco's sixth MotoGP pole position and he's achieved this accolade with three different teams - Tech3 Yamaha, Avintia Ducati and now Pramac Racing Ducati. Zarco also put his KTM RC16 on the front row at Brno in 2019.
Quartararo remained in second place (+0.011s) after being unable to beat his main title rival. Quartararo won't be too worried though given the consistent race pace he showed earlier in the day.
The French duo will be joined on the front row by Aleix Espargaro. It's the Spaniard first front-row with Aprilia, and his first overall since the Dutch TT at Assen in 2015. It further showcases the ever-improving performance of the RS-GP in the hands of Espargaro.
Jack Miller had to settle for fourth spot after running in too deep at the final corner on his last flying lap. The Aussie has been unbeatable through the first sector of the lap but continues to lose crucial time through sector three.
The Aussie will be joined on the second row by Marc Marquez and Miguel Oliveira. It's Marquez's best qualifying result since his return from injury. Rookie Jorge Martin was seventh, whilst Pol Espargaro, Takaaki Nakagami and Francesco Bagnaia completed the top 10. Nakagami crashed at turn one in the closing seconds of the session.
The start of Q1 was delayed due to a power outage in pit-lane. Some teams, including Repsol Honda, were left without any electricity for a little while. Brad Binder failed to make it out of that Q1 session, missing out on a spot in Q2 by only 0.036s.
Behind him, rookie pairing Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini qualified in 14th and 15th respectively, ahead of Valentino Rossi on the Petronas Yamaha. Reigning champion Joan Mir's qualifying woes continued in 17th spot. It's Mir's worst grid position of the season, and the second time in four races he's qualified outside of the top 10.
Alex Rins, who had to go through Q1, and Alex Marquez rounded out the Q2 qualifiers this afternoon.
Franco Morbidelli will start 18th after crashing at the final corner whilst on his fastest lap of the session. The Italian was on course for a spot inside the top two prior to his fall.
Danilo Petrucci qualified 19th ahead of Tech3 KTM teammate Iker Lecouna, who fell at turn one in the closing stages of the session. Behind them, Maverick Vinales endured a nightmare session in 21st - his worst-ever MotoGP qualifying performance. Vinales' problems started in FP3 when, whilst holding a Q2 qualifying spot, he crashed at turn one with a few minutes remaining. Vinales consequently lost his spot in Q2 and was visibly frustrated throughout FP4 as well.
Lorenzo Savadori completes the MotoGP grid after suffering a fast crash at turn 12. Tomorrow's MotoGP race is due to begin at 13:00 (UK).
MotoGP Sachsenring: Miguel Oliveira ends the opening day on top
First published: 18 June 2021 by Josh Close
Miguel Oliveira continued his positive form on Friday by topping the combined standings after the opening two practice sessions at the Sachsenring.
The Red Bull KTM rider, winner of the Spanish Grand Prix, posted a best lap-time of 1:20.690, which was an impressive 0.220s faster than 2021's one-lap master Fabio Quartararo. The Frenchman is targeting a sixth consecutive pole position this weekend.
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Quartararo bounced back from a big crash during this morning's FP1 session. The Frenchman went down at the bottom of the hill, heading into turn 12. Quartararo looked to be in some discomfort as he got back to his feet, after giving his right shoulder a real whack - thankfully it looks like no serious damage was caused.
Maverick Vinales completed the top three on the second factory Yamaha M1, pipping Alex Rins by only 0.054s. Pol Espargaro was the leading Honda in fifth spot, despite suffering two crashes throughout the day. The Repsol Honda rider fell at turn three during FP1, before hitting the deck at the same corner in FP2.
Takaaki Nakagami was sixth overall ahead of Aleix Espargaro and Johann Zarco, whilst Jack Miller and Franco Morbidelli completed the top 10. All six manufacturers were represented inside the top 10, with only 0.538s separating Oliveira and Morbidelli.
Danilo Petrucci leaped up to 11th in the closing stages, whilst Marc Marquez ended the opening day in 12th. Marquez, who has won his last 10 races at the Sachsenring, topped FP1 this morning and gave the paddock a reminder of what he's capable of at this circuit. The left-handed circuit, including 10 left turns, will favour Marquez's injured arm/shoulder this weekend.
Elsewhere, rookie Jorge Martin ended his first day at the German circuit as a MotoGP rider in 14th spot, recovering from a crash at turn 12 in FP1. Fellow Sachsenring newcomer Brad Binder was 15th ahead of reigning champion Joan Mir.
Luca Marini had an eventful day in 18th spot. The Italian fell at the final corner early in FP2, before suffering a fast fall at turn seven in the closing seconds of the session.
Valentino Rossi's disappointing year continued in 21st spot. The nine-time world champion crashed at the first corner in FP2 and looked rejected as he walked away from his M1. Rumours are continuing to spread that Rossi will announce his retirement from MotoGP in the coming weeks.
VR46 Academy member Francesco Bagnaia finished day one at the bottom of the timesheets and has plenty of work to do on Saturday morning if he’s to avoid Q1.
Saturday’s FP3 session is due to begin at 08:55 (UK), followed by FP4 at 12:30 and then Q1 at 13:10. Q2 will follow at 13:35.