Moto GP

Seventh Sachsenring win for Marc Marquez

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Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has won in the wet by 9.8s at the German GP after timing his tyre swap to perfection, ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso.

Conditions had looked to be improving after the Moto2 World Championship race, but brief showers of heavy rain hit the Sachsenring as MotoGP riders waited in the pits. The race was declared wet and flashbacks of the Dutch GP ran through the mind of every rider on the grid. Would it be Miller time again or would Jorge Lorenzo finally get to grips with the Sachsenring? When racing got underway there were almost no further signs of rain, making tyre choice more important than ever.

As the race began Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi emerged as the two favourites. Dovizioso had opened up a lead of almost two seconds as the track began to dry, riders considering a bike change. Andrea Iannone was the first rider to pit for intermediate tyres on lap 12. Over the course of the following laps most of the field followed suit, choosing a variety of slick and intermediate combinations.
Marquez lead the opening lap in the heavy rain but dropped back until a brave tyre change saw his fortunes change.
Marc Marquez was simply unable to match the pace of the leading riders as the race began, battling with Hector Barbera for fifth. He was clearly struggling, running off at Turn 8 and lucky to stay upright. On lap 17 he entered the pits for slicks. It proved a masterstroke as his lap times were immediately four seconds faster than those on wets leading the race, his pace only getting faster. With six laps to go he took the lead and never looked back, going on to take a seventh straight victory at the Sachsenring. His lead at the top of the championship continues to grow, seemingly unable to put a foot wrong.

‰ÛÏAt 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 shared.

"I‰Ûªm 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. It was a very difficult race, with it being flag-to-flag and the track conditions so delicate. In the first part of the race, in the wet, I found things a little difficult. I had picked the wrong front tyre for my riding style, but I was able to switch to slicks.

"I was very careful in the opening laps after changing bikes, because the dry line was very narrow and there was still a lot of water on the surface. It‰Ûªs always very difficult to decide when to change bikes, and perhaps we made our switch very early‰ÛÓI think I was the second rider to do so‰ÛÓbut 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," the Spaniard concluded.
Cal Crutchlow returned to the podium for the first time since 2015 with second place
Lap after lap the track dried and lap after lap Cal Crutchlow got faster and faster. The Brit found himself in fourth on the 19th lap as several riders began to pit, Crutchlow still pushing his wets around. He followed Dovizioso into the pits soon after, re-joining with his former teammate to battle for the podium. Having opted for slicks, Crutchlow found himself right behind Scott Redding and in the hunt for second place. There was no love lost between the Brits, Crutchlow breaking Redding to secure second place and return to the podium for the first time since Argentina in 2015.

‰ÛÏIt was so difficult to manage at the start, but we tried our very best as always. I think I‰Ûªm one of the strongest guys in these conditions, and I have been one of the strongest all weekend, I just needed to do it in the race, and I managed to do it," Crutchlow said.

‰ÛÏI should have come into the pits earlier, but I didn‰Ûªt see my pit board, so I came in with Rossi and Dovizioso because they were leading. It was a case of settling for a possible podium or staying with the leaders, and I chose that.‰Û
Andrea Dovizioso passed Scott Redding on the last lap to take the final podium spot
Known for his ability in the wet, Andrea Dovizioso shot straight into podium contention as the race began, pressuring for the lead. ‰Û÷Desmo Dovi‰Ûª sat behind Danilo Petrucci for several laps, gifted the lead when the Italian fell on lap 11. He continued to forge ahead on wets, his lead rapidly depleting. After multiple laps struggling on wets he finally made the call to pit, prompting every rider behind to follow him. The group re-joining to battle for third place, unable to match the pace of Crutchlow the factory Ducati man did well to pass Redding on the final lap and take his second podium of the year.

"I managed to get off to a good start and immediately get into the leading group," Dovizioso explained. "After Petrucci‰Ûªs crash, I took the lead again and concentrated on lapping quickly without wearing out the front tyre, trying not to turn into the corners abruptly and getting the bike back up out of the corners as soon as possible.

"The track was starting to dry out, but I stayed focused on the tyres and for this reason I missed out on the best moment to come back in and change bikes. Maybe if I had come in at least two laps before, we might have been celebrating the win. But let‰Ûªs look on the positive side: we were at the Sachsenring, on a track where we have never gone well, and today we were in the lead for lots of laps. In the end we go back home with a well-deserved podium, which I want to dedicate to my team who have been working really hard.‰Û
Scott Redding missed the podium by one spot after Andrea Dovizioso passed him on the final lap
The disappointment was clear to see on Scott Redding‰Ûªs face after holding onto third until the very last lap. Fourth is still a great result for the Brit, his second best finish of a year plagued by technical issues. Like Redding, Iannone opted to switch to intermediate tyres and while he made progress, was ruled out of the final podium battle and settled for fifth.

"If someone had told me yesterday that I could finish fourth I would not have believed," Redding said. "It is clear: I'm sorry for not being on the podium for the second time in a row but I am happy for this race. I made a mistake at the beginning but I felt good on the bike and started to recover position. Tyre choice? This was the best option. There is no communication with the team during the race and this makes it difficult. And then when I left the pits the track was still too wet for slicks. I thank the whole team for the great job done."
Andrea Iannone finished sixth
Dani Pedrosa took a solid sixth ahead of Jack Miller, the Australian the last to swap tyres.

Valentino Rossi was strong from the start of the race but waited until Dovizioso and Crutchlow, with whom he was battling with, had pitted for tyres to come in. As a result he came home in eighth, closing in on his teammate in the championship but losing out to Marquez once more.

Jorge Lorenzo‰Ûªs weekend didn‰Ûªt get any better. The World Champion was inside the top ten as the race got underway, but as in Assen he began to fade as the race went on and slowly dropped back. It was even worse than in Assen, Lorenzo taking a single point for 15th place.

Danilo Petrucci‰Ûªs reputation as a wet-weather specialist continued to grow in Germany. ‰Û÷Petrux‰Ûª was on a mission and quickly took the lead, comfortably sitting at the head of the race. That was until he crashed at Turn 3 on lap 11, he pitted for his second bike just as the one he was on burst into flames. He eventually retired from the race, another disappointing end to a race with so much potential.
Dani Pedrosa scraped in ahead of Jack Miller for 6th
Pol Espargaro crashed while chasing Marquez after pitting for new tyres, ending his run of scoring points in every race.

Local rider Stefan Bradl was forced to miss him home race after a fall in Warm Up. He was taken to the local hospital for a CT scan after suffering a concussion in the crash.

Main Photo: Marc Marquez

MotoGP Race Classification 2016 - Sachsenring, Round 9 -
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 47m 3.239s
2. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 47m 13.096s
3. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 47m 14.852s
4. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 47m 15.231s
5. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 47m 25.994s
6. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 47m 29.159s
7. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 47m 29.282s
8. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 47m 29.688s
9. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 47m 29.853s
10. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 47m 34.513s
11. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 47m 44.447s
12. Maverick Vi̱ales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 47m 45.397s
13. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 48m 6.368s
14. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 48m 9.330s
15. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 48m 20.933s
16. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)* +1 lap
17. Loris Baz FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) +2 laps
18. Yonny Hernandez COL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) +3 laps
DNF Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)
DNF Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15)

MotoGP World Standing 2016 After round 9
1 Marquez Marc SPA 170 Points
2 Lorenzo Jorge SPA 122 Points
3 Rossi Valentino ITA 111 Points
4 Pedrosa Dani SPA 96 Points
5 Vinales Maverick SPA 83 Points
6 Espargaro Pol SPA 72 Points
7 Barbera Hector SPA 65 Points
8 Iannone Andrea ITA 63 Points
9 Dovizioso Andrea ITA 59 Points
10 Laverty Eugene IRE 53 Points
11 Espargaro Aleix SPA 51 Points
12 Redding Scott GBR 45 Points
13 Miller Jack AUS 42 Points
14 Crutchlow Cal GBR 40 Points
15 Bradl Stefan GER 37 Points
16 Smith Bradley GBR 35 Points
17 Bautista Alvaro SPA 35 Points
18 Petrucci Danilo ITA 24 Points
19 Pirro Michele ITA 19 Points
20 Rabat Tito SPA 18 Points
21 Baz Loris FRA 8 Points
22 Hernandez Yonny COL 3 Points

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