The MotoGP World Championship has continued with another race weekend this week. The Championship moved to Germany to the Sachsenring circuit. In the wet qualifying it was Marc Márquez who took his 8th pole position in a row at this track. Danilo Petrucci and Márquez’s team mate Dani Pedrosa qualified to the front row too.
Cal Crutchlow, local hero Jonas Folger and Jorge Lorenzo started from the second row while Espargaró brothers and Valentino Rossi were in the third row.
The qualifying didn’t go very well for the Championship contenders Dovizioso and Viñales. They started from the fourth row next to each other, Dovizioso was 10th and Viñales 11th at the grid.
Mika Kallio started as the wild card rider in the weekend so there were 3 KTM bikes.
It was unsure about how the weather would be as some dark clouds appeared around the circuit area. But the whole race was going on the dry track. As there is new asphalt at the track it was also important to choose the best possible tyres option. Most of the riders went for medium – medium but Jorge Lorenzo and Karel Abraham took some gamble and they had soft – soft. Some of the riders (Zarco, Kallio, Smith) used hard rear tyre.
Marc Márquez went into the lead when the race was started. Dani Pedrosa was behind him, then there was Jorge Lorenzo. But it didn’t last a long time for Lorenzo. Soon lots of other riders started to overtake him.
It was Jonas Folger who went to the 3rd position. Danilo Petrucci and Valentino Rossi were behind him.
Héctor Barberá had a jump start so he got ride through penalty. But he didn’t serve the penalty in time so he was black flagged.
In the 4th lap Jonas Folger moved to 2nd place ahead of Pedrosa and 2 laps later he even went into the lead. He kept the lead for 6 laps and then he made a small mistake and ran a little bit wide. Marc Márquez used that opportunity and went into the lead. But the German rider was able to keep the pace of Spaniard and was racing right behind him.
Dani Pedrosa was still 3rd but behind there was a group of riders fighting for P4. There were Dovizioso, Petrucci, Aleix Espargaró, Rossi. Behind there were Lorenzo, Viñales and Crutchlow. Especially Viñales was pushing and trying to move forward. Also Álvaro Bautista was going very fast.
Later how the race was going on a group of Rossi, Viñales and Dovizioso was made and they were fighting for P4. The battle was not interesting only from the point of view of the race but also for the Championship as all these riders were the Championship contenders. But Álvaro Bautista was catching them.
In the front, there was still Márquez in the lead and Folger about 0.2 behind him. But Folger did a mistake of running wide a few times. So the gap increased to almost 1 second but then the German was able to catch Márquez again.
Dani Pedrosa was going 3rd and trying to keep that position. Behind him Maverick Viñales made it to 4th place but Rossi and Dovizioso were still behind him. But it was Bautista who was doing great race and he was able to overtake both Italian riders in the group.
With 2 laps to go it was almost 2 seconds of difference between Márquez and Folger. And as Folger said later, he had some tyre degradation so he couldn’t keep the pace with Márquez.
Marc Márquez did it once again! The ‘King of the Ring’ won at Sachsenring for the 8th time in a row! And everytime it was also after starting from pole position. So not only COTA could be named after him, also Sachsenring would deserve that honour.
Jonas Folger made the dream to come true and he went for his first ever MotoGP podium! What’s more it was even on his home track. Dani Pedrosa finished 3rd.
Maverick Viñales was 4th so it could be good for him for the Championship but the ‘Top Gun’ didn’t look very happy when he was back in his garage. Valentino Rossi was 5th, Álvaro Bautista 6th, Aleix Espargaró 7th, Andrea Dovizioso 8th, Johann Zarco 9th and Cal Crutchlow completed top 10.
Jorge Lorenzo finished 11th, Danilo Petrucci was 12th, Pol Espargaró was 13th, Bradley Smith 14th and Jack Miller took 1 point for P15.
Mika Kallio was 16th, Karel Abraham 17th, Tito Rabat 18th, Loris Baz 19th, Scott Redding 20th and Alex Rins was 21st.
As already mentioned, Héctor Barberá was disqualified. Andrea Iannone and Sam Lowes crashed.
This year’s MotoGP season is very tough as top 4 riders in the Championship standing are within 10 points! After the victory it’s Marc Márquez who takes the Championship lead with 129 points. But Maverick Viñales has 124 points, Andrea Dovizioso has 123 points and Valentino Rossi has 119 points. Then close behind them is also Dani Pedrosa with 103 points.
The first half of the season is already over. The summer break is ahead of us. Next round of the World Championship will take place in Brno, Czech republic, from 4th to 6th August.