MotoGP: Unbeaten Marquez takes ninth gripping victory at wet Sachsenring GP
Germany, July 13th 2014 – Even starting from pit-lane along with the majority of the top three rows of riders, Marquez was unrivalled as he carved through the pack to take his ninth consecutive victory at the German Grand Prix, with Dani Pedrosa sealing a Repsol Honda one-two. Jorge Lorenzo took the last step on the podium for Yamaha.
Memories from the last round at Assen came flooding back for the riders as the heavens opened just before the thirty-lap German Grand Prix was due to commence, resulting in sections of the circuit being wet at the start of the race. The mixed conditions left the riders having to face a decision on whether to start with slick or wet tyres, with nine riders starting from the grid on slick tyres, and the remaining fourteen starters starting from pit lane on slick tyres after pitting-in on wet tyres during the warm up lap.
From third on the grid Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) started alone at the front on soft slick tyres and led the early laps after rain in the race build up caused confusion as to which tyres would work best.
Bradl’s bike set-up appeared to let him down with slicks hurriedly fitted to a previously wet set-up bike on the grid with the steel brake discs causing him some issues in the dry. He eventually dropped to 16th place in his home race.
Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was in imperious form once again to make it nine wins from nine, cutting through the pack in a chaotic first few laps and eventually pulling clear at the front with teammate Pedrosa, who would ultimately cross the line 1.5s behind him. A further nine seconds back Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) made a welcome return to the podium before the summer break.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) rode a lonely race to fourth place, a further nine seconds behind Lorenzo, with the top five completed by the impressive Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) as the top Ducati-equipped rider.
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda: “Just before the race it started to rain and after two sightseeing laps on wet rubber, we decided to change to slick tyres on the grid because I thought that the track would have dried up quickly. At the first moment it seemed that we had an advantage but on the grid we had some issues in changing the front fork to dry as the time was not enough. So I started the race with rain setting and slick tyres and it was a real gamble. When I saw the others starting from the pit, I could have done the same as my bike was ready and I am sorry for this mistake. I was 3 seconds slower in the lap because my setting was not correct. I am speechless right now because this is the worst way to end my home race but I want to thank my fans for their great support throughout this weekend”.
Brothers Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) were sixth and seventh respectively, as they both continued their good 2014 form.
The top ten was completed by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team).
A difficult weekend for Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) ended with a 19th place finish after an early crash – his fifth of the visit to Germany. Meanwhile on lap 19 Michael Laverty (Paul Bird Motorsport) crashed out, fortunately avoiding any serious injury.
Marc Marquez – “Before going out on track I thought it would be a similar race to the Assen, but in the end the surface dried out very quickly. I saw on the grid that Bradl had gone with the slick tyre option and I really had my doubts, because the area around the back of the track was still wet. I finally decided to see what Dani [Pedrosa] and Valentino [Rossi] were going to do, as they are my main rivals in the Championship and if you get it wrong in these races, you can lose a lot of points. That’s why I decided to copy their strategy. The race was nice, especially the first part which was when I enjoyed it the most!”.
Dani Pedrosa – “The start of the race today was a bit like Assen. Rainfall before the race meant that half the track was wet, and in the time we took to set up on the grid and do the warm up lap it had been drying out; there was only one wet corner, but it was very wet. We had to change to the bike with slicks and almost all of the riders started from pit lane. We couldn’t fight for victory but we were very close, Marc [Marquez] was very fast today, too. Now we have the test at Brno and will try to find a few tenths somewhere, so that we can go faster and be even stronger at Indy”.
Jorge Lorenzo – “I’m satisfied because finally we got another podium. At the last two races I couldn’t do it for some reason. In the practice sessions I went fast on both tracks. I hoped to race in a dry race but in the last moment it started spitting so we went with wet tyres and after that we went into the pitlane for slicks. When I started the race and touched the front carbon brake it wasn’t warm enough to work, so to not touch the other riders I had to go onto the track. I let them pass again because it’s not allowed to make progress this way. The leaders were very strong at the beginning with the intermediate track. They had a gap of six, seven or eight seconds. I just needed one or two tenths to stay with them. Anyway, I had a good race and I did my best. I was very focused and riding very well. If we can gain one or two tenths on the competition we can try to win. Little by little we are coming closer. The bike improved a little with the electronics, the tyres are now working better with the bike and I am much fitter than last year. It makes me stronger, also mentally. I will be going to Spain to spend the holiday with my family and my friends and then come back to Yamaha for some more racing.”