Marquez takes MotoGP lead with Sachsenring win

story and photos courtesy MotoGP

Marc Marquez (above) has won the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring, picking up his second MotoGP™ victory and seventh podium finish from eight races. In the absence of both Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, the same three riders were on the podium as at the Dutch TT, with Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi finishing second and third.

The Sachsenring delivered another highly dramatic weekend, not least as numerous riders suffered crashes across the three days. Crutchlow was one of them, heading into the race with injuries to his arms, hands and left leg, but heavy impacts for World Champion Lorenzo and erstwhile championship leader Pedrosa left both on the sidelines; the Yamaha Factory Racing rider bent the titanium plate in his shoulder, while the Repsol Honda Team rider sustained a small fracture, also to the left collarbone, and was suffering from dizziness.

With both of his major rivals out of contention, Marquez – starting on his third pole position of the season – knew that a second race win (after Austin, Texas) would allow him to snatch back the advantage in the title race. A poor start saw the 20-year-old rookie drop to fourth place, but he picked off those ahead of him one by one and took the lead from home rider Stefan Bradl at the end of the sixth lap. Once Crutchlow took second, the Spaniard would manage the gap and win by 1.5 seconds.

Crutchlow’s own race started from second. Fighting the pain of his injuries after two large accidents on Friday, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider dispatched of Alvaro Bautista and Bradl and stole second from Valentino Rossi in a strong move at Sachsen Kurve on Lap 16. He then looked to threaten for a career-first victory, but Marquez had been looking after his tyres and was able to comfortably control the gap until the end of the 30th and final lap; nevertheless, Crutchlow becomes the first British rider since Barry Sheene in 1982 to collect four podium finishes in one season.

Having returned to winning ways at Assen two weeks ago, Rossi has now claimed consecutive rostrums. From his first front row start since the Portuguese Grand Prix of 2010, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider seized the lead as the red lights went out. He proceeded to battle with local favourite Bradl but was overhauled by eventual winner Marquez on Lap 5. Three laps later, Rossi passed the German to go second, but then fell back to the final podium spot when Crutchlow steamed ahead.

Bradl’s fourth place finish for LCR Honda MotoGP may have meant that he has still missed out on the podium, but the German has again equalled his career-best result. GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista completed the top five from eighth on the grid, while Tech 3’s Bradley Smith ended his day sixth – confirming two British riders in the top six of a race for the first time in two decades – from the impressive Aleix Espargaro; from fifth on the grid, the Power Electronics Aspar rider rode his CRT-specification bike in as high as third place before feeling the wrath of the prototypes.

Further down the order, the final points went to 13th-placed Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) and the two riders who a day earlier had passed through to the Q2 shootout from Q1, with Danilo Petrucci and Claudio Corti 14th and 15th for Came IodaRacing Project and NGM Mobile Forward Racing, respectively. Two riders failed to see the end of the race, as there were crashes for both PBM’s Yonny Hernandez and Gresini’s Bryan Staring.

MotoGP™ Race Classification
1- Marc Marquez SPA Honda 41:14.653
2- Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha +1.559
3- Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha +9.620
1st CRT 8- Aleix Espargaro SPA ART +30.324


Jordi Torres has taken his maiden career victory in the Moto2™ eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, becoming the fifth different rider to win in the intermediate class this year. Simone Corsi beat Pol Espargaro to second, championship leader Scott Redding was seventh and Xavier Simeon fell to ninth place from pole.

On Saturday, Torres was narrowly beaten to the top grid position as Simeon claimed his career-first pole position for Desguaces La Torre Maptaq. Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) would start second, while from the front row Espargaro (Tuenti HP 40) aimed to make the most of an eighth-placed start for chief rival Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team).

Espargaro immediately seized the lead off the start line and would hold the advantage until Lap 19, when Torres – who maintained a consistent pace over the full 29-lap distance – dived through at the Sachsen Kurve. Behind the leading duo, Simone Corsi kept a watching brief and opportunistically overtook Espargaro for second place on the final lap; this capped off his first rostrum for almost two years. Despite dropping back another position, Espargaro finished four positions in front of Redding.

Fourth place went to Italtrans Racing Team’s Julian Simon, while multiple Sachsenring podium finisher Alex de Angelis put on a charge in the second half of the Grand Prix to finish inside the top five for NGM Mobile Forward Racing, overhauling Tom Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing) and championship leader Redding, who endured his worst result of 2013 thus far. Pole-man Simeon could not demonstrate such strong race pace and finished 12.8 seconds behind the winner. Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese picked up the final point for Dynavolt Intact GP, while one standout performance came from QMMF Racing Team’s Anthony West who rose to eighth from 16th on the grid.

Six riders failed to make the finish. Tech 3’s Danny Kent and TargoBank Motorsport wildcard Alex Mariñelarena departed the race early, with the Spaniard sustaining a contusion to the left knee. Blusens Avintia’s Kyle Smith was next to fall, soon joined on the sidelines by Desguaces La Torre SAG’s Marcel Schrotter. Argiñano & Gines Racing’s Roman Ramos (covering for Alberto Moncayo, who was injured in a training accident) retired into the pit lane, while winner Torres’ teammate Jordi Terol crashed out in the closing stages of the race.

Sunday’s result marks the first time in 2013 that three different makes of Moto2™ chassis – Suter, Speed Up and Kalex – have shared the podium.

Alex Rins diving into the valley at the Sachsenring

Alex Rins has won the Moto3™ eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland from pole position, overhauling championship leader Luis Salom at the penultimate corner of the race. Maverick Viñales, who also battled for the lead throughout, was third to ensure that the top three riders in the championship filled the podium places.

Rins led from pole, but after an entertaining battle with Viñales, elected to yield the lead to the Team Calvo rider. The order would continue to change between the duo, until Lap 24 when Viñales took the advantage after Rins ran wide, only for Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Salom – who had typically waited patiently in third position – to seize the advantage in an impressive double overtaking manoeuvre at Sachsen Kurve.

Following Salom’s move, Rins crucially passed Viñales into the final corner, which allowed him three laps to hunt down the lead. The margin was three tenths of a second at the start of the final lap, but Rins bravely dived up the inside of the penultimate corner to seal his second victory after Austin, Texas as the leading trio crossed the line separated by only two and a half tenths of a second.

In fourth position, Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira overhauled Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Marquez in the closing stages, with the latter having made charge in the second half of the race. Efren Vazquez was sixth on the second Mahindra, while Jack Miller was disappointed to finish seventh for Caretta Technology – RTG, having started fifth on the grid. The top eight was rounded out by equally disappointed home rider Jonas Folger (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3), who had been fourth on the grid.

Ongetta-Rivacold’s Alexis Masbou did not make the start following a problem in the Warm-Up, whereas four riders crashed out of the race. An early mistake by wildcard rider Kevin Hanus (Thomas Sabo GP Team) saw him collect Eric Granado (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3), whereas wildcard Luca Amato (Mahindra Spiel-Kiste) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (GO&FUN Gresini Moto3) made mistakes of their own.

EARLIER: Marquez on pole as Pedrosa joins injury list

Marc Marquez has collected his third MotoGP™ pole position for this weekend’s eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. As injured title rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa both couldn’t take part after crashes, the Repsol Honda Team rider beat Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi.

Since practice action commenced on Friday, a number of incidents have been witnessed at the Sachsenring, not least for title-holder Lorenzo and current championship leader Pedrosa who both have injured left collarbones after highside crashes. Lorenzo will miss at least this race, whereas in Pedrosa’s case it remains to be seen as to whether he will be able to re-join the action on Sunday.

Marquez’s lap of 1’21.311 was within three tenths of a second of Casey Stoner’s best ever lap of the Sachsenring – which had been achieved in the era of qualifying tyres in 2008 – as he stormed to his third pole, after Texas and Le Mans. Crutchlow will start inside the top two for the third race in succession, despite two heavy falls on Friday which have left the Englishman in pain, while the front row start for Rossi is his first in 988 days; his last had been at the Portuguese Grand Prix of 2010.

Row 2 is headed up by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl at his home event, whereas a top five result came thanks to a stunning effort from Aleix Espargaro on the Power Electronics Aspar CRT machine. Ducati Team will line up sixth and ninth, far better than Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso had expected, whereas Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista will fill slots seven and eight. Pedrosa was classified 12th, but was unable to take part in qualifying.

Highly impressive performances from Danilo Petrucci and Claudio Corti saw the pair of Italians topping Q1 and thus headed into the Q2 shootout for the first time; Corti will start tenth on the grid for NGM Mobile Forward Racing, whereas Petrucci experienced a technical issue in Q2 and will set off from 11th for Came IodaRacing Project.

At the back of the grid and in 23rd place will be Energy T.I. Racing’s Andrea Iannone, who dislocated his right shoulder in a crash during the final practice session. Hector Barbera (Avintia Blusens, 14th) was also in discomfort after twisting his right ankle in morning practice, whereas GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Bryan Staring was left 22nd fastest after suffering a large highside on the exit of Turn 3.

Belgium’s Xavier Simeon has claimed his first ever pole position for the Moto2™ eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. An impressive last-gasp lap for the Desguaces La Torre Maptaq rider saw him demote Aspar Team Moto2’s Jordi Torres and Tuenti HP 40’s Pol Espargaro, as only 39 thousandths of a second covered the leading trio.

Simeon – who finished on the podium at the French Grand Prix earlier this season – grabbed Saturday’s pole with his best effort of 1’24.665, also achieving his first ever front row start. Torres was denied by the narrow margin of 13 thousandths of a second, while Espargaro’s third place means he will start five positions ahead of title rival and current championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team).

Row 2 will be filled by the still recovering Tom Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing), Simone Corsi (NGM Mobile Racing) and Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team), while Simon’s teammate Takaaki Nakagami will head up the third row from Redding, whose own best lap missed pole by just under three tenths of a second.

The top ten was completed by eight-time Sachsenring podium finisher Alex de Angelis, who next weekend will be competing in the premier MotoGP™ class at Laguna Seca. In 23rd place, Tuenti HP 40’s Tito Rabat struggled to make an impression due to a twisted left ankle sustained in a crash during final practice.

Simeon’s result is the first pole position for a Belgian rider – in any class of the World Championship – for 24 years since. The last came courtesy of Didier de Radigues at the 250 Belgian Grand Prix of 1989, staged at Spa-Francorchamps.

Alex Rins has achieved pole position for the Moto3™ eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. The Spaniard’s third pole of the season will see him share the front row with the championship leader, Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom whose challenge was halted by an engine problem, and Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira.

The early surprise of the afternoon was an error from one front-running favourite, as home rider Jonas Folger crashed his Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 bike at Turn 11. He was able to re-join the action in the late stages, sealing fourth spot on the grid. Rins’ pole came in the form of 1’27.300, with Salom staying second despite having had to pull off the circuit; his leading lap time from final practice remains the quickest so far.

Oliveira – who was on pole last time out at Assen – collects his third consecutive front row start, whereas Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales could not make the most of Salom’s difficulties and went off-track at Turn 1. He will start sixth, behind Folger and Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller on the second row.

Second Mahindra rider Efren Vazquez will line up seventh from San Carlo Team Italia’s Romano Fenati, RW Racing GP’s Jasper Iwema – enjoying his best Moto3 qualifying position to date, in ninth – and Alex Marquez, who ensures that Estrella Galicia 0,0 are bookending the top ten.

A late fall for Folger’s teammate Eric Granado left the Brazilian 31st, four positions ahead of Jules Danilo who covers for the injured Danny Webb at Ambrogio Racing.

EARLIER: Bradl Fast, Lorenzo Rash

Stefan Bradl got it right in practice at his home track

An eventful day of track action came to a close at the Sachsenring on the first day of the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland with local favourite Stefan Bradl topping the timesheets for LCR Honda MotoGP. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo suffered another heavy accident in the afternoon session, landing on his injured shoulder, unfortunately putting him out of the Germany race and possibly the next.

Bradl’s Friday-topping lap time came in the form of a 1’22.030, with Lorenzo ending the day second overall from Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa and their respective teammates Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. Completing the top eight were Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden – who experienced a late crash at Turn 3, which followed a pair of earlier off-track moments – and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, the leading CRT runner.

The most significant happening of the day came just oven ten minutes into the afternoon session. Having broken his left collarbone at Assen only 15 days earlier, Lorenzo lost control exiting Turn 10 and landed heavily on his already damaged shoulder. The session was briefly stopped as the stricken Yamaha M1 was lying in the middle of Turn 11, while the World Champion was checked over.

Only three and a half minutes after the restart, Crutchlow suffered his second crash of the day – and both had come at the rapid Turn 11. When he was sliding down the track, several pieces of gravel became trapped inside his right glove, which had to be removed by the medical staff at the Clinica Mobile and the wounds cleaned up. He has been declared fit to ride tomorrow. In the morning, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone had gone down at the same corner. For Dovizioso the crash meant that he wrote off his only GP13 “Evolution” chassis, having to revert back to the regular GP13 for the rest of the weekend.

Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham was struck down with flu and fever and for that reason did not take part in the afternoon period, whereas Hiroshi Aoyama was back in action with Avintia Blusens for the first time since his hand-injuring crash on the Saturday of the Catalan Grand Prix. In Practice 2, GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Bryan Staring added his name to the list of fallers.

Moto2™ championship leader Scott Redding set the pace as proceedings continued in Germany on Friday at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring. The Marc VDS Racing Team rider set the quickest time in Free Practice 2, heading up the timesheets from NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis and Tuenti HP 40’s Pol Espargaro, who had led the first session earlier in the day.

Redding reduced the quickest time of the day to 1’25.152, leading De Angelis by just over one tenth of a second ahead of the San Marino rider’s MotoGP™ class outing at Laguna Seca next weekend. Espargaro and Came IodaRacing Project’s Johann Zarco also ended the day within two tenths of a second of the leader, with Mika Kallio next up to ensure Marc VDS riders are bookending the top five.

Desguaces La Torre Maptaq’s Xavier Simeon made a good start to his weekend by putting his Kalex in sixth, ahead of Technomag carXpert’s Randy Krummenacher and Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Luthi. Italtrans Racing Team’s Julian Simon will be pleased to have put his bike in ninth, while NGM’s Simone Corsi will hope to claw back some positions on his teammate in second.

Simon’s teammate, Takaaki Nakagami ended the day in 14th, after getting on his bike for the first time since breaking his collarbone in Assen. He stated that he was not in pain or discomfort, and put his result purely down to set-up issues.

Alex Rins and Estrella Galicia 0,0 set the pace on the first day of Moto3™ practice for the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring. This went further underneath the previous best lap from 2012, as Luis Salom and Efren Vazquez finished second and third for Red Bull KTM Ajo and Mahindra Racing, respectively.

With Maverick Viñales’ leading Sachsenring lap of last season having been 1’28.159, Rins established the overall best lap of Friday by posting 1’27.208. This was a full three tenths of a second quicker than championship leader Salom, who had topped the opening session in the morning. Behind Vazquez, who recovered from a fall to finish third, the top five was completed by Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Isaac Viñales and Team Calvo’s younger cousin Maverick.

Niklas Ajo was further down the order than is usually the case, ending the day in 30th place after sustaining a small fracture to his right wrist in a morning crash. Further fallers in the afternoon period were Kiefer Racing’s Toni Finsterbusch, Redox RW Racing GP’s Jakub Kornfeil and Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Matteo Ferrari, while San Carlo Team Italia’s Romano Fenati was forced to stop with a broken chain.