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Marquez makes it 9 from 9 with Pedrosa completing Honda domination
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has made it an unbelievable nine wins from nine races this season with a perfect weekend in Germany, clinching pole position, fastest race lap (lap 21/30 1'22.037) and the race victory. Teammate, Dani Pedrosa, finished in second place - just 1.4s behind Marc - to earn Honda's third 1-2 finish of this incredible season.
It was a complicated race due to a brief rain shower at 13h30 - just half an hour before the race start - which left the track slightly wet. The riders exited the pits on wet tyres to test the conditions and asses how wet the track was. As they sat on the grid for fifteen minutes, the track began to dry rapidly and on the warm up lap fourteen riders including all the front runners - except Stefan Bradl (who already changed onto slicks on the grid) - entered the pits to swap bikes for the slick tyres and therefore start from the pit lane.
The riders jostled for position in the pit lane, creating a make-shift grid, and Marc and Dani - who were first and second in the initial starting grid - emerged into 10th and 13th respectively. Dani immediately began to pass and was up to 11th by the end of the first lap. Both riders found their rhythm quickly passing many riders and by lap five they were already on the back of Stefan Bradl. On lap six Marc took the lead and on lap seven Dani passed Stefan and was on Marc's rear wheel.
The Repsol Honda duo then rode a perfect race as they not only controlled the gap to the rest of the field but gradually extended it, finishing a full ten seconds in front of third place Jorge Lorenzo. Marc has now won for the past five years in Sachsenring - all from pole position - and has become the first rider to win the opening nine races of the year since Giacomo Agostini won the first ten races of the 1970 season.
He continues to extend his lead in the Championship, now on 225 points and Dani reclaims second place with 148, ahead of Valentino Rossi on 141. Honda extend their lead in the Constructors Championship - now 71 points ahead - and continue to be the most successful manufacturer at the Sachsenring with nine wins since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP class in 2002. The Repsol Honda Team are now 135 points ahead in the Team's Championship.
The team will now pack up in Germany and drive 660km to Brno, Czech Republic, for a three-day test starting on Tuesday.
1st - Championship Standing: 1st - 225 points
"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 and Valentino 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!"
2nd - Championship Standing: 2nd - 148 points
"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 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"
Lorenzo Scores Superb Sachsenring Podium
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo returned to form today, scoring an impressive third place in difficult conditions at the Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Teammate Valentino Rossi also rode a strong race, pushing up the leader board from twelfth to fourth.
Rain twenty minutes before the start of today's race ensured a hectic start to the German Grand Prix. At first it was declared to be a wet race, but after the sighting lap the majority of the grid returned to the pit lane to swap wet tyres for slicks. Unlike in Assen where the race had been declared ?delayed' and two sighting laps given, the ?wet race' declaration meant only one sighting lap, resulting in the pit lane exit being closed. This left an almost empty grid with just eight riders present led by Stefan Bradl whilst the rest of the pack jostled in the tight pit lane exit, waiting for the flag to drop.
Due to the cramped pit lane exit and cold brakes Lorenzo was forced over to the curb and had to let himself fall back to 16th position to avoid colliding with other riders or getting a penalty. The Spaniard took a few laps to get a feel for the situation, but then ploughed through the order on his way to the front of the field. He fought and passed numerous riders before dispatching Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso to arrive in seventh place behind Rossi. Lorenzo then took over from his teammate as they passed local rider Stefan Bradl to move in to third and fourth place respectively. With 20 laps to go Lorenzo tried to close down the gap of 5.733 seconds to Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez in front of him, but he was unable to do so, eventually finishing in third place, 10.317 seconds off the front.
Rossi also rode an impressive race. As soon as the lights in the pit lane went off the Italian rider confidently took off, overtaking multiple riders as he found his pace. The Doctor shot up the order and arrived at the back of Bradl's bike on lap nine. The German pole sitter had started well from pole on slicks but with a wet setting on his bike was no match for the Rossi's full dry set up. He was soon passed and continued his charge with his teammate first behind and then ahead. Unable to match Lorenzo's pace, Rossi kept his head and finished in a deserved fourth place, 19.194 behind the front man Marquez.
With third place Lorenzo gains 16 championship points, leaving him fifth in the standings, just two points behind Andrea Dovizioso in fourth. Rossi scores another 13 points, increasing his total to 141 in third place. The gap to Pedrosa in second is now seven points.
MotoGP will be taking a four weeks summer break before continuing the season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the 10th of August.
"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."
"The rain was confusing today. Like in Assen we were unlucky with the weather. It rained just after the beginning of the race, but later the track started to dry. We had everybody starting from the pit so it was very difficult and also very dangerous. I was in a quite good position, but I didn't have enough pace to fight for the podium. I knew that it would be very difficult to beat our rivals here. I hoped to stay with Jorge but today he was faster than us and I arrived fourth. I'm quite happy about the first half of the season. I already got five podiums and four second places. I'm sad that I was not able to win, but I am quite fast and competitive. We have to continue like this and try to beat Marquez."
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"Another unpredictable race with changing conditions! Jorge proved today that Assen is in the past and his mind is again focused on the podium. He rode a great race. It looks like our competitors were able to get a rhythm earlier than us making it difficult to close the gap on Marquez and Pedrosa. Starting from the pit lane with so many riders wasn't the safest option but it was the only way possible. Valentino was missing a little of the pace he had in morning warm up, but rode well in the changing conditions to complete the top four factory bikes. After nine races, and the last two very complicated ones, we're all looking forward to a short break before being ready in action again in Indianapolis in a few weeks time."
Espargaro surges through the field to 7th in Germany
Pol Espargaro undertook an intense and eventful German Grand Prix to finish in 7th position, having battled through the field after starting the race from pit lane. As the race deemed wet but as track conditions improved and dried quickly, the rookie opted to switch to his bike with the dry setting. The young Spaniard completed his first lap in 21st position, but confidently began ascending up the order immediately and by lap eleven the reigning Moto2 World Champion had hauled himself back into the points in 15th having ran a series of low 1.23 lap times, which were on a level with 5th position. He continued to chip away at closing the next rider down, highlighting the young rookie's determination for success in the eventful race as he seized 10th position on lap 17 and quickly overtook Scott Redding for 9th three laps later. His perseverance prevailed and he set his fastest lap of the race on the 20th lap, which was 5th quickest overall, whilst hunting down the experienced Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso before overtaking and clinching 8th. The 23 year old Catalan did not stop there and performed a superbly executed move on Cal Crutchlow at turn 12 to snare 7th with three laps remaining, before completing the tricky 30 lap race in this position.
Bradley Smith's challenging weekend drew to an unfortunate close today with the young British rider falling in the opening laps before mounting a recovery charge but completing the race outside the points. After opting to switch bikes and therefore begin the 30 lap race around the 3671 metre circuit in Germany from the pit lane, Smith quickly set into a rhythm to remain with the advancing pack and battle for a top five result. Such hopes were cut short on the 3rd lap after lucklessly falling, dropping him back to last place. The British star showed tireless grit to finish the race with a consistently quick rhythm with his lap time being comparable to the top 4 in the final laps, but was unfortunately too far adrift from the pack to recover as he finished the race in 19th position.
"I can't help but be a bit frustrated as the weather once again obstructed our weekend's work. The rain just before the start again put us in a tricky situation and when we started from pit lane I had Dovizioso in front of me who had an apparent problem, I think he left his pit lane limiter on so I lost precious time and positions straight away. Due to my lack of experience with the bike in slightly wet conditions I was very cautious during the opening laps and it took me a bit of time to find the right rhythm. Also, the track lacks overtaking opportunities due to it's nature and so this didn't help also. It's a real pity as my pace would have allowed us to battle for a top five result but luck was not on our side. Nevertheless, I learnt a lot today and after a few weeks off, we will be back even stronger for the start of the second half of the season at Indy."
"Today was a big disappointment for me as I was feeling good and knew that I was capable of a strong result here but in the end the crash was all my fault. I made the same call as everyone else to pit and swap bikes, which was the right decision. When the race got underway, I saw Valentino pass Di Meglio at turn one and I knew my race pace was more than good enough to follow Valentino and use him as a reference in these tricky conditions. I got up the inside of Di Meglio and overtook him but as he came back to the apex, I ran onto the inside of the curb, which was still damp, and fell. Of course, it's a big frustration as the bike, tyres and setting all felt positive. Also, my race pace was equivalent to the 5th or 6th placed times again so a good result was certainly on the cards but unfortunately luck was against me. Now I will rest up over the summer and come back more determined to succeed."
Great sixth place for Espargaro at Sachsenring
In a race disrupted by pre-race rain, the NGM Forward Racing Team made a good race with Aleix Espargaro, finishing in a well deserved sixth place. With today's result the Spaniard confirms his 6th position in the Championship with 77 points.
It was another complicated round with the rain started to fall just before the MotoGP race. With the track drying quickly, Espargaro changed from wet set-up to dry after the final warm up lap, meaning they had to start from pit lane. Teammate Colin Edwards, instead, took the start from the grid on slick tyres.
Starting from the pit lane, it was a hard race for Aleix, who had to recover several positions and finally finished 6th.
It was a difficult race for Colin Edwards, who took the right decision concerning the tyres, but struggled in the first part of the race for lack of confidence. In the second part he had more feeling and started to push, setting his best lap time (1'23.538) on lap 20 out of 30. Unfortunately it was too late to close the gap and he finally finished 20th.
"It was a crazy race with a chaotic start. In the warm up lap we saw that the track was drying quickly so I decided to enter the pit and change bike from wet-set up to dry. The start from the pit lane was a sort of "motocross style" and I enjoyed the race, but I made a mistake choosing the softer compound for the front. In two laps the track was completely dry and in the second part of the race I struggled a lot because the front tyre dropped. It's a pity because I had the pace to fight with Jorge and Valentino. Anyway I'm satisfied with today's result and happy to leave Germany with the 6th place in the Championship. Now I will enjoy some holidays at the seaside to recharge the batteries for a strong second part of the season."
"It was a difficult race. I was among the few riders to start on slick tyres from the grid, but lap after lap I was loosing positions as I lacked of confidence. In the second part of the race the feeling improved and I could push more. Now I will enjoy some holidays and the next appointment will be Indianapolis, the second US round in the calendar this year."
Eighth place for Dovizioso, tenth for Crutchlow in German GP at Sachsenring
Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow crossed the line in today's German GP at Sachsenring, the ninth round of the 2014 season, in eighth and tenth place respectively after a lively race conditioned by the rain that fell on the track shortly before the start.
Dovizioso, who had lined up on the grid with his GP14 set up for wet weather, returned to the pit-lane to change bikes after the sighting lap, as did most of the other top riders. Forced to start from the pit-lane exit, Andrea accidently left on the pit-lane speed limiter of his Desmosedici and this affected his start, making him lose time and several positions, so much so that the Italian rider finished the opening lap in nineteenth place. In his recovery he found himself first having to battle with Aleix Espargarò for sixth place and then also with his team-mate Crutchlow for several laps, and in the end he had to yield one place to Pol Espargarò, thus terminating the race in eighth place.
It was also a hard-fought race for Crutchlow, who after working his way up from seventeenth, got past his fellow Ducati Team rider Dovizioso into seventh place, but in the final four laps had to relinquish three positions to Pol Espargarò, Dovizioso and Bautista. He took the chequered flag in tenth place.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) - 8th
"It was a difficult race in which unfortunately we were unable to make the best of the situation. I made a mistake at the start, forgetting to switch off the speed limiter at the end of the pit lane, and so I lost several places, which immediately complicated everything. I began to recover, but the battle with Aleix Espargarò slowed me even more and I also went off line on the wet part of the track, losing a few more seconds. Unfortunately I was not able to keep up a very fast pace, and it's a pity because we could have brought home a better result in these conditions. But, still being fourth in the championship after the first half of the season is in any case really positive."
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) - 10th
"It was mayhem at the start, and in the pit lane I nearly got knocked off by Rossi but it was nobody's fault, just one of those incidents, and in fact the start of the race was really exciting! In any case we chose the wrong front tyre for sure: we should have gone with the harder one, but this is racing. The positives to take from the weekend are that we were more competitive in the race than in qualifying or practice and I made sure that we finished today. I was really disappointed in the last laps when I got passed by Pol Espargarò, Andrea and Bautista: I felt we had a good chance to finish in the seventh position but I couldn't fight any more than I did and we were at the limit with the package today in these conditions."
Luigi Dall'Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
"Today's race at Sachsenring was a complicated one. The change in the weather conditions a few minutes before the bikes lined up on the grid made things difficult for everyone, and the race was also conditioned by the start from the pit-lane and the traffic in which Andrea and Cal found themselves in the early laps. In any case our riders were involved in a good recovery and for several laps we even saw a nice, hard-fought scrap between them, even though in the end we had to settle for an eighth and a tenth place and so cannot be satisfied. Now, before a short holiday break and the trip to Indianapolis, we will all be going with the team and riders to Misano Adriatico where WDW2014 will take place from July 18-20 and we will have a great opportunity to meet Ducatisti from all over the world taking part in this fantastic event!"
ARDUOUS RACE FOR LOCAL HERO AT SACHSENRING CIRCUIT
Sachsenring, 13 July: doubtless the local hero Stefan Bradl really wanted to give something to cheer to his national fans today but his home race concluded with a disappointing 16th place. After yesterday's excellent front row, today's 30-lap race was conducted in mixed conditions under cloudy skies, and from third on the grid, the German started alone towards the front on slick tyres (with a partial front suspension dry set-up) and led the early laps. With the track drying quickly much of the rest of the field changed from wet set-up to dry after the final Warm Up lap and they had to start from pit lane. Despite his advantage Bradl could not keep the pace and dropped to 16th place.
Stefan: "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".
DRIVE M7 riders complete tricky race
Hiroshi Aoyama and Nicky Hayden place twelfth and fourteenth, respectively, in German GP held amidst mixed conditions
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The MotoGP race at Sachsenring featured tremendous uncertainty at the start, as rain half an hour before the sbeginning of the contest left the track damp in places and riders undecided over their strategy. The race was declared wet, but the track was practically dry, so many participants decided to use slicks. However, after the warmup lap a total of fourteen riders changed their minds, starting from pitlane with wet setups instead. Although one of the few not to switch, Stefan Bradl was eventually caught after leading the race for the opening third, and from then on Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa led the way. Márquez went unchallenged for his ninth consecutive victory, with Pedrosa second and Jorge Lorenzo third.
Hiroshi Aoyama was brave at the last race in Assen, despite the strange track conditions, in a situation that allowed him to run high up the order until he lost steam later. Today he again showed the same courage, using slicks from the start of the race. Thanks to this he rode several laps in fifth position, before gradually being overtaken by the more regular frontrunners in MotoGP. He managed to cross the finish line in twelfth position and took four points.
Like Aoyama, Nicky Hayden had also failed to take points at the Dutch TT, so today wanted to get back to adding to his tally. He did so, thanks to a fourteenth place finish at Sachsenring. The DRIVE M7 Aspar rider was overly cautious at the start, dropping places quickly due to his prudence. Later he was able to fight back, setting a good pace past the halfway mark of the race and getting up to fourteenth.
12th Hiroshi Aoyama: "We've had two races with complicated conditions, so it's been a pretty stressful situation. Luckily my team had done a great job over the weekend and were able to advise me well before the race. I was a little worried but our decision to use slicks from the beginning was successful. At first some parts of the circuit were very wet, so we had to use caution. Even so, I was comfortable. In contrast, in the middle of the race I lost feeling with the front and that prevented me from going as fast as yesterday. Luckily I finally regained confidence, so I was able to go faster with each subsequent lap. If I had reached the pace from the end a little earlier, I would have finished in a better position. In any case, considering the track conditions, finishing the race in twelfth position is positive for us. "
14th Nicky Hayden: "The conditions for today's race were really crazy, and racing like this is so hard because you do not see exactly how the track is at each point. I'm not happy with the start of the race; I had no confidence and I let several riders get away from me until I was down in last. At the beginning of the race, with the wet track and cold tyres, I did not have a chance to overtake anyone. It was a shame to start with so much prudence, because on the last fifteen laps I imposed a pretty good pace which allowed me to gain a lot of positions. I could have caught my teammate and Abraham, but in the end I lacked a little bit of a push. I am annoyed, because the team did a great job this weekend. We improved the performance of the bike, and that allowed us to be competitive in qualifying yesterday. I hope to perform at a higher level next time."
Andrea Iannone in the top five, bad day for Hernandez
Andrea Iannone in the top five, bad day for Hernandez
At the Sachsenring circuit, the race that marks the end of the first half of the season, Andrea Iannone takes home a fantastic fifth position; achieving his best result so far in MotoGP. For his teammate Yonny Hernandez, a day to forget.
About five minutes from the race start, it begins to rain and the race direction declared a wet race. During the sighting lap the rain stops and with a light wind the track starts to dry quickly, but in some turns the track is still wet. The riders start off for the warm-up lap in "rain configuration" but then decide to go to change the bike with dry configuration and start the race from the pit lane.
Despite the damp track, Andrea decided to push hard, ending the first lap in fifteenth position, overtaking his opponents, his pace improves and with the improvement of the conditions of the asphalt he moves up until the fifth position that he vigorously defends until the checkered flag. Andrea once again proves to be a very fast rider and manages to get his best result in very difficult conditions.
The day started in the wrong way for Yonny Hernandez, who crashes during the warm up twice but fortunately without any physical consequences. Unfortunately, the Colombian rider can not find the right concentration and certainly is influenced by the morning crash and does not find his feeling with the bike and track particular conditions. Not wanting to crash again he finishing the German race in seventeenth position.
From July 18 to 20 Pramac Racing Team will be at WDW at the Misano World Circuit, while the next scheduled race will take place overseas at Indianapolis from 'August 8 to 10.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"I am very glad I got my best result in MotoGP. At the start of the race the track conditions were not very good because when we started turn Twelve was very wet and with the slick tire it was difficult to deal with. I pushed as much as possible at the beginning to not be too far from Lorenzo and Valentino, this strategy payed us off with this excellent result. I'm happy with my first half of the season, I could have picked up a few more points in the race where I crashed, since last year I improved a lot. "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I'm not satisfied with my result, I struggled a lot in the race. Since this morning I could not find the feeling with the bike. In the race I could not be more fast and the track conditions did not help. I am sorry was not able to reach my goal. Now for the summer break I want to train hard to be ready when I get back on track in indianapolis. "
Scott Redding: "I gave everything today"
Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany - 13 July 2014: Scott Redding ended the first half of the season as he started it, by finishing as the top production Honda rider, in 11th position, in today's rain affected German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.
With rain falling shortly before the MotoGP bikes took to the grid, Redding started the sighting lap with a wet set-up and wet tyres on his Honda RCV1000R but, with the track having dried considerably while the riders were sat on the grid, the 21-year-old Briton opted to return to the pits and switch to his spare bike, with slicks and a dry set-up, before starting the race from pit lane.
Redding wasn't alone in making this decision, as more riders started the race from pit lane than started from the grid, including both factory Hondas and both factory Yamahas.
It proved to be the right decision as Stefan Bradl, the early leader, was quickly overhauled by the pursuing pack. Redding held his own against the prototype bikes in the tricky conditions, only dropping back to 11th as grip improved and the prototype bikes were able to take advantage of their superior power.
Scott Redding // 11th
"Today was good for me. From the start I thought it was going to be all about trying to beat Nicky Hayden, like every race, but I pushed as soon as we were released from pit lane and I was quite fast, even compared to the factory bikes. I took a lot of risks on the wet parts of the track early on, because I had to if I was going to stay with the guys in front. I was feeling quite comfortable and I remained reasonably strong when the rear tyre started to go off. Even when Pol Espargaro came past me I managed to stay with him for two or three laps and it was the same with my teammate, Alvaro. I leave here happy, because I gave everything today."