It’s just like old times; Repsol Hondas first and second at the Sachsenring and everyone expects Marc Marquez to disappear over the horizon tomorrow. Marc himself is happy he has decent pace but also well aware that his style and the bike suit the track. After all, he’s won here for the past five years an the nature of the corners do not, he says, expose the Honda’s weaknesses.
Given that he is over 70 points behind championship leader Rossi, perhaps it doesn’t matter too much what Marc does. However, the relative finishing positions of the two factory Yamahas most certainly does. Lorenzo, who starts from the front row, is only ten points behind Valentino, who starts from the back of the second row. Trouble is, the first corner would do credit to any motocross track and is followed by a very lengthy section where follow-the-leader is the only game in town. Shocking as it may seem at the season’s half-way point, it’s only the relative finishing positions of the two blue bikes that matters.
Meanwhile, Race Direction has finally run out of patience with most of the Moto3 field loitering on line during qualifying looking for a tow and has gone medieval on a whole bunch of riders. Penalty points haven’t worked so the offenders are being demoted one row of the grid and being held in the pits for the first ten minutes of warm up. Current championship runner-up Enea Battistini is the highest-profile of the guilty parties and loses his front row start.