Marc Marquez takes an emotional victory at the 2021 German GP
Marc Marquez wins at the Sachsenring for the 11th consecutive time after a really rough two-year patch. This was an emotional win for the Spanish rider and the Repsol Honda team as they’ve gone without a win for nearly two years while participating in MotoGP. Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira came second on his Red Bull KTM. Fabio Quartararo had a rough start to the race and finished on the podium on a circuit where the Yamaha is not strong. Quartararo has extended the lead in the riders championship by stacking 131 points while his closest rival, Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) sits at 109 points. Yamaha leads the constructors championship with 159 points while Ducati follows close with 154 points.
As the lights went out, Aleix Espargaro took the lead of the race on his Aprilia with Marquez at a close second. Zarco and Fabio Quartararo were pushed to P3 and P4 respectively at the exit of turn 1. Brad Binder had a great start on the KTM and moved from P13 to P6. Jack Miller and Zarco had opted for a hard front tyre along with a medium rear tyre in hopes of capitalising on their choices at a later stage of the grand prix. Meanwhile, Quartararo was dropped down the grid to P6.
With 26 laps to go, a series of crashes had occurred. Danilo Petrucci (KTM) got tangled up with Alex Marquez (LCR Honda) at Turn 1. Both went into the gravel trap and blamed each other in the heat of the moment. Lorenzo Savadori crashed at the high speed turn 10 on the next lap. He suffered no major injuries. Meanwhile, Marquez was building up a lead from his closest rivals. Aleix Espargaro was not able to keep up with the pace set by Marquez and saw himself dropping behind each lap.
Little droplets of rain started to appear at turn 1 with 22 laps in hand. The teams started to anticipate a flag to flag race. But the drizzle of rain only stayed for a couple of minutes. Miguel Oliveira started his charge through the pack as he started to find his rhythm. He moved to P2 with 19 laps to go and clocked the fastest lap of the race.
Then began the cat and mouse chase between Miguel Oliveira and Marc Marquez. The gap between the two was around 1.976 seconds. Marquez and Oliveira started setting the fastest laps of the race amongst each other. To Marc’s despair, Oliveira started eating into the gap and by Lap 11, the gap was down to 1.2 seconds. Johann Zarco tyre choices were not working in his favour and slowly started dropping back. Meanwhile, Brad Binder (KTM) started moving up the field as he found a rhythm. But he was constantly overshooting turn 1 in his attempt to overtake his rivals.
With eight laps to go, the playing field had changed a little down the order. Quartararo was up into P3 while Aleix Espargaro was dropping down the order due to his spent rear tyre. Brad Binder had moved to P5 and was now trying to find his way across a struggling Jack Miller. Francesco Bagnaia was cutting through the field on the last stage of the grand prix and managed to move up to P7 with five laps to go.
Meanwhile, Marc Marquez pulled the pin and started stretching the gap between him and Oliveira to about 1.5 seconds with 3 laps to go. Oliveira opted to settle for the potential podium instead of a mistake trying to chase Marquez. Brad Binder moved to P4 and Bagnaia continued his charge and moved to P5 by the end of the race.
Marc Marquez ended up winning the Sachsenring a record 11 times in a row. This was a much needed boost for the morale of Marc Marquez and for the Repsol Honda Team after a winless difficult two years. But with this win, Marc Marquez is still the ‘king of the ring’. Miguel Oliveira continued his podium streak and KTM got a second and fourth finish with Binder finishing in fourth. Quartararo bagged some necessary points with a podium. This track was not suited to Yamaha’s characteristics and therefore a podium finish for Quartararo meant damage control in the overall championship. Johann Zarco ended up finishing eighth and now sits 22 points behind Fabio. Up next, the famous TT Assen circuit in the Netherlands on the 27th of June.