Two-time defending world champion Marc Marquez’ extraordinary record at the Sachsenring continued on Sunday as he won the German MotoGP for only his second win of the season.
The 22-year-old Spaniard — winning his sixth race in six years on the circuit — led home Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa with championship leader Valentino Rossi third on a Yamaha.
Rossi, seeking a 10th world title and seventh in the 500cc/MotoGP category, extended his lead over team-mate Jorge Lorenzo who finished fourth to 13 points.
The championship is at the halfway mark and takes a break for three weeks with the next race the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Marquez, winning for the first time in six races and putting an end to his longest losing run of four since his days in 125cc in 2009, said it was encouraging but work still had to be done.
“I feel good and happy,” said Marquez, who had ended the Netherlands MotoGP giving second best to Rossi and in a foul mood to boot.
“This is a good race to finish on and go on holidays. But we need to carry on working and on getting better.”
Pedrosa, who was gaining his second podium finish of the campaign, said he was delighted with his performance.
“It was a very difficult race, especially at the beginning because it has been a long time since I was in the front fighting with these guys,” said the 29-year-old.
“It is a good result after a long time of struggles. Hopefully we will be a bit more competitive in the second half of the season.”
Rossi, who won the last of his four races at the Sachsenring in 2009, was gracious in defeat having failed to get past Pedrosa for seocnd spot.
“Dani had something in his pocket at the end and I was at my limits,” said the 36-year-old Italian.
“Still it is another podium finish (he has finished in the top three in all nine races this season and 13 in succession) at a track we know we suffer at and I have gained three points on Jorge.”
Early on there was little indication of what would unfold in terms of Honda’s race dominance.
Lorenzo had produced a blistering start to move from the inside to the outside and sweep past Pedrosa and Marquez while Rossi made up two places to move into fourth by the end of the first of the 30 laps including ‘Maniac Joe’ Iannone.
The exuberant Italian perhaps pressing too hard on the gas had a wobble on the second lap when he was bounced out of his saddle, but with an open mouthed anxious looking team chief Lin Jarvis watching on TV he managed to regather himself.
Rossi brought the crowd to their feet with 26 laps remaining as he eased past Pedrosa while Marquez struck back at Lorenzo overtaking him to move into the lead.
Marquez moved clear as Rossi fought out a duel with his team-mate Lorenzo, the Italian seemingly getting the better of him at the penultimate corner of the sixth lap only for the Spaniard to hit back immediately and refusing to lie down.
All this played into Marquez’ hands but Rossi made no mistake a lap later to pass Lorenzo and this time the latter had no riposte leaving ‘Il Dottore’ a free piece of tarmac to ride after the leader.
Lorenzo dropped to fourth as Pedrosa, beset by arm and form problems this term, had no trouble in passing him with two thirds of the race to run — out in front Marquez easily held Rossi at bay and indeed the Italian lost time.
Instead it was Pedrosa who threatened Rossi and his pressure paid off at the end of the 16th lap as the three-time championship runner-up moved smoothly past the Italian’s Yamaha.
Rossi, though, wouldn’t let up and kept at Pedrosa, harrying him from pillar to post on each lap but with four laps to the chequered flag the Italian lost half a second on the Spaniard and that was that. – Agence France-Presse