The 2015 MotoGP season has not been kind to the defending champion Marc Marquez. He was literally unbeatable in 2014 but in the current season that began with new engine configurations, Marquez crashed on two occasions and remained plagued with braking and stability issues. Last Sunday, however, he returned to winning ways with his second victory of the season but the sixth in six years at Germany’s Sachsenring circuit. Marc Marquez has never lost at Sachsenring, where he began by winning 125 cc class in 2010, Moto2 in 2011 and 2012 and MotoGP victories in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Marquez’s teammate and compatriot Dani Pedrosa finished second to make it a Honda 1-2 after a long long time. With eight MotoGP races of the season already concluded, the Yamaha team of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo lead everyone else. Between themselves, Rossi and Lorenzo have shared 13 podium finishes in eight races. With 179 points, Rossi is way ahead in the championship leader board. Lorenzo is on second spot with 166 points but Marquez trails 65 points behind Rossi with 114 and it will be a herculean task for him at this stage to replicate his last season’s performance. Regardless, his pole-to-flag German MotoGP victory last Sunday should bolster his morale at the halfway stage of the 2015 season.
Before the main event on July 12, 2015, Marquez was dominant in qualifying as well. The Spaniard claimed his sixth successive pole at Sachsenring. His Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa was second and Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was third. 2015 MotoGP championship leader Valentino Rossi finished sixth behind Andrea Iannone of Ducati and Yonny Hernandez of Pramac Racing. The seventh to tenth places on the grid were taken respectively by Aleix Espargaro, Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow.
It did not look so easy for Marc Marquez as the main race began on Sunday. He was first passed by teammate Dani Pedrosa and a little while later; Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo forced his way past both Pedrosa and Marquez. In a season of tyre strategies, the Honda riders had chosen hard Bridgestone tyres while most other riders preferred a softer variety called Sachsenring special with an asymmetric front. Probably because of this unique choice, Hondas were faster for much of the weekend. As the race progressed, Marquez passed Pedrosa to regain the second spot and by the fifth lap, he also crossed Lorenzo. From that point onwards, Marquez managed to quickly escape while Pedrosa and Lorenzo fought for the second place behind him. Rossi, who had started sixth on the grid, had a battle with Pedrosa and Lorenzo and after repeated attempts, the Italian passed teammate Lorenzo. But Rossi didn’t have the pace to go after Marquez and therefore he focused his attention on Pedrosa, who was right behind Marquez after crossing Lorenzo at the halfway mark.
As the race neared the chequered flag, Rossi gave up and settled for the third place behind Pedrosa. Marquez had brought the Sachsenring circuit alive by winning for the sixth consecutive year albeit in different racing formats. Jorge Lorenzo finished fourth and Andrea Iannone completed the top five. British riders Bradley Smith and Cal Crutchlow were sixth and seventh; Pol Espargaro was eighth, Danilo Petrucci ninth and Aleix Espargaro finished on the tenth place.
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