Marquez storms into championship lead with Sachsenring win
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Marc Marquez takes the checkered at the Sachsensring

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Cal Crutchlow

Marc Marquez has won the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring, picking up his second MotoGP™ victory and seventh podium finish from eight races. In the absence of both Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, the same three riders were on the podium as at the Dutch TT, with Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi finishing second and third.

The Sachsenring delivered another highly dramatic weekend, not least as numerous riders suffered crashes across the three days. Crutchlow was one of them, heading into the race with injuries to his arms, hands and left leg, but heavy impacts for World Champion Lorenzo and erstwhile championship leader Pedrosa left both on the sidelines; the Yamaha Factory Racing rider bent the titanium plate in his shoulder, while the Repsol Honda Team rider sustained a small fracture, also to the left collarbone, and was suffering from dizziness.

With both of his major rivals out of contention, Marquez – starting on his third pole position of the season – knew that a second race win (after Austin, Texas) would allow him to snatch back the advantage in the title race. A poor start saw the 20-year-old rookie drop to fourth place, but he picked off those ahead of him one by one and took the lead from home rider Stefan Bradl at the end of the sixth lap. Once Crutchlow took second, the Spaniard would manage the gap and win by 1.5 seconds.

Crutchlow’s own race started from second. Fighting the pain of his injuries after two large accidents on Friday, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider dispatched of Alvaro Bautista and Bradl and stole second from Valentino Rossi in a strong move at Sachsen Kurve on Lap 16. He then looked to threaten for a career-first victory, but Marquez had been looking after his tyres and was able to comfortably control the gap until the end of the 30th and final lap; nevertheless, Crutchlow becomes the first British rider since Barry Sheene in 1982 to collect four podium finishes in one season.

Having returned to winning ways at Assen two weeks ago, Rossi has now claimed consecutive rostrums. From his first front row start since the Portuguese Grand Prix of 2010, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider seized the lead as the red lights went out. He proceeded to battle with local favourite Bradl but was overhauled by eventual winner Marquez on Lap 5. Three laps later, Rossi passed the German to go second, but then fell back to the final podium spot when Crutchlow steamed ahead.

Bradl’s fourth place finish for LCR Honda MotoGP may have meant that he has still missed out on the podium, but the German has again equalled his career-best result. GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista completed the top five from eighth on the grid, while Tech 3’s Bradley Smith ended his day sixth – confirming two British riders in the top six of a race for the first time in two decades – from the impressive Aleix Espargaro; from fifth on the grid, the Power Electronics Aspar rider rode his CRT-specification bike in as high as third place before feeling the wrath of the prototypes.

Further down the order, the final points went to 13th-placed Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) and the two riders who a day earlier had passed through to the Q2 shootout from Q1, with Danilo Petrucci and Claudio Corti 14th and 15th for Came IodaRacing Project and NGM Mobile Forward Racing, respectively. Two riders failed to see the end of the race, as there were crashes for both PBM’s Yonny Hernandez and Gresini’s Bryan Staring.

1- Marc Marquez         SPA      Honda    41:14.653
2- Cal Crutchlow         GBR     Yamaha       +1.559
3- Valentino Rossi       ITA     Yamaha       +9.620

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