Marc Márquez aura livré une course magistrale pour inscrire son 11e succès consécutif au Sachsenring, le premier depuis son accident.
La fin d’un long calvaire
Il y a un an de ça, Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) se demandait s’il allait pouvoir recourir et si oui, à quel niveau. Opéré à trois reprises du bras droit, le natif de Cervera revenait finalement à la compétition au mois d’avril en Algarve… Mais à vouloir trop forcer ce dernier chutera à trois reprises après ses deux honorables Tops 10. Ce week-end, le représentant du team Repsol Honda était forcément attendu au tournant, compte tenu du fait qu’il demeurait invaincu sur cette piste depuis sept éditions, dix en comptant ses succès en Moto2™ et 125cc. Au bout du compte, l’octuple Champion du Monde répondait amplement présent, puisqu’il mènera quasiment l’intégralité de la course pour l’emporter avec 1.6 seconde d’avance sur Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), qui ne l’aura pourtant pas démérité.
Quelques petites gouttes qui auront redistribué les cartes
Le n°93 aura à vrai dire parfaitement géré sa course, bien qu’éclipsé au départ par un étonnant Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini). Sans tarder, Marc Márquez reprenait le contrôle des opérations ; tandis que Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), initialement installé dans le sillage de son compatriote Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) perdait un peu de terrain. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) et Miguel Oliveira ayant en effet profité pour s’infiltrer.
Ces deux hommes tiraient d’ailleurs davantage leur épingle du jeu lorsque quelques petites gouttes de pluie s’invitaient. L’Australien et le Portugais grimpaient en effet au deuxième et troisième rangs. Voyant Marc Márquez s’échapper, le vainqueur du précédent GP décidait aussitôt de se débarrasser de son adversaire sur Ducati pour se lancer à sa poursuite. Mais le Catalan aura les reins solides et l’écart ne passera jamais sous la seconde.
Derrière, Fabio Quartararo connaissait un sursaut et se permettait même de déborder Jack Miller pour le gain de la troisième position. Le pilote Ducati rétrogradait en réalité davantage, passé par Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) et Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), au même titre qu’Aleix Espargaró et Johann Zarco. La hiérarchie n’évoluera plus.
Huit points de pris pour Quartararo
Marc Márquez triomphait ainsi devant Miguel Oliveira et Fabio Quartararo : une bonne opération au Championnat pour ‘El Diablo’, qui possède désormais un avantage de 22 points au lieu 14 sur Johann Zarco.
Brad Binder et Francesco Bagnaia héritait donc des quatrième et cinquième places. Jack Miller terminait de son côté sixième ; tandis qu’Aleix Espargaró se classait septième. Johann Zarco, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) et Pol Espargaró (Repsol Honda Team) complétaient le Top 10. Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT), deuxième ambassadeur Yamaha, finissait 14e. La prochaine course aura lieu le week-end prochain à Assen.
King of the Ring, Marquez strikes back with Sachsenring win
581 days of waiting for his next victory are over, Marc Marquez is back on top of the rostrum!
The Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland was a thrilling encounter right from the start, with a rain threat looming large over the Sachsenring. In one of the most emotional Grand Prix in recent years, it would be one of the most sensational comeback stories in sport as the King of the Ring Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took victory after 581 days since his last, with a topsy-turvy race right from the start. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) fought his way through to challenge Marquez but had to settle for second, whilst Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) took a solid and crucial third.
In what was an electric start, it was Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) who blasted into the lead to grab the holeshot, whilst Marc Marquez started pushing Fabio Quartararo out wide for second, leaving the Frenchman down in fourth behind pole-man Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing). Into Turn 13 for the final time and Marquez made his move for the lead, passing Espargaro and leading over the line. The two would trade places at Turns 12 and 13 on a couple of occasions in the coming laps, whilst Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) would make his way through on Quartararo at Turn 1.
Further down the field, it was a disaster for Danilo Petrucci (Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing) and Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) as both crashed together at Turn 1 on Lap 4. They would soon be joined though in a list of retirees as Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Gresini Team) suffered a fast Turn 10 crash as his front-end washed out. All three riders were able to get up and walk away, making it back to the pits.
On Lap 9, the white flag was waved, along with the white flag with the red cross, indicating that it was raining and that if the riders wanted to, they could come into the pits and change bikes and thus tyres. At this moment, Marquez began to pull out a gap to the opposition as risked everything to put time into the chasing pack, headed by Aleix Espargaro, although the Aprilia rider was acting as a cork in the bottle as the opposition queued up behind him whilst Marquez leapt away at the front. However, soon enough, Miller and then Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) would come on through, with Oliveira now on fire as he picked his way through the pack, including pole-sitter Zarco and Aleix Espargaro.
PLENTY OF BATTLES
Oliveira then made his move for second on Miller, and now set his sights on Marc Marquez out front, with the gap constantly hovering around 1.8s, although with ten laps to go, it was now coming down through the one second bracket. Further back, it was now Fabio Quartararo who had picked his way through into third, but another man on the move was Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), as he carved his way into contention by getting ahead of Zarco, then Aleix Espargaro and then Jack Miller with just four laps to go.
Meanwhile, in the battle for the lead, it had briefly come under one second but in the final three laps, Marquez broke Oliveira’s will and pushed the gap back to over one and a half seconds, and now, he was in full flow, riding like he’d never been away as he went to end a 581 day wait for victory at a circuit he had been undefeated at since his graduation to MotoGP™ in 2013, and even before that, winning everything he’d competed at in Germany in 2010. Further behind, it was now a battle over fifth between the factory Ducati teammates of Miller and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), with the Italian storming through the field in the latter third of the race. At Turn 9, Bagnaia made his move on the final lap, demoting Miller to sixth.
Despite the action behind, the emotions were only just beginning as one of sport’s greatest comebacks was about to be completed. After all of the hard work to be fit again, to get back racing and to go in pursuit of more MotoGP™ success, Marc Marquez’s comeback to the top had been complete and the wait was over. Across the line, Marquez took his first victory since Valencia in 2019 to finally stand on not just the podium again, but to stand on the top step. It was a valiant effort from Miguel Oliveira, who took a stunning second, his third consecutive top-two result, whilst third place went to Fabio Quartararo, who fought back to extend his Championship lead to 22 points over Johann Zarco. Brad Binder took fourth ahead of Bagnaia, Miller and Aleix Espargaro.
Pole-man Johann Zarco could only come home in eighth place, one place ahead of Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who put in a strong performance to come up from 16th on the grid. Completing the top ten was Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team), with Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing), Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) completing the points, just ahead of Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) and Iker Lecuona (Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing). It was an abysmal day for Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), as both failed to score points, with Viñales finishing last.