We will have to wait at least another year before we have the answer to that question after the Honda ace celebrated his ninth consecutive win at Sachsenring overnight, the ninth round of 19 in this year’s title chase, and he extended his MotoGP world championship lead over Yamaha’s Italian multi-time former champion Valentinio Rossi to 46 points.
With a flawless record at the German track, having secured his ninth straight pole position, the Repsol Honda rider measured his pace, having dropped to third place into the first turn, behind the fast-starting Ducati duo of Danilo Petrucci and Jorge Lorenzo.
Marquez made quick work of getting past Petrucci for second place at the start of lap five, Marquez stalked Lorenzo to gauge the factory Ducati rider’s strengths with tyre wear which was set to be pivotal to race pace.
Approaching mid-race distance Marquez made his move into the lead diving up the inside of Lorenzo at the final corner to allow him to demonstrate why he’s dominated the German track for close to a decade.
Measuring his pace to keep clear of the chasing pack, with Rossi skating into second after Lorenzo suffered a front-end slide, Marquez was able to clear off heading into the final 10 laps having looked after his soft rear tyre.
While Marquez successfully nursed his tyres, Lorenzo suffered a late race fade nightmare as he lost ground on his rivals, dropping from a likely podium down to a disappointing sixth place.
That enabled Rossi’s team-mate Maverick Vinales to use his strong late pace, having dropped to eighth after the opening laps, to battle past Petrucci on the penultimate lap to complete a double podium for Movistar Yamaha behind Rossi, with the Italian securing his best result of the year.
With Petrucci just missing out on the podium, Alvaro Bautista produced his best result of the year to take fifth place for the Angel Nieto Ducati team, beating both factory Ducati riders Lorenzo in sixth and Andrea Dovizioso in seventh.
Further back, Dani Pedrosa held off a race-long battle with Tech3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco to take eighth place on the weekend he confirmed his retirement from MotoGP at the end of the season.
Red Bull KTM’s Bradley Smith matched his team’s best result of 2018 in 10th place ahead of top rookie Hafizh Syahrin on the Tech3 Yamaha.
After a poor start Andrea Iannone battled up to 12th place for Suzuki, having seen team-mate Alex Rins tangle with Red Bull KTM’s Pol Espargaro on the opening lap which also pushed Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati) into the gravel, as Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati), Miller and Scott Redding (Aprilia) rounded out the points places.
Franco Morbidelli’s stand-in Stefan Bradl just missed out on points for Marc VDS Honda but finished comfortably ahead of team-mate Thomas Luthi and Ducati GP16-riding duo Karel Abraham and Xavier Simeon.
Both LCR Honda riders Cal Crutchlow and Taakai Nakagami crashed out of the race, while Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro missed the race after suffering a heavy fall during morning warm-up which saw him taken to hospital by helicopter.
Photo courtesy Honda
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German MotoGP race results, round nine of 19:
- Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 41m 5.019s
- Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 41m 7.215s
- Maverick Viñales ESP Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 41m 7.795s
- Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Ducati (GP18) 41m 8.395s
- Alvaro Bautista ESP Angel Nieto Team (GP17) 41m 10.202s
- Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati Team (GP18) 41m 10.799s
- Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP18) 41m 12.960s
- Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda (RC213V) 41m 17.730s
- Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1) 41m 19.447s
- Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 41m 26.493s
- Hafizh Syahrin MAL Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1) 41m 30.828s
- Andrea Iannone ITA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 41m 30.982s
- Tito Rabat ESP Reale Avintia (GP17) 41m 34.059s
- Jack Miller AUS Pramac Ducati (GP17) 41m 34.344s
- Scott Redding GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 41m 39.142s
- Stefan Bradl GER EG 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 41m 43.226s
- Thomas Luthi SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 41m 54.388s
- Karel Abraham CZE Angel Nieto Team (GP16) 42m 6.041s
- Xavier Simeon ESP Reale Avintia (GP16) 42m 21.711s
Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) DNF
Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V) DNF
Alex Rins ESP Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) DNF
Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) DNF
Championship standings after nine of 19 rounds:
- Marc Marquez SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V) 165 points
- Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 119 points (-46)
- Maverick Viñales SPA Movistar Yamaha (YZR-M1) 109 points (-56)
- Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP18) 88 points (-77)
- Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1) 88 points (-77)
- Jorge Lorenzo SPA Ducati Team (GP18) 85 points (-80)
- Danilo Petrucci ITA Pramac Ducati (GP18) 84 points (-81)
- Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 79 points (-86)
- Andrea Iannone ITA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 75 points (-90)
- Jack Miller AUS Pramac Ducati (GP17) 57 points (-108)
- Alex Rins SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 53 points (-112)
- Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V) 49 points (-116)
- Alvaro Bautista SPA Angel Nieto Team (GP17) 44 points (-121)
- Pol Espargaro SPA Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 32 points (-133)
- Tito Rabat SPA Reale Avintia (GP17) 30 points (-135)
- Hafizh Syahrin MAL Monster Yamaha Tech3 (YZR-M1) 22 points (-143)
- Franco Morbidelli ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 19 points (-146)
- Aleix Espargaro SPA Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 16 points (-149)
- Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 13 points (-152)
- Scott Redding GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 12 points (-153)
- Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V) 10 points (-155)
- Mika Kallio FIN Red Bull KTM Factory (RC16) 6 points (-159)
- Karel Abraham CZE Angel Nieto Team (GP16) 4 points (-161)