Marc Marquez is the new leader of the MotoGP world championship after claiming his second victory of the season in the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.
The 20-year-old rookie made the most of the absence of title rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa to guide his Honda to a comfortable win.
He moves to 138 points, two clear of Dani Pedrosa with Lorenzo third on 127 points.
Marquez was made to work hard in the early laps after a slow start from pole, but once in the lead he pulled away and fended off a hard charging Cal Crutchlow to take the chequered flag.
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi backed up his victory last time out at Assen by completing the podium in third as the top three duplicated their qualifying order.
The victory for Marquez has moved him two points clear of Pedrosa in the championship standings.
Rossi reacted best to the lights and it was the nine-time world champion who led the field as they streamed into turn one.
Local rider Stefan Bradl leapt into second from fourth on the grid while the CRT machine of Aleix Espargaro stormed into third. Marquez and
Crutchlow were the big losers dropping to fourth and fifth positions.
There was plenty of action on the opening lap and the home crowd were soon on their feet as Bradl passed Rossi for the lead.
The German was showing impressive pace and he even began to open up a small lead on the next lap.
By lap three Marquez managed to slide his way passed Espargaro for third while Rossi shadowed Bradl’s every move. The top three inched away at the front leaving Crutchlow behind.
However, once he found a way passed Alvaro Bautista the Monster Yamaha man began to haul in the top three.
Marquez’s confidence continued to grow and within the space of two laps he found himself in the lead with two clinical moves on Rossi and then Bradl. Once in the lead the Spaniard began to pull away.
The squabbles continued behind with Rossi and Crutchlow moving past Bradl for second and third respectively in consecutive laps, with the German’s pace slowing.
All eyes turned to the battle for second as Crutchlow piled the pressure on Rossi. The Italian finally cracked at the halfway point allowing the Brit into second spot.
Meanwhile at the front, Marquez had built up a two second lead and it was now Crutchlow’s job to try and close him down. The Yamaha rider had looked after his tyres well around the punishing 3.7km circuit and as the laps ticked by he edged closer to the Honda rider.
Bradl crossed the finish line in fourth with Bautista and Bradley Smith coming home in fifth and sixth respectively.
Andrea Dovizioso was the top Ducati rider in seventh ahead of the fast starting Espargaro, Nicky Hayden and Michele Pirro.
Western Australian Bryan Staring ended his Sachsenring debut weekend in the gravel trap crashing out with just two laps remaining.
MotoGP Championship continues at Laguna Seca in California for Round 9 on July 21.
See below for full German MotoGP result
|12||Randy de Puniet||ART/Aprilia||30||48.523|
|13||Colin Edwards||FTR Kawasaki||30||54.428|
|15||Claudio Corti||FTR Kawasaki||30||1:05.530|
|19||Lukas Pesek||Ioda-Suter/BMW||29||1 Lap|
|20||Bryan Staring||FTR Honda||27||Retirement|
See below for full championship points