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GP Week : Issue 161
Cal Crutchlow MOTO2: MORE AND MORE MARQUEZ MOTO3: RAIN HITS, CORTESE STRIKES Marc Marquez rode to yet another assured victory at the Sachsenring, taking profit while his main title rivals suffered sundry misfortunes. Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Kalex) was a battling second, fending off new FTR rider Alex de Angelis (NGM For ward Racing) by half a second after a long battle. Marquez (CatalunyaCaixa Suter) was on the front foot from the start, securing pole position in streaming wet qualifying while his rivals suffered in foul conditions. Thomas Luthi (Inter wetten Suter) was on the second row, but Andrea Iannone (Speed Up) on the fourth and Pol Espargaro (40 HP Tuenti Kalex) on the seventh, qualifying 17th after being fastest in the dry. It made the title favourite’s life a lot easier, as he took off in the lead, shadowed by Kallio and briefly also front-row starter Julian Simon (Blusens Suter). Iannone finished the first lap fifth, quickly past Bradley Smith (Tech 3) and the fading Simon, and took the lead on lap eight. For just one lap. Marquez got ahead again, then two laps later Iannone slid off at the bottom of the hill, remounting at the back to battle through to a pointless 16th. He still had company, with de Angelis having passed Smith on lap eight. The trio circulated together. “I was managing my tyres in the middle of the race,” explained Marquez. With four laps left he pulled the pin and took off, to take his fourth win of the year by two seconds. The other two were hard at it, de Angelis moving ahead just after half distance. Kallio fought back with three laps to go, de Angelis passed him again last time into the last corner, only for the Finn to cut back underneath. Espargaro had a brilliant ride to fourth, charging through, with at least one spectacular save in the process. At the end Luthi closed up to attack, and was two-tenths behind over the line. Simone Corsi (Came FTR) narrowly got the better of Smith for sixth. Xavier Simeon (Tech 3) was next, then Claudio Corti (Italtrans Kalex), well ahead of Dominique Aegerter (Technomag Suter). Marquez now has a massive 43-point lead, 152 to Espargaro’s 109 and Luthi’s 107. Iannone (104) and Redding (86) failed to add to their scores, Redding crashing out on the first lap after qualifying 26th. The smallest bikes got the worst of it in Germany. Everyone was troubled by bad weather in practice, but race day was fine and sunny. Until the Moto3 bikes formed up on the grid – unusually last race of the day, to avoid a MotoGP TV clash with the Silverstone F1 race. The grid was already muddled because of wet practice. Now the rain was so torrential that the start was delayed to allow flooded sections of the track to drain. It was still raining, less ferociously, when they started, and front-row starter Jack Miller (Honda), a rookie from Australia, made the most of it, taking the lead from Spaniard Adrian Martin (FTR Honda) on lap two and hanging on to it until well after half distance. By the time they got to lap 16 the field was spread somewhat, with several fancied runners still languishing at the rear after qualifying badly. It was Miller’s team-mate Alexis Masbou who took over up front on lap 16, but next time round pole starter Sandro Cortese (KTM) took over, heading a gang of seven from Spaniard Luis Salom (Kalex KTM), Martin, Masbou, Miller, Louis Rossi (FTR Honda) and Brad Binder (Kalex KTM). Martin and Rossi would crash out before the end; Cortese and Masbou escape up front, to finish in that order. Salom was third, chased over the line by impressive teenager Miller. Efren Vazquez (FTR Honda) came through for a distant fifth; even further back Zulfahmi Khairuddin (KTM) pushed to the front of the next group, ahead of Hector Faubel (Kalex KTM), who had started from the back after stalling after the warm-up lap. He was just ahead of Honda-mounted wild card Luca Gruenwald; Arthur Sissis (KTM) led the next trio from Jakub Kornfeil (FTR Honda) and Toni Finsterbusch (Honda). Erstwhile points leader Maverick Vinales (FTR Honda) had a dire wet weekend, qualifying 24th and finishing 17th, second-from last in a gang disputing the final points. Italian boy wonder Romano Fenati (FTR Honda) was likewise completely bamboozled by the conditions, finishing 24th, a lap down. Briton Danny Kent (KTM) also struggled, retiring from mid-field. Cortese regained the points lead on 148 to Vinales’s 130. Salom is third on 104, then Masbou (71) and Fenati (65). 41 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> SACHSENRING