Marc Marquez extended his MotoGP championship lead to 48 points after an inspired bike change saw him to victory in a flag-to-flag German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. The Spaniard timed his change to slicks to perfection, climbing from ninth at one stage to a comfortable victory, his seventh at the Sachsenring in as many years.
With the circuit soaked after persistent rain, the early stages mirrored the first half of the Grand Prix at Assen as Valentino Rossi battled for the lead with the Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci. On lap four, Petrucci pushed past the factory Ducati to grab the lead and was starting to look comfortable at the front of the field before the front end of his satellite machine gave way at the Omega curve on lap eleven, dashing his hopes of a maiden win.
Dovizioso inherited the lead but as the race passed half-distance, a dry line had emerged and riders were starting to contemplate a change of bikes. Andrea Iannone was the first to make the call, switching to a Ducati fitted with Michelin Intermediates, while Marquez followed suit three laps later, opting for slicks on his second bike. The championship leader had little to lose having skated across the gravel at turn eight and dropped to ninth, but the call would prove decisive in the final reckoning
With the Honda rider now closing in at several seconds per lap, the leading group of Dovizioso, Rossi, Jack Miller, Cal Crutchlow and Hector Barbera were now being implored by their teams to change machines but none followed the instructions on their pit-boards until lap 23, six laps after Marquez had pitted. As a result, Marc stormed into a twenty second lead over Scott Redding, who had changed to intermediates on lap 19, with Dovizioso and Crutchlow battling for third.
Marquez was untouchable from that point onwards and claimed his third win of the year but Redding was swallowed up the slick-shod Crutchlow and Dovizioso who denied him a rostrum finish on the last lap, Cal taking second with Dovizioso stealing third two corners from home.
Behind the Pramac Ducati, Iannone recovered to fifth ahead of Dani Pedrosa while Miller, Rossi and Barbera paid a heavy price for leaving their change so late, finishing seventh, eighth and ninth. Jorge Lorenzo was at sea in all conditions though, leaving him to make do with a solitary point for fifteenth.
2016 GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland (Race Result)
|1||93. Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||47:03.239||25|
|2||35. Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||LCR Honda||+9.857||20|
|3||4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||Ducati Team||+11.613||16|
|4||45. Scott REDDING||Ducati||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||+11.992||13|
|5||29. Andrea IANNONE||Ducati||Ducati Team||+22.755||11|
|6||26. Dani PEDROSA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+25.920||10|
|7||43. Jack MILLER||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+26.043||9|
|8||46. Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+26.449||8|
|9||8. Hector BARBERA||Ducati||Avintia Racing||+26.614||7|
|10||19. Alvaro BAUTISTA||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+31.274||6|
|11||50. Eugene LAVERTY||Ducati||Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team||+41.208||5|
|12||25. Maverick VINALES||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||+42.158||4|
|13||38. Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+1:03.129||3|
|14||41. Aleix ESPARGARO||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||+1:06.091||2|
|15||99. Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+1:17.694||1|
|16||53. Tito RABAT||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||+1 Lap|
|17||76. Loris BAZ||Ducati||Avintia Racing||+2 Laps|
|18||68. Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team||+3 Laps|
|NC||44. Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+13 Laps|
|NC||9. Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||+18 Laps|
|NS||6. Stefan BRADL||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Non Starter|