Sachensring has gifted us a remarkable race this weekend between our two championship contenders. The battle lasted for the entirety of the race, culminated in last-lap contact, and ended with our 4 different race winner across 7 races,
For the first time in over 2 years, Jorge Martin can enjoy the view from the top step of the podium after winning the German GP. It might be only his second victory in the premier class but he laid down a stunning performance to hold off the attack from reigning champion, Pecco Bagnaia. He eventually crossed the line a mere 0.6s ahead of Bagnaia to add 25 points to his championship hopes.
Despite starting in pole position, Bagnaia was forced to settle for 2nd today. He sat at the front of the field for much of the early stages of the race but soon found himself in a fierce battle with Martin.
When Martin took the lead for the first time on lap 3, he was setting blisteringly fast lap times that matched the pace we saw in Saturday’s qualifying. This allowed him to pull out a comfortable lead of 0.5s, after leading for just one lap. He then continued to lead until lap 21 when Bagnaia was able to sneak past him. However, he wasn’t able to pull away by much and Martin stayed hot on his tail before regaining the lead at the final sector of lap 24.
With the lap counter rapidly ticking down, thanks to the shortest track of the year, Bagnaia was achingly close to Martin’s rear wheel. He didn’t let the Spanish rider out of his side and stayed hot on his tail. That was until the penultimate lap when Bagnaia made an uncharacteristic mistake and bumped Martin’s rear wheel. The impact of this contact saw Bagnaia drop back and almost ended his hopes of a race win. He had just one final lap to close the gain and regain the lead – he fought as hard as he could but simply couldn’t get close enough. He made a run on Martin over the finish line but Martin managed to stay 0.064s ahead to take the win.
Joining them on the podium was Johan Zarco on the Prima Pramac machine. The Frenchman is becoming quite accustomed to finishing races in 3rd place. This is the third time in a row he has crossed the line in 3rd and tasted champagne on the podium.
Zarco wasn’t able to fight for 1st or 2nd today as he simply wasn’t able to catch the leading pair. This was despite setting a number of fastest laps in the middle of the race.
Brad Binder was on track to take 3rd after fighting his way up to that position and passing Luca Marini. However, on turn 8 of lap 19, one of the fastest corners on the track, Binder lost control of the bike at the corner entry and went wide. When he tried to save it, he was already in the gravel and he came off the bike with a hard hit. Shortly after he limped off the circuit, he was taken to the medical centre for a check.
After his battle with Binder for that final podium spot, Marini then entered a hot battle with his VR46 teammate, Marco Bezzecchi. In the end, it was Bezzecchi who came out on top and the pair finished in 4th and 5th.
Just behind them, finishing the day in 6th, was Jack Miller. In typical Miller fashion, he started the race incredibly well and quickly got the holeshot on Bagnaia. He lead the first lap before, on lap 2, facing a tank slapper at turn 11. This let the rest of the field catch up to the Aussie and we almost had 4 abreast in to turn 12. In the space of two corners, Miller was shuffled back from 1st to 4th.
It was an enough harder day for Maverick Vinales who was unable to finish the race after his engine went bang on lap 8. He went back to the garage shaking his head – it was a weekend that capped off a recent run of poor performance for Aprilia.
More woes for Maverick! ⚠️
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) June 18, 2023
Fabio Quartararo, who won here last year, finished way down in 13th, with his teammate Franco Morbidelli just ahead of him in 12th. But this year, 8 of the top 9 bikes were Ducati, showing just how much progress they have made in the last 12 months.
Overall, the pace was so incredibly fast today that the whole race was 20 seconds faster than last year’s German GP – an astonishing race all round.
|1||Jorge Martin||Prima Pramac|
|2||Pecco Bagnaia||Lenovo Ducati|
|3||Johann Zarco||Prima Pramac|
|4||Marco Bexxecchi||Mooney VR46|
|5||Luca Marini||Mooney VR46|
|6||Jack Miller||Red Bull KTM|
|8||Enea Bastianini||Ducati Lenovo|
|9||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Gresini|
|10||Miguel Oliveira||CryptoDATA RNF|
|11||Augusto Fernandez||GASGAS Tech3|
|12||Franco Morbidelli||Monster Energy Yamaha|
|13||Fabio Quarataro||Monster Energy Yamaha|
|14||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda|
|15||Raul Fernandez||CryptoDATA RNF|
|17||Jonas Folger||GASGAS Tech3|
DNFs: Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM), Maverick Vinales (Aprilia)
|1||Pecco Bagnaia||160 points|
|2||Jorge Martin||144 points|
|3||Marco Bezzecchi||126 points|
|4||Johann Zarco||109 points|
|5||Brad Binder||96 points|
Feature Image Credit: MotoGP