Honda MotoGP rider Marc Marquez mounted an early charge to win the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, recording an emotional first victory since his comeback from injury.
Marquez, who was sidelined for most of 2020 and the first two races of this year, had not graced the podium in the first five races since his Portimao return.
But, having not lost a grand prix race in any class at the Sachsenring since 2010, the six-time MotoGP champion kept the streak alive, convincingly controlling the race despite having expected his physical condition to hamper his victory bid.
Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro capitalised on his front-row start with the Noale marque to lead into the first corner, followed by a fast-starting Marquez – who then picked off Espargaro at the final corner, the Turn 13 left-hander, to lead over the line.
Espargaro retaliated in the penultimate corner the next time around, but Marquez lunged again at Turn 13, asserting his control over the early stages of the race.
And once it began to spit with rain around the ninth lap, Marquez sensed the opportunity to make his break over a suddenly tentative Espargaro, breaking away by over a second and a half by the time Ducati’s Jack Miller overtook the Aprilia man at Turn 1.
Oliveira, who had made gradual progress from an early sixth place, then reeled in and passed Miller at the penultimate corner the lap after, with Marquez already two seconds up the road.
Preventing Marquez from breaking away any further, Oliveira maintained the status quo over the next few laps and began to gradually close in on Marquez, getting within a second with six laps left to run.
But Marquez wouldn’t let him get any closer, and Oliveira effectively threw in the towel on the third-to-last lap.
You can see the emotion in his eyes! 👏
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) June 20, 2021
The Portuguese rider settled for second place, 1.610s off, celebrating his third consecutive top-two finish.
Championship leader Fabio Quartararo rode an exemplary damage limitation race to third, made more impressive by the fact no other Yamaha graced the top 13.
Quartararo was shuffled down to sixth in the early battles, but kept his cool and completed his recovery to the podium with a penultimate-corner pass on Miller with 12 races to go.
Miller was then overtaken by Oliveira’s team-mate Brad Binder and slipped behind his own factory Ducati squadmate Francesco Bagnaia on the final lap – despite Bagnaia having run as low as 16th after a poor opening lap.
Espargaro would finish seventh, with poleman Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) only eighth but retaining his second place in the standings – albeit now 22 points down on Quartararo.
Defending champion Joan Mir and Marquez’s Honda team-mate Pol Espargaro completed the top 10, Espargaro beating Suzuki’s Alex Rins and Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin a late duel.
In 14th, Valentino Rossi was the second-best Yamaha, with neither Rossi’s Petronas team-mate Franco Morbidelli nor Fabio Quartararo’s team-mate Maverick Vinales making it to the points.
Vinales’ pace was good in clean air, but he struggled to make any meaningful progress in traffic and finished last. The 19th-place finish marked his worst non-DNF MotoGP result.
Alex Marquez (LCR Honda) and Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM) exited the race after a fifth-lap collision that left their bikes tangled up and left both riders pointing a finger at the other.
A lap later, Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia) crashed out at the Turn 10 left-hander, becoming the third and final rider to retire.
|Pos||Name||Team||Bike||Laps||Laps Led||Total Time||Fastest Lap||Pitstops||Pts|
|1||Marc Marquez||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||30||30||41m07.243s||1m21.772s||0||25|
|2||Miguel Oliveira||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||30||0||+1.61s||1m21.701s||0||20|
|3||Fabio Quartararo||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||30||0||+6.772s||1m22.065s||0||16|
|4||Brad Binder||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||30||0||+7.922s||1m22.077s||0||13|
|5||Francesco Bagnaia||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||30||0||+8.591s||1m21.849s||0||11|
|6||Jack Miller||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||30||0||+9.086s||1m22.025s||0||10|
|7||Aleix Espargaró||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||30||0||+9.371s||1m22.008s||0||9|
|8||Johann Zarco||Pramac Racing||Ducati||30||0||+11.439s||1m22.104s||0||8|
|9||Joan Mir||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||30||0||+11.625s||1m22.024s||0||7|
|10||Pol Espargaró||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||30||0||+14.769s||1m22.059s||0||6|
|11||Alex Rins||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||30||0||+16.803s||1m22.087s||0||5|
|12||Jorge Martin||Pramac Racing||Ducati||30||0||+16.915s||1m22.094s||0||4|
|13||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||30||0||+19.217s||1m22.085s||0||3|
|14||Valentino Rossi||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||30||0||+22.3s||1m22.045s||0||2|
|15||Luca Marini||SKY VR46 Avintia Team||Ducati||30||0||+23.615s||1m22.514s||0||1|
|16||Enea Bastianini||Avintia Esponsorama Racing||Ducati||30||0||+23.738s||1m22.518s||0||0|
|17||Iker Lecuona||Tech3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||30||0||+23.946s||1m22.211s||0||0|
|18||Franco Morbidelli||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||30||0||+24.414s||1m22.391s||0||0|
|19||Maverick Viñales||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||30||0||+24.715s||1m22.045s||0||0|
|Lorenzo Savadori||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||5||0||DNF||1m22.73s||0||0|
|Danilo Petrucci||Tech3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||4||0||DNF||1m22.834s||0||0|
|Alex Marquez||LCR Honda Castrol||Honda||4||0||DNF||1m22.53s||0||0|