Championship leader Marc Marquez said he will use his victory in last week’s epic Assen race as motivation going into Sunday’s German Moto GP at Sachsenring.
The Repsol Honda rider finished atop the podium in the Netherlands after an incredible race that saw the first 15 riders cross the line just 16.043sec apart.
It was the closest top-15 finish of all time, and a timely boost for Spaniard Marquez.
The track at Sachsenring is the shortest on the calendar at 3.67km (2.28 miles), but it is also tight and twisty, so could also throw up a close finish.
What is sure is that Marquez and Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa have dominated the German track, a road-based circuit in-and-around the city of Chemnitz, Eastern Germany. They have won a staggering 14 times between them and stood together on the podium three times, in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Marquez has taken eight consecutive wins across three classes at the German circuit where 10 of its 13 corners are left-handed, each success remarkably coming after starting from pole position.
After kicking off in the 125cc category in 2010, the Spaniard went on to win twice in Moto2 (2011, 2012) and then five times in MotoGP (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).
Pedrosa’s last MotoGP victory here came in 2012, having also won in 2007, 2010 and 2011.
“The victory we scored at Assen was important because it was a race where it was incredibly easy to make a mistake, but instead we were able to increase our advantage in the championship,” Marquez said.
“Now we go to a very different circuit where we’re normally very strong, but every year is different.”
‘A good battle’
Marquez added: “Weather could play an important role, as we’ve seen in the past: if it’s rainy or mixed, everything will change very quickly and you must be ready.
Marquez (pictured, AFP) has amassed 140 points from the first eight GPs of the season, with 10 more to be raced after this weekend’s outing.
In second and third places are the Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales (99 and 93pts respectively). Frenchman Johann Zarco of the Yamaha Tech3 team is fourth (81), just ahead of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (both 79).
Italian Rossi, who was fifth in Assen and is yet to win a single GP this season, has nine podiums at Sachsenring, including four victories.
However, Rossi finished nearly 15 seconds behind Marquez at the track last season, something he wants to remedy.
“Last year’s German GP was not a very positive weekend for us, so it will be very important to understand our potential this weekend,” he said.
“Assen was an incredible race, so I really want to get back on track again. I don’t know if we can repeat a race like that at the Sachsenring, but we’ll try to do everything to be at the front with the top riders.”
Rossi added: “The race at the Sachsenring is the last race before the short summer break, so we want to do our best to make it a good battle on Sunday, to end the first half of the season in a good way.”