Death, taxes, growing old… they say that there are some certainties in life but, none, it seems, are as inevitable as Marc Marquez winning the German motorcycle Grand Prix.
The Spanish maestro has won at Sachsenring every year since 2010. From 125s, through to Moto2 and MotoGP, Marquez has won in the wet and won in the dry – and so it was in 2018, where he once again romped to victory, the 66thof his illustrious career.
Despite his dominance at the ‘Ring, it took until the dying seconds of qualifying for Marquez to assert his authority as he took pole position by the narrowest of margins from Jorge Lorenzo.
The race saw Lorenzo shoot into an early lead, tracked closely by fellow Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci and Marquez.
British rider Cal Crutchlow dropped out of fifth on lap 10, as Marquez started applying the pressure to Lorenzo up front. The ‘Ring King inevitably took the lead on lap 13 of 30 and was able to create a small gap and control the lead.
Behind him, the Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales were able to fill out the podium places as the Ducatis faded. Petrucci was the Italian manufacturer’s top runner, in fourth, one place ahead of the resurgent Spaniard Alvaro Bautista on another Desmosedici.
“Of course I’m very happy, as nine wins in a row here is incredible,” exclaimed Marquez after the race. “Every year the pressure increases, because beginning on Thursday, everyone starts asking about winning on Sunday! Anyway, we have the experience to handle that as well. Today I expected the race to have different phases, with the first tyre drop happening after around nine laps and a final one seven to five laps from the end. I was prepared to manage the different situations, but in the beginning it wasn’t easy because my start wasn’t perfect. I expected that Lorenzo might pass me but not Petrucci. I lost two positions and then overtaking them wasn’t easy. When I did it, I started to push in order to pull a gap but without being ‘crazy’ so that I could manage the tyre consumption until the end of the race. But then they signalled me that Valentino was closing in very fast, and when I saw 0.6 in the board I understood that I had to push again and completely use my tyres for two or three laps, so I did my fastest lap of the race. I was able to open a gap again and then manage it. Then, when I was celebrating I saw a marshal with a number 26 cap, so I took it and went to celebrate in front of the fans because I think this weekend Dani (Pedrosa) was the protagonist, and we’ll miss him. We and Honda are working very well and we need to continue like this in the second part of the championship with the same feeling we’ve had so far.”
Top British rider was Bradley Smith, a season-best 10th on the KTM, with Scott Redding scoring a solitary point for 15th.
The championship now takes a short summer break, before resuming at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic in three weeks’ time.