Germany MotoGP: Quartararo eases to victory as rivals falter

Fabio Quartararo dominated MotoGP's German Grand Prix to take charge in the championship after his main title rivals faltered at the Sachsenring.

Germany MotoGP: Quartararo eases to victory as rivals falter
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Already 22 points clear of the rest of the pack after his Barcelona win, Quartararo is now 34 points ahead of nearest rival Aleix Espargaro after easing to his third win of the campaign and become the first rider who wasn't the absent Marc Marquez to win at the Sachsenring since 2012.

His championship charge was only strengthened by a costly crash for Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia, a poor run to 10th for Gresini's Enea Bastianini and Aleix Espargaro finishing a distant fourth.

Quartararo got his elbows out off the line from second on the grid as he out-braked poleman Bagnaia into Turn 1.

The Yamaha rider was on a contra strategy to Bagnaia, Quartararo opting to run the medium rear tyre while the Ducati runner was on the hard rear as track temperatures exceeded 50 degrees Celsius.

Bagnaia tried to take the lead from Quartararo into Turn 1 at the start of the second lap, but the Yamaha rider held firm under braking and muscled through the tightest of gaps up the inside to stay in front.

Quartararo proceeded to open up a lead of half a second as he began the fourth lap when disaster befell Bagnaia.

The Ducati rider crashed out exiting Turn 1 as the rear end of his GP22 came round on him, marking his fourth DNF in 2022 and second in succession.

And it looks like it may have been fatal on his championship chances, his points gulf to Quartararo now 91 at the halfway stage of this 20-round season.

Bagnaia's crash promoted Johann Zarco on the Pramac Ducati to second, with Quartararo 1.2s clear in the lead.

The Yamaha rider would continue to swell that advantage to over five seconds as he cruised to the chequered flag to claim back-to-back wins.

Zarco, who snatched second with a daring move on the inside of Aleix Espargaro at the fast downhill Turn 11 right-hander on lap two, would come under no threat in the runner-up spot as he crossed the finishing line 3.4s clear of Jack Miller in third.

The latter had to serve a long lap penalty on the fifth lap for crashing under yellow flags in FP3, which dropped him outside of the top six.

But the Australian rallied to get himself back into podium contention in the second half of the 30-lap race.

Bagnaia's crash had put Aleix Espargaro up to third, while his Aprilia teammate Maverick Vinales – who had also opted for the medium rear tyre – had worked his way from ninth to fourth early on.

Vinales was lapping slightly quicker than Espargaro ahead as he looked for a maiden Aprilia podium.

As Vinales struggled to find a safe way through on his teammate, Miller closed in on the pair.

A moment for Vinales going through the Turn 8 left-hander on lap 18 allowed Miller into fourth, but also signalled the beginning of the end of the Aprilia rider's race as he continued to drop positions.

Vinales was forced to pull into pitlane at the end of the next lap as his rear ride height device had broken.

Miller made two attempts to pass Espargaro at Turn 1 on lap 23 and 26, but ran wide on both occasions as the latter visibly struggled for grip in the closing laps.

A mistake for Espargaro at the same corner two tours later allowed Miller into third, which he would hold onto by 0.741s at the chequered flag.

VR46 Ducati rider Luca Marini put on a strong charge to fifth late on having cleared a tense battle with Pramac's Jorge Martin, Brad Binder on the factory KTM and Gresini rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio – who ran fifth early on – in the closing stages.

Miguel Oliveira was 3.8s behind this group in ninth ahead of Bastianini, who is now 72 points behind Quartararo in the standings having slipped behind Zarco into fourth in the championship.

Marco Bezzecchi was 11th on his VR46 Ducati ahead of Raul Fernandez, who took his best result of the season on his Tech3 KTM in 12th.

Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli and his RNF Racing counterpart Andrea Dovizioso, and Remy Gardner on the sister Tech3 KTM took the final points.

Home hero and Marc Marquez's replacement Stefan Bradl was the only Honda to make it to the chequered flag in 16th, as teammate Pol Espargaro pulled out late on with physical issues following a heavy crash in FP1 on Friday.

Both LCR Honda riders Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Marquez retired early on, the former crashing at Turn 8 on lap seven when the latter pulled into pitlane with a technical issue.

RNF's Darryn Binder and Suzuki's Joan Mir also suffered early crashes, with Mir's teammate Alex Rins a non-starter having withdrawn from the German GP on Saturday due to a fractured left wrist.

Cla Rider Bike Gap
1 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha  
2 France Johann Zarco Ducati 4.939
3 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 8.372
4 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 9.113
5 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 11.679
6 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 13.164
7 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 15.405
8 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 15.851
9 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 19.740
10 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 21.611
11 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 23.175
12 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM 26.548
13 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 29.014
14 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 30.680
15 Australia Remy Gardner KTM 30.812
16 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 52.040
  Spain Pol Espargaro Honda  
  Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia  
  Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda  
  Spain Alex Marquez Honda  
  South Africa Darryn Binder Yamaha  
  Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati  
  Spain Joan Mir Suzuki  

 

 

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