Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez heads to the summer break with a perfect win record after mastering mixed track conditions at Sachsenring to claim his ninth victory of the 2014 MotoGP season.
Memories from the last round at Assen came flooding back for the riders as the heavens opened just before the thirty-lap German Grand Prix was due to commence, resulting in sections of the circuit being wet at the start of the race. The mixed conditions left the riders having to face a decision on whether to start with slick or wet tyres, with nine riders starting from the grid on slick tyres, and the remaining fourteen starters starting from pit lane on slick tyres after pitting-in on wet tyres during the warm up lap.
After a chaotic start to the race, Marquez adapted to the drying track best and by the fifth lap had taken the race lead. Despite the less than ideal track conditions, Marquez was able to lap faster than he did in completely dry conditions last year and his quickest lap of the race near the end of the Grand Prix was just two-tenths shy of the Circuit Record Lap. On the other Repsol Honda, Dani Pedrosa also lapped at a fearsome pace to take second place just 1.466 seconds behind his teammate, while Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo made a fine return to form by finishing in third place for his third podium of the year.
The Sachsenring circuit still had some damp patches at the start of the race, resulting in twelve of the twenty-three riders opting for the soft compound front slick to ensure maximum grip and warm-up performance in the challenging conditions. Of the other ten riders, all except one selected the medium compound front slick with GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Scott Redding the only rider to select the hard compound front slick. All riders selected their softer rear slick option for the race, with the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders using the medium compound rear, and the Ducati and Open-class riders selecting the soft compound rear slick.
Marquez’s amazing first half of the season has him sitting seventy-seven points clear in the MotoGP rider’s classification, while Pedrosa now sits in second place and seven points clear of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi who claimed fourth place in Germany.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department: “This is the second Grand Prix in a row where unsettled weather has created an unusual start to the race, but once again Marc showed his fighting spirit to take a very impressive victory. In the end there can be only one winner, but there were many great performances out there today and the result was lots of exciting action throughout the field. Although we now have a four week break from MotoGP, it will still be a busy time for Bridgestone. We have a lot to prepare for the second half of the MotoGP season, and also in a couple of weeks’ time we have the challenge of trying to extend our record winning-streak as a tyre manufacturer at the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race to nine consecutive victories.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department: “Just like at the last race at Assen, today we had a race that started with mixed track conditions, but this time the track was dry enough to allow all the riders to start on slick tyres. However, there were still some wet patches during the opening laps - particularly in turn twelve - so it was good to see that the riders were able to manage the tricky conditions on their slick tyres. We’ve worked hard to broaden the operating temperature range of our slicks and today was evidence that this has been a real boost to rider safety. MotoGP may be taking a four week break, but our technical development team will still be working hard back in Japan as we look to develop some new tyre technology for the riders to test in the second half of the season.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race Winner: “It looked more or less like the Assen race but in the end we had to come to the pits to change our bikes because we could see the track was becoming dry. In the end my strategy was to do the same thing as Dani and Valentino as they are my main rivals, and I saw they stayed on wet tyres so I did the same. The race was nice in the beginning as there was a lot of overtaking then in the second half of the race I had a great battle with Dani. I’m really happy with this victory and now it’s time to relax and enjoy my holiday time.”