Mar­quez goes back on top af­ter thrilling vic­tory

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

BER­LIN: Honda’s Marc Mar­quez ex­tended his reign as ‘King of the Sach­sen­ring’ with an eighth suc­ces­sive win at the Ger­man Grand Prix that sent him back on top of the Mo­toGP cham­pi­onship stand­ings yes­ter­day.

The Spa­niard, who has also started eight times in a row from pole po­si­tion in Germany, was pushed hard by lo­cal hero Jonas Fol­ger who fin­ished a stir­ring sec­ond for the non­works Yamaha Tech3 team.

Fol­ger, a rookie who started fifth, be­came the first Ger­man to stand on the podium in his home grand prix in the Mo­toGP era with his first topthree fin­ish since grad­u­at­ing from the Moto2 class.

Dani Pe­drosa, Mar­quez’s team­mate and com­pa­triot, fin­ished a dis­tant third.

The win was triple cham­pion Mar­quez’s sec­ond of the sea­son and sent him clear at the top with 129 points, five ahead of Yamaha’s Mav­er­ick Vi­nales, who fin­ished fourth and is on 124 af­ter nine races.

Ital­ian An­drea Dovizioso, the pre­vi­ous leader, slipped to third on 123 points af­ter cross­ing the line in eighth place. Com­pa­triot Valentino Rossi, who fin­ished fifth, is fourth over­all on 119 points.

“It was a re­ally fast race, the rhythm was in­cred­i­ble,” said Mar­quez. “I was push­ing but he (Fol­ger) was just fol­low­ing me.

“I’m re­ally happy to go now on the sum­mer hol­i­days lead­ing the cham­pi­onship,” added the Spa­niard, who was 37 points adrift three races ago. The next race is at Brno in the Czech Repub­lic on Au­gust 6.

Mar­quez’s run of suc­cess at the Sach­sen­ring, near Chem­nitz, started in 2010 when he was in the 125cc cat­e­gory. He won in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012 be­fore his streak of five vic­to­ries in Mo­toGP.

He led into turn one yes­ter­day, with Pe­drosa slot­ting in be­hind but Fol­ger stayed in touch and moved up to third be­fore then pass­ing Pe­drosa.

The Ger­man took the lead on lap five and stayed in front for five laps be­fore run­ning wide as Mar­quez went through and pulled away.

“I don’t know what to say re­ally,” said Fol­ger, who fin­ished 3.310 be­hind Mar­quez. “I never ex­pected this to­day.

“I was be­hind him (Mar­quez), try­ing to save the tyres and sud­denly I made one big mis­take into turn one, I tried to re­cover and I burned the tyre.

“But re­ally I thought I could beat him to­day. I had a good rhythm but two laps be­fore (the end) the tyre gave up.”

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