King Of The ’Ring Marquez Takes Magic Win To Extend Points Lead
Source: Honda World
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) had a perfect day at the sun-blessed Sachsenring today, taking his ninth consecutive victory at the German track in the ninth race of the 2018 season and the 99th race of his MotoGP career.
The 25-year-old’s fifth win from the first nine races of the year moves him 46 points ahead of his closest challenger as MotoGP heads into its brief midseason break. And his ride around this unique anti-clockwise circuit was remarkable. Marquez and his rivals knew that tire wear would be critical today, so he chose a hard front and a soft rear and worked his strategy around that choice.
After starting from pole position – for the ninth time in a row here! – the reigning MotoGP World Champion ended the first lap in third place, then worked his way into second and followed early leader Jorge Lorenzo, while he waited for his hard front tire to reach optimum temperature.
He took the lead from Lorenzo just before half-distance, all the while riding intelligently to save his tire to ensure he had enough grip for the final stages of the 30-lap race. When the race reached two-thirds distance he knew it was time to use the grip he had saved, so he worked hard to steadily open the gap. During this stage of the race he was very much in a class of his own, so by the time he took the checkered flag he was more than two seconds ahead of Valentino Rossi, who also lies second in the championship standings.
Marquez’s latest success was his 40th win in the premier class and his ninth at this track across the 125cc Moto2 and MotoGP classes. It also increased the Repsol Honda Team’s incredible run of wins here to nine consecutive victories. Today’s result also increased Honda’s advantage in the Constructors World Championship. Both Marquez and Honda are chasing their respective title hat-tricks this year. And Marquez was so delighted that he climbed into the turn-one grandstand to celebrate with the fans!
Although Marquez was in dominant form aboard his RC213V, today proved more of a challenge for his fellow RC213V riders. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) finished in eighth place, after finally getting the better of Frenchman Johann Zarco. The former 125cc and 250cc World Champion, who qualified tenth quickest yesterday, chose hard front and medium rear, but all weekend he had searched unsuccessfully to find a set-up that would allow him to fight for a top finishing position.
On Thursday Pedrosa announced his retirement from MotoGP at the end of this season. The 32-year-old will be given MotoGP legend status at the Valencia season finale. He has currently won 54 Grand Prix races aboard Honda machinery across three classes, making him first equal among Honda winners with five-time 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan, who was here today to witness Marquez’s latest success.