Sachsenring, Germany. Another Marc Marquez playground and the 2019 Grand Prix – the ninth of nineteen in MotoGP this year – was wide-open for the world champion again. The Spaniard duly controlled the race for his tenth consecutive success at the incessantly curving course west of Chemnitz.
Behind the blurred sight of #93 there was satisfaction for Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Viñales and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow with both riders mounting the podium respectively in the last uncorking of MotoGP champagne before the short summer break.
For Viñales the German outing was reconfirmation of his recent spur of good form. The runner-up slot complimented his first victory of 2019 the previous Sunday at Assen in the Netherlands and gave the Spaniard a bountiful haul of 45 points in one week. The Yamaha star gladly accepted the standing after Suzuki’s Alex Rins slid out of second place deep into the running.
“We discovered quite early this weekend that second place might be the best we could do here, so with that in mind we achieved the objective,” MV12 said. “For us it's really good, second is my best result here. This result means a lot, it prepares me for Brno. I'm really happy, we understand the way to go. Yamaha is working in a good way, and I know our strong and weak points. It's good that we have a summer break to improve the bike and improve myself.”
Viñales impressed but it was a characteristically ‘backs against the wall’ performance by Crutchlow that carried weight amongst the headlines. The Brit, who missed the tail end of the 2018 season with a badly broken foot, was coping with a damaged ACL in his left knee. “Today was a race of survival and making sure we stayed on and got some points,” he said. “I had a really dead left leg. I think the peg was too high for this racetrack. With the lean angle that we’re giving now to try and turn the bike, it seems that my leg is really in tight [but] I had no problem with my knee, honestly. I said at the start of the weekend I wouldn’t use it as an excuse to go fast or slow. It’s not been too bad.”
“It was nice to be battling at the start,” he added. “I was aggressive in the first laps like I needed to be. I would have really attacked Maverick and Rins if Rins stayed on. But as I said, I was happy with a podium. The team deserved it. I think I deserved it from the hard work. Honda deserved two guys on the podium.”
Now, a pause. In four weeks the Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceske republiky will set the battle lines once more.