Marc Marquez eased to an emotional first MotoGP win since the end of 2019 as he held off KTM’s Miguel Oliviera in the closing stages of the German Grand Prix.
Marquez made a quick start to launch from fifth to second as the field piled into Turn 1 at the Sachsenring for the first time, the Honda racer snatching the lead away from Aleix Espargaro at the final bend on the opening tour.
The Aprilia racer remained close to the rear of Marquez across the next few subsequent laps-at one point challenging to take back the leadership at Turn 12-though spits of rain that started to fall meant Espargaro started to slow.
This allowed Marquez to open up a crucial two second lead out in front as Jack Miller and Oliveira dispatched the struggling RS-GP, three-time race winner Oliviera soon moving into second as he looked to try and achieve a second-successive victory.
The Portuguese racer started to close in on Marquez across the remaining half of the contest, whittling down the six-time premier class champions lead to less than a second before running out of steam just a few circulations from the end, leaving Marquez to pull out a 1.6 second advantage by the time he took the chequered flag to win for the first time since the ’19 season finale at Valencia.
It also keeps his incredible Sachsenring record alive, his ’21 success now his eighth consecutive premier class win at the venue-meaning his unbeaten run since debuting in MotoGP back in ’13 continues on.
Oliviera grabbed his third-straight finish within the top two as his mid-season charge continues, while Fabio Quartararo staged a solid comeback to finish third after being shuffled back in the early tours.
The Yamaha rider started to find the extra speed he needed after remaining just within the leading group across the opening half of the encounter, passing a fading Miller towards the end before building a healthy gap with which to defend from Brad Binder in the final laps.
The South African was flying as he recovered from 13th on the grid to fourth as he streaked across the line for the final time, while Francesco Bagnaia replicated the KTM’s charge as he rounded out the top five despite dropping back to 15th in the early goings.
Miller ended up sixth after lacking late race performance in a similar vein to Espargaro who was seventh, while pole-man Johann Zarco never really featured throughout as he lacked overall pace-leaving him only eighth.
Joan Mir was ninth for Suzuki while Pol Espargaro completed the top ten on the second factory Honda.
Jorge Martin ran well inside the top ten early on but dropped back to 12th by the end on his Pramac Ducati, while a bold tyre choice for Takaaki Nakagami-the only man to opt for the soft compound rear tyre-backfired as he could only manage 13th ahead of Valentino Rossi’s Petronas SRT Yamaha.
Despite Quartararo’s rostrum it was an overall tough day for Yamaha with Franco Morbidelli and Maverick Vianles unable to make up any ground following their disastrous respective qualifying performances, the duo coming home as the last classified finishers in 18th and 19th respectively.
Alex Marquez and Danilo Petrucci both retired early on after the pair collided into Turn 1 on the fifth tour, while the second Aprilia of Lorenzo Savadori went out as he lost the front of his machine at Turn 6.
Quartararo’s series lead grows to 22 heading to Assen for the Dutch TT in a week’s time, with Miller now 31 points adrift of the Yamaha pilot.