The Winners and Losers of the German Grand Prix
Written by Andrew Lwanga, edited by Ishani Aziz
The MotoGP German Grand Prix came to a close on Sunday. The tenth round at the Sachsenring marked the midpoint of the season and with it a much clearer championship picture has come into view. As is customary we take a look at the bearing the race on Sunday had on the championship with the winners and losers of the German Grand Prix.
Winner: Fabio Quartararo
The reigning world champion was a world apart from the competition on Sunday. Reminiscent of Marc Marquez's performances at the Sachsenring, Fabio Quartararo, or, "El Diablo" took the lead at the first turn and held onto it for the entire duration of the race. The Frenchman's commanding win meant he'd taken a commanding lead of the championship as well as his immediate title rivals who failed to make the slightest of impressions. Quartararo now has a 34 point lead and though there's still ten races and 250 points to race for, one would imagine the task of dislodging Quartararo from his pedestal just got a lot more difficult.
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Loser: Francesco Bagnaia
Pecco’s nightmare from Catalunya followed the Italian into Germany. After qualifying on pole for the race, Bagnaia lost the lead at the first turn. It didn't spell the end of the world for Bagnaia as he showed that he had enough pace to compete against Quartararo on the opening laps. Unfortunately for the Italian his race would only last the opening laps as a mistake saw him lose the rear in a manner peculiar to most motorcycles and more akin to oversteer in cars. It was Bagnaia's second successive DNF and his fourth in ten races. That now puts him 91 points behind the championship lead and whilst the championship is still a mathematical possibility one would think given Quartararo's flawless nature it's a logical impossibility.
Winner: Luca Marini
From one VR46 Academy graduate to another the story shifts from that of agony to jubilation. Luca Marini's impressive run of form continued into the Sachsenring. The young Italian finished the race in fifth position, third of the many Ducatis in the MotoGP field. Over the past few Grand Prix Marini has become a mainstay of the top 10 and that run of form is seemingly set to continue into the second half of the season.
A look at Aprilia's recent past in the premier class many would consider it harsh if not wrong to classify them as losers of the German Grand Prix. With a top five finish for their main man some would consider it a victory, however considering that Aprilia has now morphed into title contenders and given the inconsistent nature of Quartararo's teammate and both Factory Ducati riders a decent points haul for Aprilia would see them in contention for both championships. Unfortunately for them they did accumulate decent points despite it appearing so at one point. Maverick Viñales who was having his best Aprilia race to date suffered a mechanical failure when his rear ride height device malfunctioned and a late mistake from Aleix Espargaro saw him cede third place to Jack Miller. The rider and mechanical errors have set Aprilia back a few paces in their hopes of concluding the year with a championship.
Credit: Jan Woitas/Picture Alliance via Getty Images
Winner: Johann Zarco
Perhaps the least recognized and least celebrated rider in the premier class, Johann Zarco managed another second place in his MotoGP career. The result meant that Zarco is now third in the standings and whilst it would mean he's still a long way off fellow Frenchman in the championship lead it also means that Zarco is the top Ducati rider. With a lot of speculation over who will hold the seats at both Factory and Pramac Ducati.
MotoGP rolls on to "The Cathedral" at Assen for the Dutch TT as Fabio Quartararo aims to put one hand on the championship trophy. In his wake remains Aleix Espargaro but whether or not his championship challenge has fallen by the wayside is a mystery that only Assen knows.