MotoGP 2021
Round 8

Miracle Man Marquez Scores First Comeback Victory

de Sachsenring

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) scored an emotional victory in today’s German Grand Prix at Sachsenring, just six races after making his comeback from a nine-month layoff through injury.

Miracle Man Marquez Scores First Comeback Victory

Marquez’s return to the top step of the podium follows three operations on the right arm he broke at Jerez last July and months of gruelling rehabilitation work to regain the immense strength required to ride a MotoGP bike at the limit.

Today’s win is testament to the 28-year-old Spaniard’s incredible drive and ambition, which have taken him to victory in the 2012 Honda-powered Moto2 World Championship and six MotoGP World Championships with the Repsol Honda Team.

Immediately after the race emotions ran high in the Repsol Honda garage, where Marquez’s faithful crew and HRC engineers have played such a vital part in his comeback. And on the podium Marquez – usually an ice-cool sportsman – worked hard not to be completely overcome by his emotions.

Marquez qualified fifth fastest yesterday and made a stunning start this afternoon, snatching second place at the first corner and the lead at the last corner of the first lap. He briefly lost first place a couple of times, then got back in front and built a small advantage which grew rapidly when a rain shower dampened parts of the circuit.

At this stage of the race Marquez showed his amazing bravery – maintaining a rapid pace despite reduced grip – then during the second half of the gruelling 30 laps he resisted huge pressure from Miguel Oliveira. With five laps to go the gap shrank to nine tenths of a second, but Marquez responded brilliantly to take the chequered flag 1.6 seconds in front.

This latest success is Marquez’s 57th MotoGP win and his 83rd across all classes. His previous victory came at the Valencia GP in November 2019.

However, Marquez isn’t yet at 100% strength. He continues to work at rebuilding the muscles in his right arm, which still causes him some issues in right-handed corners. Sachsenring runs anti-clockwise, so his injury bothered him less here. Also, Sachsenring is his favourite circuit. This was his eighth consecutive MotoGP victory at the German venue and his 11th in a row across three different categories – a unique performance in motorcycle Grand Prix history.

Marquez’s remarkable ride also secured Honda’s 11th consecutive MotoGP victory at Sachsenring. The earlier three wins were taken by Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC212V and RC213V) in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Team-mate Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) completed the race in tenth place, his best result since his eighth-place finish in last month’s French Grand Prix. The 30-year-old Spaniard started from eighth on the grid but didn’t make a great start and lost several positions. Then he found himself stuck in the middle of the pack and struggled to overtake because this is MotoGP’s shortest, tightest track where passing is very difficult. However, Espargaro was inspired by Marquez’s victory and looks forward to some better Sundays.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) finished 13th, after choosing a soft rear tyre. The 29-year-old from Chiba didn’t get away well at the start and although he ran inside the top ten during the first couple of laps he struggled to maintain his pace as his rear tyre progressively lost grip.

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V) had a strong Saturday, going directly into the Q2 qualifying session for the first time this year, making the 25-year-old Spaniard confident for today’s race. The winner of the 2019 Sachsenring Moto2 race had high hopes of a top-eighth finish, especially after his performance with used tyres in morning warm-up.

However, luck was not on the side of the younger Marquez brother, who tangled with Danilo Petrucci on the fifth lap. Both riders fell, unhurt.

Honda’s four MotoGP riders have no time to rest after today’s race. They immediately head west to Assen for next Sunday’s Dutch TT. Assen will be the fourth race in five weekends, so the five-week midseason break that follows will be welcomed by riders and teams. The 2021 season will continue at Austria’s Red Bull Ring, with the Styrian and Austrian GPs on 8th and 15th August.

Marc Márquez
Marc Márquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
This is one of the most important, and hardest, moments of my career. Today I knew there was a great opportunity to do something. When I crossed the line I just enjoyed it and then arriving with my whole team there, emotional, it helps a lot after such a difficult situation. It’s impossible to come back alone, you need people, you need a good team, a good team of doctors, a physio, Honda, Honda respect me a lot. Alberto Puig, Emilio Alzamora, my family, they helped me a lot. Now it’s time to enjoy this weekend, we were looking for a petrol station but now we found one and the fuel tank is full again. It’s extra motivation for me, for Honda, for the engineers, for the team and let’s see what the future brings. When I saw some drops of rain on lap four of five, I said; it’s my race. I started pushing at this point and then when it started to rain harder, I pushed even more and then the second race with Oliveira began. He pushed so hard and was very fast, it was hard to keep concentrated because all the memories, everything I have lived over the last year, came into my mind. But we did it. We will do it again.

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro 44
Repsol Honda Team
Honestly, today was not good. I did not get a good start and we struggled a lot. I got overtaken a lot and here is not the easiest place to pass. Then when the rain came, I was stuck behind too many people and I couldn’t get past them fast enough. If you can’t overtake quickly at the Sachsenring this is what happens. My race isn’t what I wanted, it’s not what I expected. But we have seen what Marc has done. I am really happy for him and the whole Repsol Honda Team. It shows that the bike is working well here but also highlights that we could have done more since I have been close to Marc all weekend. It’s a boost to improve, to work harder and better.

Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami 30
It was a tough race for me, starting from P9 on the third row, I didn’t have a good start. But at the beginning of the race I had good pace, felt good on the bike and tried to overtake some riders and catch up with the top group. But after eight or nine laps I felt a drop off in the rear grip and then lap by lap it was really difficult to manage the bike. Towards the end of the race, the last ten laps, it was so difficult to keep the lap time. I finished P13 and I’m not happy about the result, but let’s stay positive and focus on the next race at Assen.

Alex Márquez
Alex Márquez 73
Today we started from P12 and in the warm-up we did a really good job with the used tyres and I was feeling really prepared for the race. I made a bad start and did not have a good first two laps. I was in the middle of a group, tried to overtake and had a contact with another guy and I crashed. I’m sorry for the team because today, and all weekend, I enjoyed being on the bike and in the warm-up we were really, really good. It’s a shame because today I was thinking that the top eight was a real possibility, so I feel sorry for that. But we have shown that our bike can be good in some places and at some tracks, so we need to keep focused and keep improving.

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