Marc Marquez has moved into the MotoGP championship lead by winning the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. German rider Stefan Bradl came in fourth.
With championship leaders Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo sidelined by injuries, Marquez with his Honda was on pole position with Cal Crutchlow for Tech 3 Yamaha second on the grid at the start. Both lost ground as third placed Valentino Rossi led out of the first corner - only to be passed by local rider Bradl of the LCR Honda team.
Bradl (photo above) held on to the lead until the 20-year-old Marquez passed him on lap six. Crutchlow came past both Bradl and Rossi by mid-race.
Marquez did not let Crutchlow get any closer than 1.5 seconds and the Spaniard claimed the second win of his MotoGP rookie season.
"The start wasn't that good but I was able to recover, although I didn't expect to control the race that well," Marquez said. Second-placed Crutchlow said: "I didn't have rear grip, I think like Valentino, for the first 10 laps or so."
Nine-times champion Rossi kept clear of Bradl to take another podium for Yamaha in third. "I thought more would be possible but I struggled with rear grip and Marc and Cal were faster," Rossi said.
After starting fourth on the grid, Bradl's fourth-place finish for LCR Honda MotoGP meant that he again equaled his career-best result.
Starting on his third pole position of the season and with both of his major rivals out of contention, Marquez knew that a second race win, after Austin, Texas, would allow him to take back the lead in the title race.
Crutchlow became the first British rider since Barry Sheene in 1982 to collect four podium finishes in one season. Rossi has now claimed consecutive top-three placings.
Marquez now leads the championship series by two points over Pedrosa who sustained a hairline fracture in his collarbone in Saturday's crash during practice and was declared unfit to race. Lorenzo crashed Friday and needed surgery to repair a damaged titanium plate inserted in his shoulder after he broke his left collarbone two weeks ago at the race in Assen, Netherlands.
Round 9 of 18, the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, will be staged at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next weekend.
jm/ccp (AP, AFP)