MotoGP™: Bagnaia back on top!

A ten point lead remains, but for Bagnaia as Martin makes a late blunder at the Sachsenring - while Marc Marquez scythes through and Alex Marquez makes it a historic double podium

A dramatic Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland saw Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) come out on top after piling the pressure on Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) throughout as the duo pulled away to make the race a chess match at the front. Martin was holding on to a half second advantage as the final laps closed in, but then suddenly went sliding out at Turn 1, rider ok but Championship lead far from it. The #89 cedes the top of the leaderboard to Bagnaia as the reigning Champion swept through to take the 25-point haul.

If the fight for the win was a chess match decided by tenths, the battle behind was a rollercoaster ride. Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) scythed through from P13 on the grid to take second place after battling a gallery of rivals, the last of whom to overcome was brother Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™). But the #73 held on to third and took his first GP podium of the season, with the Marquez brothers becoming the first to share a premier class podium since Nobuatsu and Takuma Aoki in Imola in 1997.

Martin got the best start but didn’t get the perfect T1, giving Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Racing) chance to have a look, but the Portuguese rider was forced to settle into second. Bagnaia was holding third but the reigning Champion struck at the end of Lap 1 to overtake Oliveira, taking up the chase as Martin tried to bolt at the front. He couldn’t, however, and the #1 pulled off a carbon copy of his last corner move on Oliveira to take the lead.

Morbidelli was then the rider in the spotlight as he shot past Oliveira and into second, then starting to harry his teammate Martin. Bagnaia, Martin and Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing) started to build a small gap as the shuffle continued in a big group battle behind, but then the shuffle kicked off again in theirs as Martin struck late at Turn 1 to take back the lead with 24 to go.

Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) then suffered a run off from the battle behind, leaving Alex Marquez, Oliveira and now Marc Marquez in the chasing group as Martin started to put the hammer down at the front. Bagnaia had been reeling a couple of tenths back in, but then Morbidelli sailed down the inside of Turn 1 past the reigning Champion, somehow getting it stopped and nabbing second. And there were still 22 to go.

Martin led Morbidelli with around half a second between the Prima Pramac duo, with the group behind holding high-speed station. By 16 to go Morbidelli then went deep at Turn 1, and Bagnaia was right on him looking for a way though. He found one at Turn 12, and then Marc Marquez found one on Oliveira. Martin was a second clear, Bagnaia was now the rider on the chase, and Alex Marquez got past Morbidelli before Marc Marquez also homed in. The podium fight was starting to take shape.

As Morbidelli headed wide at Turn 1 with nine to go, #93 went for it, but the #21 cut back. The two bashed into each other and just stayed on, but Marquez ultimately came off worse, dropping back into the clutches of a charging Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team). One dance of high-speed ballet wasn’t enough and the two staged another at Turn 1 next time around. Marquez was then able to hold him off, and the duo stalked down the deficit to Morbidelli up ahead.

It was an absolute late lunge when it came, the #93 suddenly darting out from behind the #21 at the final corner and making the pounce stick to perfection. At the front, Martin was holding Bagnaia at bay by five, seven, six tenths, and Alex Marquez was now in the space between the duo and the #93. The gap between the two Gresini machines was over two seconds. But then it was 1.5, then just under a second, then even less… when the #93 arrived he sliced straight past, more tyre underneath him and only a few laps to go.

Those few laps delivered the headline drama. Martin seemed on course to complete his second consecutive double at the Sachsenring, with that margin to Bagnaia looking to be enough. And then the #89 was sliding out across the tarmac into the gravel, with his closest rival so far this season sweeping through to create a 20-point swing in the title fight.

Bagnaia just had to avoid the same to take the victory, and that he did as he crossed the line with just under four seconds in hand to become the Championship leader for the first time since Saturday in Portimão

Marc Marquez, after his huge highside on Friday, a dramatic Q1, and then an all-out war up from P13 in the Grand Prix – including full combat with Franky – takes second for this fourth podium of the season, but loses that undefeated record at the track. Alex Marquez is back on the podium for the first time since Sepang last year and makes that history as two brothers sharing the podium in the premier class.

Bastianini added some stunning racing to the mix at the front but had to settle for fourth this time round, ahead of Morbidelli in fifth after a standout race day for the #21. Oliveira takes a very solid P6 to follow up his Tissot Sprint podium on Saturday, with some breathing space ahead of a big battle for seventh. That was won by Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) ahead of Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse Racing) completed the top ten.

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) stayed ahead of Viñales after his run off, with another close set of finishes just behind as Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) pipped Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda LCR) and Luca Marini (Repsol Honda Team) after tyre pressure penalties for Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) and Johann Zarco (CASTROL Honda LCR). For Marini, a point rewards a weekend with a big step forward seemingly taken in all sessions just ahead of summer break.

That summer break sees Bagnaia head in as the points leader, a position he’s not held since Saturday night in Portugal. A 20-point swing in one weekend is a big one, and Martin will be looking to hit back immediately. First, he has to stew on it. And it’s far from a two-horse race in the world’s most exciting sport, with the whole grid ready to be back out at Silvestone from the 2nd to the 4th of August as the second half begins… in vintage style for a very modern spectacle!

Aldeguer scores Sachsenring winner as Ogura pinches late podium place
Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors SpeedUp) notched up his first win since the Spanish GP as the Spaniard broke clear in the latter stages to beat Jake Dixon (CFMOTO Polarcube Aspar Team) by 2.1s, with Ai Ogura (MT Helmets – MSI) leaving it late to claim a fourth podium of the season in P3 at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. 

Dixon grabbed the holeshot but polesitter Celestino Vietti (Red Bull KTM Ajo) soon pinched P1 back from the Brit on Lap 1. Lap 3 saw Aldeguer take the lead for the first time, with the #54 and Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) passing Vietti in quick succession. 

On Lap 6, Arbolino then led for the first time as Vietti profited from Aldeguer getting overtaken by demoting the Spaniard to P3. The latter was soon back in P2 though, with Dixon and Senna Agius (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) rounding out the top five, as a Moto2™ freight train formed. By Lap 7, Sergio Garcia (MT Helmets – MSI) had climbed to P6 from P12, with teammate Ogura tucked in behind. 

With eight laps to go, Aldeguer – having returned to the front – was now 1.3s clear following a near highside from Arbolino coming out of Turn 7 that cost the Italian several places. In total, eight riders had a podium place in sight, as Aldeguer stretched his advantage further to 1.7s. 

On the final couple of laps, Aldeguer cruised home to beat Dixon by 2.1s, as the latter broke clear of the fascinating fight for the final podium spot between Vietti, Ogura and Diogo Moreira (Italtrans Racing Team). A spellbinding final lap played out between the three, and it was Ogura who outfought Vietti at the final two corners to claim the final spot on the rostrum, with Moreira also getting the better of Vietti on the run to the line. 

Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) was 0.118s away from the podium in P6, with Championship leader Garcia forced to settle for P7 – one place ahead of the impressive Joe Roberts (OnlyFans American Racing). The American battled through the pain barrier to pick up a valuable P8 at the Sachsenring. 

So heading into the summer break, Garcia leads teammate Ogura by seven points in the Championship, with Roberts 25 back in P3. Aldeguer’s second win of the year sees him sit 39 points back before the second half of the campaign gets going at Silverstone in early August.

Alonso denies Furusato and Ortola as Veijer crashes out the lead
David Alonso (CFMoto Gaviota Aspar Team) took a stunning sixth win of the season at the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, holding off Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia) and Ivan Ortola (MT Helmets - MSI) on the final lap.

Championship challenger Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) crashed out early on from the lead, and Alonso scored the full 25-point haul when offered the open goal.

Veijer took the holeshot and led early doors, but his crash out the lead left his rivals with a big opportunity in the race and in the title fight. After a classic group battle and with some added dashes of drama for plenty - including Ortola who had to serve a Long Lap for a slow sector on Saturday and a run through the gravel for Furusato - it all came down to a final lap face-off.

Alonso had some big pressure from Furusato as the two led the way for the final trip round the Sachsenring, but a wobble for the Japanese rider saw him lose just enough momentum to ut him too far back to make a final corner lunge. Alonso held on to it but 0.187s, with Furusato, in turn, holding off Ortola too. The podium trio pulled out two seconds on the chasing pack by the flag.

Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing) and teammate Angel Piqueras took fourth and fifth, with their own small gap back to another duel as Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helments - MSI) came back from two Long Laps for a jump start to pip Daniel Holgado (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3). David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports) faded slightly from initially running at the front to take P8 ahead of Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing), with Scott Ogden (MLav Racing) taking the final spot in the top ten to deny Joel Kelso (BOE Motorsport).

Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had been in the battle right at the front before a moment at Turn 1, with the #99 unable to drop anchor and initially making a top save before sailing off into the gravel, rider ok but out the race.

After Veijer's shock crash out the lead and a comeback masterpiece from Alonso after he'd been off the podium at Assen, the title momentum swings even further in the Colombian's favour. He now leads by a whopping 58 points heading into summer break - join us for more at Silverstone as the field look to fight back!