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The pendulum swings back to Marquez

The pendulum swings back to Marquez

2015 has seen Yamaha dominate the opening half of the season, but on the eve of the summer break Marquez seems to have found himself again.

Assen saw Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) switch back to the 2014 frame that helped him take a dominant second MotoGP™ title last year. This made Marquez more comfortable and confident on the bike, able to take more risks and ride on the edge with fewer consequences. Mugello earlier this year was a perfectly example of the 2015 frame’s limits, Marquez was able to push and battle for the podium but only for a few laps before he eventually fell, taking one risk too many of the unforgiving chassis. In theory, the 2014 frame would have allowed him to keep pushing and get away with even more risks.

With ten left hand bends, many fast and flowing, the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland reminds Marquez of dirt track: “It’s a special track but it’s also interesting, these long left corners are nice, really nice. It gives me the same feeling as dirt track! I enjoy it a lot as you’re always spinning, the same as dirt track. I’m enjoying the weekend,” they often say a happy racer is a fast racer.

Since Friday Marquez has been almost untouchable, the Spaniard topping every session that he has participated in. Such form would have been almost unimaginable just a few rounds ago in Mugello or even before. The last time Marquez showed such dominance was in Austin at the start of the year before many of his and Honda’s problems began to fully show. There he topped every session before Qualifying bar FP1. Austin is yet another track where Marquez is able to produce magic, so far undefeated there, winning every MotoGP™ held at the Texas track.

So far all signs are pointing quite directly to Marquez making it six in a row in Germany. His 2015 performance at the Sachsenring is even more dominating than last year, Marquez topping neither FP1 nor FP2 on that occasion. The 2014 race was a very unique situation as the majority of the field was forced to start from pit lane due to a pre-race rain shower. But despite these factors he claimed a victory that never really seemed doubted and now heads to Sunday’s 2015 race with even better form and predicted weather.

Perhaps the biggest sign that Marquez will make it six from six is his incredible race pace. In FP4, the session most associated with riders testing their race pace, Marquez was able to set a staggering nine laps in the mid 1’21s. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will join Marquez on the front row but their pace pales in comparison to Marquez. Pedrosa set just one mid 1’21 in FP4, Lorenzo only able to lap in the high 1’21s. Both riders looking to be more comfortable in the 1’22s over race distance.

However, Lorenzo still seems to have one or two cards up his sleeve. In the post-Qualifying Press Conference he mentioned, “Marc here seems to have a better pace than everyone, I think the pace of Dani myself and Valentino is very similar. I’m confident of trying something in the Warm Up that should give us a small improvement and see us run 1’21s throughout the race.” If this is true the German GP may be more interesting than it first appears. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate Valentino Rossi and his mechanics have often found something in Warm Up, one last Hail Mary of a setting change that frequently works out, no doubt Lorenzo and his side of the garage are seeking similar.

In 2013 Marquez was sucked deep inside the field on the run down to Turn 1, history may repeat itself on Sunday giving Pedrosa, Lorenzo and maybe even Rossi a chance to break away, but if this or a step up from Lorenzo in Warm Up doesn’t occur then we may be seeing the beginning of a Marquez renaissance.

MotoGP, 2015, GoPro MOTORRAD GRAND PRIX DEUTSCHLAND, Q2, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

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