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7 days ago
By motogp.com

Marquez heads to hunting ground as rivals scramble

Assen was anything but a predictable Grand Prix weekend, Rossi and Lorenzo are hoping for normality in Germany.

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Miller finds redemption in Assen

The Dutch GP was an unforgettable weekend for a number of riders, none more so than Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS). He mastered the wet conditions and took a sensational first win, returning Australia to the top step of the podium for the first time since 2012. Miller is now the tenth youngest rider in the class to win and is out for more consistent results having proved he’s ‘not an idiot,’ and Honda’s faith in him was justified.

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A pivotal result for Marquez?

Celebrations have died down and after two weeks away from the race track, riders and teams are refreshed and ready to go at the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) will be the man to beat for a number of reasons, not only is he the championship leader but he has also taken pole, won the race and set the fastest lap on all three of his MotoGP™ World Championship visits to Germany. Assen could stand as the defining moment of the 2016 season, Marquez proving he has grown as a rider and is now able to see the championship as a bigger entity, not just 18 individual races. With his record in Sachsenring as strong as it is, it’s hard to see him walking away from Germany without an extended championship lead.

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Lorenzo happy with damage limitation mission

You know it’s been a tough weekend when Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) is satisfied with tenth place in a race. The reigning World Champion was unable to get to grips with the ever-changing conditions of Assen on race day and arrives at the Sachsenring 24 points behind Marquez. Lorenzo is no stranger to championship comebacks but needs a strong weekend at the classically Honda dominated track. Since joining the MotoGP™ class in 2008, Lorenzo has had five podium finishes in Germany, four second places but never a win. It stands as one of five circuits on the current calendar where Lorenzo has never won.

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Can Rossi do a Doohan?

One reason which led to Lorenzo not being devastated by tenth place was Valentino Rossi’s (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) failure to score, his third DNF of the season. This has given the Spaniard some breathing room but has left ‘The Doctor’ with quite a problem. Rossi heads to the Sachsenring 42 points behind Marquez and 18 behind Lorenzo, taking a tenth title looks to again be a tall order. Hope is not lost however; back in 1998 the great Mick Doohan took the title with three DNFs. Rossi’s last win in Germany came in 2009, taking two third places since. All he can do now is attack.

Like Rossi, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) is looking to put Assen behind him. The Spaniard has historically gone exceedingly well at the Sachsenring, taking a total of six wins, four in the MotoGP™ class. He’s still fourth in the championship but if his form from Assen continues he may soon find Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) nipping at his heels. The factory Suzuki rider is fifth overall with 79 points, only seven behind Pedrosa.

Both Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) have a point to prove after crashing in Assen. Iannone would go on to take fifth while Dovizioso failed to finish after a promising start. The pair attended World Ducati Week between the two GPs where Ducati’s goal of a winning a race was reaffirmed. Thanks to Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich), Ducati head to Germany looking for their 100th podium in the premier class.

Miller may have won the race, and thus the Independent Teams’ sub-battle, but it’s Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who is the top Independent Team rider in the championship. The Spaniard is sixth and with 72 points, he’s 14 clear of Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) who is seventh overall and second in the Independent Team battle.

The 2016 season has been one of massive improvements for both Aprilia and Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), the combination scoring points in all but one round and ending inside the top ten on four occasions. In 2015 Bradl was forced to miss his home round due to injury, but there are no such issues for the former Moto2™ World Champion in 2015. How will the only German in the premier class fare in front of his home crowd?

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Season So Far: Marquez’s newfound consistency

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