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7 days ago
By motogp.com

Sachsenring: Game, set, slicks

On motogp.com we continue our review down recent-memory lane - next stop Germany and an MM93 masterclass

Tags MotoGP, 2017

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MotoGP Rewind: A recap of the #GermanGP

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) likes dirt track – a fact often mentioned when his record at counter-clockwise tracks is examined. At the Sachsenring, the 5-time World Champion hasn’t been defeated since 2010. This season saw that record remain, despite the best efforts of the weather – and Marquez pulled off one of the bravest wins of the year. On a single dry line on the track, the Spaniard gambled on a switch to slicks and kept it inch-perfect as he reeled off a string of ever-faster laps. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completed the podium, with the German GP proving a turnaround of sorts for both after some difficult races over the first half of the season. 'DesmoDovi''s rostrum was also the 100th for Ducati.

The key for Marquez was the tyres the team put on in the bike switch. With Michelin providing an intermediate – unlike recent years – there was more than one option that could be waiting for the rider on the second bike. With no prior plan, some on the grid trusted the decision to their team. Marquez and the number 93-branded side of the Repsol Honda garage had a different strategy, as the rider from Cervera explained in the post-race Press Conference:

"We decided this at the start of the season. For us, in a race, the intermediate tyre does not exist.”

In practical terms that meant two things, the first of which was a risk: if the conditions remained perfect for intermediates, the Spaniard would simply not get the option.

In much more practical terms it meant Marquez was making his decisions based on no other variable than the sky. Whereas those around him were largely judging the conditions by if they were too dry for the full wet tyres, Marquez’ only thought was on when it was dry enough for slicks. When he judged it was, it was – and the eventual World Champion bolted around the track at full dry pace by the time he crossed the line to win.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) had not discussed the tyres with his team. The 9-time World Champion looked over his shoulder as he exited the pits to check what rubber his team had chosen – and didn’t see slicks, which it became apparent were the right tyre as the skies remained dry. Teammate Lorenzo had his own bad day at the office, too  - coming home in P15, with Rossi in eighth.

Another day, another hand - another full-house for the number 93.

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#GermanGP: MotoGP™ Full Race