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The weekend of the LiquiMoly Motorrad German GP was special for many reasons, not least for Marc Marquez's (Repsol Honda Team) epic return to the top step of the podium after a 581-day absence, completing one of the most remarkable sporting comebacks in memory. Victory meant that it was eleven straight wins across all classes for the eight-time World Champion at the Sachsenring, but the fact that he did it in HRC colours meant it took on added significance.
Honda haven’t taken the chequered flag first since the conclusion of the 2019 season, but Sunday’s win now means that we have seen four different manufacturers stand on the top step in four successive races, a first in the MotoGP™ era, and not seen since 1975, when Briton Phil Read won for MV Agusta in the 500cc class.
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Read was in the heat of a Championship battle at the time with motor racing legend Giacomo Agostini, and though he won the battle in Belgium, it was the Italian who won the war. The 1975 Championship was Agostini’s 15th and final of a storied career, and it was he and his Yamaha who kicked off the sequence 46 years ago with a win at the National Grand Prix at Imola.
In between, Mick Grant rode to victory at the Isle of Man TT on his Kawasaki, his sole win of the season and first in premier class racing, while future two-time World Champion Barry Sheene took his maiden victory at the Dutch TT with Suzuki.
This time around, it was Jack Miller and his factory Ducati who started the streak after he took P1 in Le Mans at the French GP, denying Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) victory at his home Grand Prix. The Frenchman got his revenge two weeks later though, taking the win at Ducati’s home track and Bologna bullets stronghold Mugello in the Italian Grand Prix.
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Quartararo arrived to Barcelona a week later with the favourite’s tag, and understandably so given his 2021 form and recent history in Montmelo, having placed on the podium three times in three visits. However, the Catalan GP went to Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), surprising many of those in attendance as the Portuguese man suddenly became the Championship’s form rider. It was a second consecutive podium for Oliveira, and he carried that form into last weekend’s German GP, but he and his RC-16 were powerless to resist the irrepressible King of the Ring Marc Marquez.
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After almost two years, the eight-time World Champion had his moment, and his emotional return to the podium meant that it was a fourth different manufacturer on the top step in four successive races.
It’s a first for the MotoGP™ era, and just the second time it has ever happened in premier class racing, and as we head for the Assen TT, attention may turn to the Suzukis or Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, as never before have there been five different constructors on the top step in successive race. Could we see it this weekend? Make sure you tune in to find out!
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