Can Honda maintain their Sachsenring stranglehold?

The Japanese outfit have taken every race win here since 2010, but are missing eight-time German GP winner Marc Marquez

The 2022 MotoGP™ World Championship hits the halfway mark this weekend, with the Sachsenring hosting the Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. The 3.7km Chemnitz track has been an annual feature on the racing calendar since 1998 [with the exception of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic] and in recent years, it has become synonymous with one rider; Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).

Marquez’ record at the Sachsenring is certainly impressive, but it is a track that Honda have generally had a stranglehold on since it first came onto the Championship calendar. In 23 Grand Prix events, the Japanese marque have taken victory on 17 occasions in the premier class. We have to go all the way back to 2009 to find a non-Honda on the top step, when Valentino Rossi and Yamaha took victory.

Prior to Marquez’ reign of dominance, Dani Pedrosa completed a hat-trick of wins from 2010 to 2012 to add to his 2007 success there. The little Samurai holds the second-highest number of victories at the Sachsenring, joint on four with Rossi, one of whose came aboard the Honda RC211V in 2002.

Five-time 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan took victory in 1998, the first race at the Sachsenring, while Alex Barros, Sete Gibernau and Max Biaggi are all race winners for Honda there too.

Of course, this weekend we are going to see a new rider stand on the top step as Marquez continues to recover from a fourth surgery on his problematic injury issues. From the current crop of premier class riders, there are only a select few with race-winning experience in Germany, which came in either Moto2™ or Moto3™. Remy Gardner (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) took victory here one year ago on his way to claiming the intermediate class crown, while Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol), Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) all did something similar during successful campaigns. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) also has a Moto2™ win to his name here.

During their Moto3™ days, Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing), Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) tasted lightweight class joy here. The majority of the names above, among others, will all feel they have a realistic chance of being the one to end Honda’s hegemony in Germany. Despite their 2022 struggles, Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team), Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) will be aiming to pull something special out of the bag to defend Honda’s proud record in East Germany.

You won’t have to wait long to see how this one goes, with Round 10 of the 2022 MotoGP™ World Championship getting underway on Friday, June 17th.

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