Sachsenring MotoGP with Boris | The German crucible was pivotal

MotoGP 2022 – Round Ten
Sachsenring with Boris

Strange place Sachsenring. Sandwiched between the high-glamour rounds of Catalunya and Assen, it’s the shortest track on the calendar, and this year, at least for Pecco and HRC, maybe the cruellest.

Pecco Bagnaia

Clearly, the Fabio Quartararo “Catch Me, Bitches!” Racing Academy is still schooling the rest of the paddock. With added spanking.

Fabio Quartararo heads to Assen after again extending his lead over Espargaro, the gap now 34-points

Pecco, from whom I expected a massive resurgence this round – and it sure looked like that after Practice and Qualifying – spanked himself. Last round, he was the victim of an over-stimulated Nakagami. This round, he slid out all by himself.

Pecco Bagnaia slid out early

Rins, the other victim of Taka’s enthusiastic entry into Turn One at Catalunya, nursed his broken-in-two-places wrist through practice, but chose (wisely), not to contest the race saying the pain was intolerable. And one has to wonder what an iron-man like Rins deems intolerable in that regard.

Aleix Espargaro, the other championship contender, still smarting from an epic race-distance miscalculation in Catalunya which cost him a podium and nine valuable points, found himself being utterly outclassed by Miller and Zarco – which used to be a regular occurrence back before his balls dropped and he managed to win a race. And, even more disturbingly for him, his team-mate, Maverick Vinales, also looked to be hunting him down until a technical problem put paid to Top Gun’s long-awaited return to form.

The ride height device used by Vinales was different to that used by Espargaro, and it failed just when it looked as though Vinales was hot to trot

It was the ride-height device that did Maverick in. Alex runs a manual version of the doohickey. Maverick has been given an automatic one to…erm, “develop”. It developed itself so much it locked itself on, lowered the bike (which looks great but rides shit), and forced Mav back into the pits to exchange pleasantries with his long-suffering boss, Massimo Rivola.

As I watched Maverick pressuring Aleix, I couldn’t help but wonder if their much-vaunted bromance would survive Mav bitching Aleix – especially given the obvious mental fragility of the Spanish Dream Team. Hopefully, we may all get to see this again.

Vinales looked as though he might slip past his team-mate, before his rear ride height device failed…

Happily, Maverick has not run out of Crazy Ivan manoeuvres. Now and again, he runs wide, which is what he did this time when Jack was chasing him. And that was before his ride height device chat itself.

Jack acquitted himself magnificently. It seems his team did some work on his Ducati, apparently raising the forks and changing his seat ergos, and Jack certainly rode faster, better, and more consistently than he has in the past few rounds.

Jack Miller – Sachsenring 2022

There was lots of speculation on Social Media in the wake of Pecco’s self-annihilation from the race and the championship, that maybe Davide Tardozzi was backing the wrong pony. Maybe he should have kept Jack and dropped Pecco, they oinked. I guess Social Media doesn’t understand that MotoGP is about Spain versus Italy. All the other nationalities are there as fillers and TV-rights incentives. And Ducati will never pick an Aussie over an Italian in the factory team. Just ask Stoner. And he was the one winning championships for them.

Jack Miller on the grid at Sachsenring with Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti

The race itself was rather processional. Fabulous led from start to finish. The reigning world champion doesn’t make many mistakes. Sure, there’s the odd wardrobe-malfunction – and this time it was a loose visor in FP1 – but Fabulous doesn’t crash much. And while he seems to be feeling his way through the Free Practice sessions, the one to watch is FP4, which is the race-pace set-up. He normally qualifies well, hits it hard from the start, and then just Jorge Lorenzo’s his metronomic way to victory.

Liqui Moly Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland

Behind Fabulous all sorts of exciting and distressing things were happening. Certainly for HRC, which would struggle to crawl any further into the sewer of fail. For the first time since the 80s, HRC scored no points in MotoGP round. The Marquez basket into which Alberto Puig had placed all of HRC’s eggs has crashed to the floor and is leaking egg yolk like a bastard.

Marc’s recovery proceeds in his own good time, doctors are pleased, but until he gets on a race-bike and fires it at Turn One, his future remains undetermined. And his future is HRC’s present.

Bradl, his stand-in, is never going to win, and struggles to make it into the points each round. He came 16th in Sachsenring. Still, it was better than Pol Espargaro, who DNFd after busting himself up in Practice. He actually crashed twice in quick succession at the notorious Turn One – the first a front-end lose, the second an off-throttle high-side which left his team with two busted bikes to fix in a big hurry. Is it any wonder Puig is going bald?

The two LCR Hondas also plowed the ground, with karma paying Taka Nakagami back for his caper at Catalunyaand Alex Marquez also sailing back into the pits.

There were quite a few DNFs in the race. Mir assured Suzuki of complete misery by crashing out at Turn One, and Darryn Binder also kicked the stones. Only 16 riders saw the checkered flag.

Jack Miller and Alex Espargaro

Miller rode brilliantly, and worked his way into third behind Zarco, who clearly put everything he had into the race, and was so exhausted at the end, he had to sit down on the podium for a few seconds before hoisting his trophy into the air .

Jack Miller tries to get some shade in Parc Ferme with Fabio Quartararo

It was certainly hot in Saxony, which the Pom commentators banged on about with annoying repetition. I put that down to the Poms losing their shit if the temperature climbs above 28 degrees. Suddenly it’s a “race of attrition” and some kind of hell on earth. It’s just hot, ladies. There have been lots of hot races in the past and there will be in the future.

Fabio Quartararo and his well deserved trophy

The circus now proceeds to Assen, the heralded Cathedral of Speed. And Assen being Assen, will invariably provide some kind of Dutch-fuelled weirdness for the entire grid. It never disappoints in those terms.

Bagnaia has his dead down for good reason…

The championship has reached a pivotal moment. It’s hard to see how Fabulous will not take the crown again this year. Aleix is ​​still in with a chance, and only a fool would discount him making a serious tilt for the title. The Beast seems to have hit a low point in his chase for the gold, but I doubt we’ve seen the last of his podiums. Jack seems to be riding better, and Zarco is certainly not over making his bones this year, and currently sits in third on the ladder.

At this halfway point of the season it yet again seems as though despite their batallion of Bolonga bullets on the grid, that a riders championship will yet again elude Ducati this year… Ducati do lead the Constructors Championship on 221 points to Yamaha’s 172. Monster Energy Yamaha lead the Teams Championship despite Quartararo’s team-mate Morbidelli only scoring 25-points this season.

The title seems to be Fabulous’s to lose. And if the others are just depending on him having a run of bad luck, then they might well be disappointed. The Frenchman is on a roll.

Fabio Quartararo and team celebrate victory in Germany

Sachsenring MotoGP Race Results 2022

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Fabio QUARTARARO YAMAHA 41m12.816
2 Johann ZARCO DUCATI +4.939
3 Jack MILLER DUCATI +8.372
5 Luca MARINI DUCATI +11.679
6 Jorge MARTIN DUCATI +13.164
7 Brad Binder KTM +15.405
8 FabioDi Giannantonio DUCATI +15.851
9 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +19.740
11 Marco BEZZECCHI DUCATI +23.175
12 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM +26.548
13 Franco MORBIDLI YAMAHA +29.014
14 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA +30.680
15th Remy GARDNER KTM +30.812
16 Stefan BRADL HONDA +52.040
Not Classified
DNF Maverick VIÑALES APRILIA 11 laps
DNF Takaaki NAKAGAMI HONDA 24 laps
DNF Darryn Binder YAMAHA 25 laps
DNF Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI 27 laps
DNF Joan MIR SUZUKI 27 laps

MotoGP Championship Points Standings

Pos Rider Nat Points
3 ZARCO Johann FR 111
5 BINDER Brad RSA 82
6 BAGNAIA Francesco ITA 81
7 MILLER Jack AUS 81
8 RINS Alex SPA 69
9 MIR Joan SPA 69
10 OLIVEIRA Miguel POR 64
11 MARTIN Jorge SPA 61
12 MARQUEZ Marc SPA 60
13 MARINI Luca ITA 52
14 VIÑALES Maverick SPA 46
16 NAKAGAMI Takaaki JPN 38
18 MARQUEZ Alex SPA 26
21 BINDER Darryn RSA 10
22 DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA 10

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