For the tenth year in a row, The Sachsenring lay down and gave it away to Marc Marquez, who didn’t even have to buy a wrist corsage. Starting, as usual, from pole, Marquez seized the lead on the back side of the first turn, entered the express lane, and never broke a sweat on his way to the win and a ghastly, dispiriting 58-point lead as the series heads for summer vacation.

Worse yet, French rookie heartthrob Fabio Quartararo crashed out of a premier class race for the first time and was unable later to locate his lopsided grin.

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Was there ever any doubt?

For quite a while, it appeared my pre-race podium prediction of Marquez, Alex Rins and Maverick Viñales would come up a winner, until Rins once again crashed out of a podium unassisted in Lap 19, a week after having done so in Assen. In so doing, he has removed himself from championship consideration and must now keep an eye on Joan Mir, who may be entertaining thoughts of becoming the #1 rider for the factory Suzukis. But Cal Crutchlow, who arrived at the weekend having seriously injured himself at home opening a can of paint, took advantage of Rins’ gaffe to usurp the third step on the podium. Mir, who spent much of the day in the second group, finished seventh, showing more progress, moving up the learning curve.

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For the second straight race, Alex Rins crashed while holding a podium position. After the race, he said his bike didn’t give any warning he was about to lose it.

Practice and Qualifying

Friday was more or less predictable for 2019. Quartararo, Marquez, Rins and Viñales were all sniffing around the top of the sheet. Marquez was the only one to put in a lap in the 1:20s, within half a second of his 2018 track record, on Day 1. Pecco Bagnaia had a heavy crash late in P1 which kept him out of P2 but allowed him back for a cautious FP3. Crutchlow arrived in town hobbled by a non-riding accident suffered at home. Wanker.

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Despite a fracture in his right tibia and a torn ACL, Cal Crutchlow still raced to a podium finish. Crutchlow says he was riding his bicycle and stopped to adjust the saddle when he slipped on the cobblestone road.

Repsol Honda slotted homeboy Stefan Bradl in Jorge Lorenzo’s seat. With Fabio and Maverick sitting in the top five at the end of the day, FP3 on Saturday would determine whether Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, a tenuous 10th on the day, would have to fight and claw his way into Q2 or would pass smoothly, naturally, like a field mouse through an owl. We also learned of Danilo Petrucci’s well-deserved new contract for 2020 with the factory Ducati team. Bravo, Danilo!

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Ahead of the Sachsenring round, Ducati announced it signed Danilo Petrucci to a new contract for next season.

FP3 delivered guys like Marquez, Quartararo, Viñales and Rins directly to Q2, consigning, yet again, the famously struggling Rossi, along with Andrea Dovizioso and Johann Zarco to the fighting and clawing of Q1. Even with his back to the wall, Rossi is unable to coax the same speed out of the M1 as Viñales and either of the satellite guys. He does not appear to have lost much overall, but the quick thin blade, flashed so often at the end of races as he routinely snatched victory from less-confident foes, is gone. If you’re leading a race and have a handful of gunners chasing you, including Rossi, Vale is no longer your primary concern. Of particular interest at the end of the session was Quartararo, on the gas, apparently injuring his left shoulder on another “tank-slapper,” as the Brits call them. Shades of Assen. Marquez was caught flirting with his 2018 track record at the end of the session.

Rossi appeared determined to make it out of Q1 and did so. Dovizioso, watching his faint title hopes fade, appeared determined, too, to make it out of Q1 and would have, were it not for the heroic efforts of one Takaa Nakagami, riding when he should be in traction, stealing Dovi’s ticket to Q2 well after the checkered flag had flown.

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Another pole and another lap record for Marc Marquez.

The new group of Usual Suspects – Viñales, Rins, Quartararo – took turns going after Marquez’s soft-tire lap times during Q2, to no avail. The Catalan made it ten-for-10 on pole in Germany, joined on the front row by Quartararo and Viñales. Row two would be comprised of Rins, Jack Miller and Crutchlow. Rossi could do no better than P11, the weakest of the four Yamahas in the first four rows. Oh, and just for the record, Marquez on Saturday set a new track record for motorcycles at the Sachsenring.

The Race

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Fabio Quartararo took the blame for his crash, saying his hesitation about whether to pass Danilo Petrucci caused him to carry too much speed and lean angle into the corner.

This German Grand Prix was no work of art, a high-speed procession punctuated by falls from rather high-profile riders. Rookies Quartararo and Miguel Oliveira both crashed out in Lap 2, though the Portuguese rider would re-enter the race, for whatever reason. KTM sad sack Zarco crashed out at the same spot a lap later. Pecco Bagnaia went walky on Lap 8, taking himself out of points contention.

But it was Rins, all alone in second place, laying his Suzuki down on Lap 19. Crutchlow could never catch Viñales. Dovizioso could never catch Petrucci. And no one currently living could catch Marc Marquez, who was thinking about COTA and how he would not let that happen today.

The Big Picture

The big picture is as ugly as an outhouse on an August afternoon. With 58 points in hand at the clubhouse turn, Marquez could leave his woods in a locker and walk the back nine with just a putter, a wedge, a three-iron, a seven-iron and a sleeve of Titleists in a Saturday bag and win the club championship. While the riders scrambling for a top-ten finish in 2019 are sweating blood, Marquez makes this hugely demanding, physically debilitating job look easy, effortless. His team is a well-oiled machine that never looks stressed out. He stops on his way to the garage to get his picture taken with a four-year old boy wearing #93 gear. I’m pretty much convinced he hasn’t started shaving yet. He lives with his brother. Haters hate him because he’s got mad skills. Haters gonna hate. Just sayin’.

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Alex Marquez joined his brother Marc with a victory in the Moto2 race at Sachsenring.

Beyond Marquez, you have a bunch of riders with significant pedigrees snapping and tearing at one another over scraps. Last week I observed how some celebrants – OK, it was Viñales – were celebrating having held Marquez to 20 points. Today, the remaining Aliens and top tenners seem relieved to have held Marquez to a mere 25 points. For the rest of the paddock, The Sachsenring has become like Phillip Island was to Casey Stoner and how Mugello once was to Valentino Rossi. Go. Race. Lose. Repeat.

Tranches

This is the week when we come clean and give Marc Marquez his own tranche.

After Assen:

Tranche 1: Marc Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso, Alex Rins, Fabio Quartararo
Tranche 2: Danilo Petrucci, Jack Miller, Franco Morbidelli, Takaa Nakagami, Maverick Viñales, Joan Mir
Tranche 3: Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow, Aleix Espargaro, Pol Espargaro
Tranche 4: Jorge Lorenzo, Johann Zarco, Miguel Oliveira, Pecco Bagnaia
Tranche 5: Karel Abraham, Hafizh Syahrin, Tito Rabat, Andrea Iannone

After Sachsenring:

Tranche 1: Marc Marquez
Tranche 2: Danilo Petrucci, Jack Miller, Franco Morbidelli, Maverick Viñales, Andrea Dovizioso, Alex Rins, Fabio Quartararo, Cal Crutchlow
Tranche 3: Valentino Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Pol Espargaro, Joan Mir, Takaa Nakagami
Tranche 4: Jorge Lorenzo, Johann Zarco, Miguel Oliveira, Pecco Bagnaia
Tranche 5: Karel Abraham, Hafizh Syahrin, Tito Rabat, Andrea Iannone

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Niki Tuuli is your first ever MotoE race winner, as the inaugural race was called with a red flag after five laps.

MotoGP now hobbles off to summer vacation, a number of riders to lick wounds, several to entertain existential crises, and others to just chase women and enjoy being young, wealthy and in shape. We, obviously, will be hanging with the latter group. Should anything noteworthy occur during the interlude, I shall faithfully report on it at Late-Braking MotoGP, your site for all the stuff not good enough to make it to the pages of Motorcycle.com. We’ll have a preview of the Brno round here at the end of the month. Ciao.