Motogp sachsenring

MotoGP Sachsenring: Pecco becomes Ducati’s most successful GP Racer ever…

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MotoGP Roundup – Sachsenring, Germany.

Though Saturday afternoon was wet and wild – literally – Sunday behaved itself quite well, weather-wise.

Still, it was anything but boring on-track in the last races before the summer holidays…

MotoE:

Race One:

Casadei started the first race with a Long Lap Penalty to his name, for crashing under a yellow flag in Q2. Poor soul.

Having managed a stonking start, Gutierrez led into the first turn, ran wide, and forgot there were other riders on the track as he rushed to get back on the racing line without checking before merging. This resulted in his rear wheel wiping out Granado’s front at Turn Two, sending the latter flying out of his seat.

After landing, Granado and his bike somehow managed to filter-slide through the pack untouched.

In the background, Pontone was launched into his own, separate orbit at the same corner. His bike did an impressive headstand-slide all the way into the pebbles, narrowly missing a dazed Granado upon its entry into the gravel.

Red Flags. Red Flags already! Everyone headed for the pits, while the doc checked out Granado’s injuries where he lay trackside. A little while later, the Alien-esque yellow ambulance emerged from pit lane in order to load up a conscious, yet probably quite ouchy, Eric.

A Quick Restart, five-lapper was confirmed. Blink twice, and you’d miss it all.

Gutierrez was slapped with a Double Long Lap Penalty for not checking his blind spots before merging. To make his situation worse, Oscar went and jumped the start – and he knew he’d done it as soon as he did it. Add another two Long Laps to his score sheet, and it made for four Long Laps and five laps to do them.

While attempting his first Long Lap go-around, Oscar toppled over a few feet into the loop. He remounted, cruised to the pits, and disappeared in search of the beer garden.

For the remainder of the grid, the race went by in a flash, Garzó taking all the advantage he could in order to claim the victory. Zaccone took second, and Spinelli third.

On the podium, Garzó took a good swig of his Prosecco, realised that he still had another race to compete in later, and quickly spat it out again.

Race Two:

By the time the Italian Toasters lined up for their second race, the sun had all but run off, leaving the sky dark and looming. Rain threatened.

And, indeed, less than five minutes from the scheduled start, the drops began to fall. And fall, and intensify their assault by adding some nice, big, sky sparks.

Due to the anger of the cloud sparks, the race was delayed and everyone ducked for what little cover the overhangs offered.

It turned into a lengthy delay; at least the music was good.

Finally, the downpour cleared up a bit, the wind slowed a tad, and it was announced that an eight-lap Wet Race would commence soon; Pit Lane would open at 16:55 LT for four minutes, and everyone was allowed two Sighting Laps just to check out the conditions…

No sooner had they completed their announcement, and the riders popped on their helmets in eager anticipation, than the heavens called out ‘NOPE!’ and the downpour surged once more. The race was delayed further, and every time it seemed the white veils were pulling away, more came to replace them. All while the wind was trying its utmost to pull all the flags off their poles. 

Pit Lane turned into Pit River.

It took until 17:25 LT for Race Two proceedings to successfully continue. Again, the riders got the chance to do two Sighting Laps, something everyone happily utilised. Respect to the ‘Ring’s drainage; the track was indeed soaked, but nowhere was it a dam.

During the second Sighter, Casadei got it all wrong, going straight when he should’ve turned and subsequently trawling through the wet gravel. He managed, somehow, to remain upright and find his way back onto the tarmac.

Riders got the full grid experience, not a Quick Restart hug-n-dash. So, at 17:42 (still LT), Race Two officially kicked off. Contrary to expectations, no massive crashes happened. Nobody violently lost grip and cannoned into the fences. 

It was glorious racing to watch.

Garzó snatched up the lead early, and by the time he crossed the finish line he was well over two seconds ahead of the rest. Another stellar victory.

Next over the line was Spinelli, who took second place. More than four seconds after Spinelli, Torres came through to claim third place after a valiant tussle with Gutierrez.

Moto3:

Before we get into the actual action, we need to talk penalties.

There were many.

For riding slow for the fourth time, the Pit Lane Start award went the way of Farioli, Bertelle, Whatley and Esteban. 

For riding slow three times and not listening, the Double Long Lap Trip award went to Buasri, Carraro, Rossi, Zurutuza and Lunetta. 

For riding slow twice with warnings given and duly ignored, Ortolá, Almansa, Yamanaka and Nepa all won a Single Long Lap adventure.

Come Sunday, Lunetta felt it was a good idea to practice going around the Long Lap Loop during his Sighting Lap, which it probably would’ve been had he kept it on the tarmac… Unfortunately, he got a little sidetracked, ending up half-a-wheel deep in the gravel, and still digging for gold. No gold there, Luca; unless someone once got his gold tooth knocked out in a crash.

He did give up his endeavour eventually, and made his way to the grid slightly dustier than he’d have wanted.

Expectations were high for Veijer, who started the race in brilliant form…

That is, until the Déjà vu virus hit him on Lap Two, sending the Dutchman sliding off into the gravel. It didn’t look like he was sliding over rough gravel, though – he was speeding off so smoothly, he seemed to be sailing over glass. Ten out of ten for elegance.

Veijer managed to remount, but spent most of the race playing sweeper.

Yamanaka’s race started with a Long Lap Penalty, and a Jump Start. This upgraded him to three Long Laps, instead of his initial one.

The overcrowded Long Lap Loop delivered much less drama than we expected. Nepa’s attempt at serving his penalty saw him almost rear-end Ortolá upon entry, and upon exit he nearly side-swiped his own teammate. 

Nobody was hurt in the taking of this Long Lap. We think.

During Lap Five, Muñoz had an out-of-seat experience, courtesy of his (bike’s) rear stepping out from underneath him. Furusato, who was right on Muñoz’s tail, was sent for a full-speed detour through the gravel by Muñoz’s tailwagging. 

Credit to Taiyo – he went so fast that his wheels didn’t have time to realise they were on gravel, and barely even lost any time on his lap.

Roulstone and Piqueras were involved in some side-swiping action of their own on lap Twelve, which saw Roulstone lifted a mile from his seat but still managing not to crash, even though his motorcycle was doing the dance of a thousand serpents below him.

Unfortunately for Jacob, his massive save was for naught, as he fell over while leaning heavily into Turn Eleven two laps later.

Dettwiler tumbled off at the fourth turn during Lap Fourteen.

Having recovered splendidly from his penalties, Lunetta crashed at the start of Lap Twenty.

Rueda’s penultimate lap started and ended with his rear wheel locking up most smokingly on approach to Turn One. He’d tried to hold on, clinging to the bars like a cable thief who’d grabbed a live wire, but had to abandon ship when he noticed the air-fence approaching at a stomach-knotting rate of knots. To add a dash of extra insult to injury, the impact of his bike into the fence caused a mini rainstorm, courtesy of the puddles accumulated from the previous evening’s downpour.

The victory went to Alonso, leaving a rather miffed Furusato in second, while Ortolá happily claimed third.

Post-race celebrations for Alonso included hopping onto the tyre wall and egging on the fans so enthusiastically, we were holding our breaths for the moment he would lose his footing and summersault off. This did not happen.

Alonso did have some trouble trying to light the fireworks; would help if you removed a glove there, David. A mere suggestion, of course.

Celebrations complete, a marshal pushed Alonso back onto the track, lost his footing, and faceplanted on live stream for the world to witness. We’re sure he’s fine. Physically, at least…

Moto2:

Look at Aldeguer caressing his motorcycle pre-race, whispering who-knows-what sweet words to it as he did so. No wonder it performed the way it did… No spoilers. Shhh.

The Middleweights delivered probably the closest race of their season thus far, though it was confirmed to be the closest top ten finish ever at the ‘Ring.

Bendsneyder retired quietly by Lap Nine, due to a technical issue.

Having ridden beautifully, set for a top ten finish, Binder had a rapid slide-off at the first corner of Lap Eleven. He sprinted to his stricken ride in order to rejoin swiftly, but, alas, the damage was done.

The Other García crashed at Turn One a lap after Darryn.

Canet went for a bit of grass-tracking during the nineteenth lap.

Two laps from the finish, Aji’s rear tyre simply cried ‘No more, bye!’ Sending him sprawling off at Turn One.

Meanwhile, at the front: A great battle raged on for third place, after Aldeguer managed to break away at the front about halfway through the race. It turned into an all-out final lap war. Glorious, mental, somehow non-catastrophic war.

As noted, Aldeguer had sprinted off with the lead, and this time he got his win, wheelieing over the line. Dixon took second place, and Ogura came out the victor in the battle for third.

Darryn completed the race, albeit last. Next time, Daz.

Aldeguer had a little more luck lighting his fireworks. He’d taken off his gloves, see?

MotoGP:

Saturday Sprint Race:

Lots of on-track action, and relatively little of it going off the track. 

It was one of the calmer Sprints of the year. Odd.

After a short scuffle for the lead, Martín managed to take it, and slowly stretch that gap out to a maximum of one second.

Raúl Fernández seemed to have discovered a secret reverse gear on his Aprilia, going backwards for most of the race.

Some Turn Thirteen off-roading saw Acosta drop right out of the action during Lap Thirteen; the youngen’s been going through a bit of a slump lately; we hope he gets through it soon.

Martín claimed the win, while a very chuffed Oliveira came through in second place, ahead of Bagnaia, who had to be content with third.

Two Track House bikes on the podium!

Binder, who seemed somewhat out of sorts early on, managed to hold out for eighth in the end.

Main Race:

Congratulations, Quartararo, our own MotoGP style icon, on your one-hundredth GP start! Could we have some of that cake, please?

Congratulations also to Bagnaia, on his two-hundredth race start across all three classes. More cake; we’ll help with eating that, so you can avoid over-indulging and thus being bloated come racetime. 

Simply looking out for our champ. Promise.

Should’ve given Keanu Reeves a Wildcard seat this weekend. Imagine the spectacle.

Moto GP Sachsenring, Germany. 2024
Keanu Reeves in awe of Brad Binder...

Viñales’ race got spicy when he ran off at Turn Eight, during the seventh lap. Somehow, he managed to keep his Aprilia upright, while successfully steering it away from an impending head-on fence-collision. 

Save of the race, we say.

By the end of Lap Nine, DiGi pulled into the pits, something clearly amiss with his bike’s rear-end.

On the twenty-second lap, Morbidelli went wide at Turn One, then tried to sweep back onto the racing line in time for Turn Two. At the same time, Márquez – the battered and bruised one – was coming through on said racing line, both riders blissfully unaware of one another until they met. Hard.

While Morbidelli merely got a fright, Marc was elevated from his seat by the shockwave, though he managed to regain control of his spooked Ducati. In the process, Marc’s bike lost half of its screen, and his airbag went off. Fun times!

Moto GP Sachsenring, Germany. 2024
Binder came in a solid 8th.

Considering the amount of pain he obviously already had to be in, the massive jolt guaranteed to override any painkillers still functional at that time.

Marc claimed, post-race, that he decided after this contact that it was time to push on. We know why: to get the darn race over with so he could get into bed sooner.

We saw them Pramac boys suppressing their grins early in the race, and we said to our screen that they shouldn’t be doing that so prematurely.

We simply hate being right in these situations.

Martín had comfortably led most of the race, and it had seemed that he had gotten the best of Bagnaia when, at the start of the penultimate lap, he very unceremoniously flopped over, skidding out of the lead not only in the race, but also the Championship…

Helmeted head in hands, Jorge paged his dad to come pick him up, he’d made a big boo-boo.

His biggest rival having essentially gifted him the lead, Bagnaia cruised to victory, snatching his first-ever GP win at Sachsenring.With that, he became the most successful Ducati rider ever in MotoGP.

Behind Pecco, the Márquez brothers were tussling for second and third. It ended up being Marc who took second, and Álex third, making them the first brothers to share the podium since the Aoki brothers way back in ’97.

All that sibling love, it warms the heart, doesn’t it? Marc even claimed he would give up a win in order to share a podium with his little brother. Awww.

Not forgetting our local boy: Binder kept his nose clean, managing to climb up to ninth. Well done.

Post-race, Pecco escaped Parc Fermé, rushing off to hand his knee-sliders to two ecstatic young fans. 

May they both grow up to be superstars on two wheels. May we grow old enough to witness it; and remember it, too.

For the MotoGP circus, Summer Break has arrived. Good thing there will be at least two weekends of WorldSBK to fill in the gap, eh?

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