BERLIN (Reuters) – Honda’s Marc Marquez extended his reign as ‘King of the Sachsenring’ with an eighth successive win at the German Grand Prix that sent him back on top of the MotoGP championship standings on Sunday.
The Spaniard, who has also started eight times in a row from pole position in Germany, was pushed hard by local hero Jonas Folger who finished a stirring second for the non-works Yamaha Tech3 team.
Folger, a rookie who started fifth, became the first German to stand on the podium in his home grand prix in the MotoGP era with his first top-three finish since graduating from the Moto2 class.
Dani Pedrosa, Marquez’s team mate and compatriot, finished a distant third.
The win was triple champion Marquez’s second of the season and sent him clear at the top with 129 points, five ahead of Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, who finished fourth and is on 124 after nine races.
Italian Andrea Dovizioso, the previous leader, slipped to third on 123 points after crossing the line in eighth place. Compatriot Valentino Rossi, who finished fifth, is fourth overall on 119 points.
“It was a really fast race, the rhythm was incredible,” said Marquez. “I was pushing but he (Folger) was just following me.
“I’m really happy to go now on the summer holidays leading the championship,” added the Spaniard, who was 37 points adrift three races ago. The next race is at Brno in the Czech Republic on Aug. 6.
Marquez’s run of success at the Sachsenring, near Chemnitz, started in 2010 when he was in the 125cc category. He won in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012 before his streak of five victories in MotoGP.
He led into turn one on Sunday, with Pedrosa slotting in behind but Folger stayed in touch and moved up to third before then passing Pedrosa.
The German took the lead on lap five and stayed in front for five laps before running wide as Marquez went through and pulled away.
“I don’t know what to say really,” said Folger, who finished 3.310 behind Marquez. “I never expected this today.
“I was behind him (Marquez), trying to save the tires and suddenly I made one big mistake into turn one, I tried to recover and I burned the tire.
“But really I thought I could beat him today. I had a good rhythm but two laps before (the end) the tire gave up.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Clare Fallon)