German MotoGP: Francesco Bagnaia wins, takes over riders’ championship lead

The double world champion wins the German MotoGP after Jorge Martin crashes from the lead with two laps remaining.

Motorcycle riders on podium.
Second-placed Gresini Racing MotoGP's Spanish rider Marc Marquez, winner Ducati Lenovo Team's Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia, and third-placed Gresini Racing MotoGP's Spanish rider Alex Marquez celebrate on the podium after the German Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sachsenring racetrack in Hohenstein-Ernsttha, Germany, on July 7, 2024 [Radek Mica/AFP]

Francesco Bagnaia has capitalised on Jorge Martin’s late motorcycle crash to win the German MotoGP and take control of the world championship.

Martin appeared to have the race wrapped up on Sunday, but made a mistake and fell at turn one on the penultimate lap to hand the win to the double world champion.

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Marc Marquez, who will be Bagnaia’s Ducati teammate next season, took second, with Alex Marquez, his younger brother, completing the podium.

Martin’s dramatic departure from the Sachsenring stage gifted not only the race victory to Bagnaia, but also the riders’ standings.

Bagnaia heads into MotoGP’s summer break 10 points clear of Martin.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Bagnaia.

“I saw Jorge was starting to make some mistakes, then when he had his crash I just slowed down a lot. [I’m] very happy. It’s the first time I win here in Sachensring.”

Rider pulls wheelie on bike.
Ducati Lenovo Team’s Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia celebrates on his motorbike after winning the German Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, Germany, on July 7, 2024 [Radek Mica/AFP]

Marc Marquez is an eight-time winner on this circuit, but the six-time former world champion has not won a race since October 2021.

“I promise you I would trade a victory to be on the podium with my brother. It’s an amazing feeling.”

The day had been going perfectly for Martin, who won Saturday’s sprint race to hold a 15-point cushion at the top of the standings.

The pole-sitter held off Miguel Oliveira at the start, with Bagnaia moving up into second by the end of lap one.

“Pecco” then hunted down and went past his prey, Martin, on the following lap, but was unable to pull away in his Ducati, leaving Martin back in control of the race with 23 laps to go.

The Spaniard, on Ducati’s satellite Pramac bike, did what Bagnaia was unable to do – put daylight between the pair.

With a third of the 30-lap contest remaining, Martin was over half a second clear of his Pramac teammate Franco Morbidelli, with Bagnaia relegated to third – but only briefly, as the double world champion nipped past Morbidelli with Martin now almost a second away up the road.

Bagnaia bided his time, and his patience paid off in the most cruel way for Martin, who slithered out of the race and off the top of the standings with an error under pressure.

Rider drops bike on track.
Prima Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin reacts after he crashes out of the German MotoGP race with two laps remaining [Matthias Rietschel/Reuters]
Rider reacts to dropping the bike during the race.
Martin’s crash allowed Francesco Bagnaia to win the German MotoGP and take over the riders’ championship lead before the summer break [Matthias Rietschel/Reuters]
Source: News Agencies