Emotional Marquez grateful for support after 'important' win in Germany

By Sports Desk June 20, 2021

Marc Marquez dedicated his German Grand Prix victory to all those who had helped him during his recovery from a broken arm.

Six-time MotoGP champion Marquez sustained the injury following an accident in the opening race to the 2020 season in Jerez, before then suffering a further setback when a plate inserted into his fractured humerus became damaged.

After sitting out all of last year and then also the opening two rounds of the 2021 campaign, the Spaniard finished seventh and ninth upon his return before enduring three successive retirements, leaving him short of form and way down the list in the standings.

However, a visit to Sachsenring saw Marquez rediscover his best form as he completed an 11th successive win at the track, with this latest triumph his eighth in a row in the top category.

There were understandably emotional scenes after he crossed the finishing line as he not only ended his own personal drought but also the long wait for success for his team, Honda having not prevailed at a race since Valencia in 2019.

"It's true that it was, and still is, a hard time in my career, so this victory helps a lot," said Marquez, who appeared in tears on the track before joining in emotional celebrations with his team ahead of the presentation ceremony.

"When you are in a hard situation, when you have had three crashes in a row, it's not easy mentally or physically. But when I crossed the line I thought of all the people who had helped me be there, because in such a situation it is impossible to do it alone.

"You need the team, the doctors, the physios, the manager, your family and friends, everybody that helps you. They were helping me a lot, and have helped me a lot to come back.

"Today is a time to enjoy and say thanks to all of them, specifically Honda. The respect they gave me during all of this year was something I appreciated a lot. 

"This will be a great and important victory for me, but also for the Honda family."

Honda have won 17 of the past 23 MotoGP races at Sachsenring, with Marquez's latest victory making it 11 in succession at the venue.

Marquez moves up to 10th in the championship standings as Frenchman Fabio Quartararo leads the way, his advantage over compatriot Johann Zarco extended to 22 points thanks to securing third place in Germany.

"I knew we were going to struggle, turns six and seven we were extremely slow," Quartararo, who had started the race from sixth position after a difficult qualifying session, said in his news conference.

"On other parts of the track we were okay, but this corner where we stayed a long time on the angle we struggled a lot.

"It was quite clear with the team this morning. We said that we had good pace, but to fight for the victory looks difficult.

"The goal was trying to finish in front of the Ducati and finish on the podium, so we achieved that."

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    Francesco Bagnaia vowed to fight Fabio Quartararo all the way after giving his slim MotoGP title chances a much-needed boost with pole position for the Dutch Grand Prix.

    The Ducati rider fell 91 points behind Quartararo last week when crashing out of the German Grand Prix early on – his fourth abandonment in 10 races this season.

    But Bagnaia, who has won two of his past five Dutch GP appearances, looked in good shape on Saturday when shattering the lap record at Circuit Assen with a time of 1:31.504.

    Victory in the Netherlands on Sunday is needed if the Italian is realistically going to catch Quartararo, with four other riders separating last season's top two.

    After an intense battle on the opening lap in Sachsenring last time out, Bagnaia is aiming to come out on top in round 11 to put some pressure on his rival.

    "For sure, Fabio on this track is always so competitive. I would like to have a fight but this time until the end of the race, not just the first two laps," he said.

    "I think it's more difficult on this track to open a gap, but we have demonstrated we can be so competitive in the first laps, Fabio too."

    Bagnaia, who has claimed four poles this year, pitted after his record lap as he did not believe anyone would be capable of matching his pace.

    "That’s the reason I stopped in the box, because I said 'doing more than this is impossible'. If someone did overtake me, I would be OK with it," he said.

    "But I'm very happy for this qualifying because this morning I was struggling a lot to be consistent and competitive."

    Championship leader Quartararo once again missed out on pole, yet he has made a habit of recovering as the weekend goes on this season.

    And as he seeks a third successive victory for the first time in his MotoGP career, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider declared himself pleased with his performance in qualifying.

    "I'm happy to have made that front row with the army of Ducatis around me. It's almost impossible to make a pole position with these Ducatis," he said.

    "I was really on the limit [for my fastest lap] and on the next lap I wanted to try but I knew it was going to be a little bit worse. Today, the front row was the target."

    Pramac's Jorge Martin will start Sunday's race in third, while Jack Miller of Ducati finished sixth in qualifying but was penalised for an incident involving Maverick Vinales.

    Miller narrowly avoided colliding with Vinales and will serve a long lap penalty for the second weekend running, though the Australian felt there was nothing he could do.

    Speaking ahead of the penalty being confirmed, Miller said: "I mean, I didn't do anything wrong. I did everything I could right. I pulled over to the left.

    "I was side-saddle from push starting it. I was just trying to load my foot up and make sure that the [damaged] footpeg wasn't going to snap as I stood on it with all my weight.

    "I was already hard on the left-hand side of the track and I just looked to make sure I'm not in anyone's way and Vinales was there. There's a lot of track there. 

    "I understand the racing line and the track sort of pulls you that way, but there's not much I could do. I went to apologise because I know it's bad, but there's nothing I can do."

     

    PROVISIONAL GRID

    1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) – 1:31.504
    2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 0.116
    3. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 0.204
    4. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) +0.292
    5. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) + 0.364
    6. Jack Miller (Ducati) + 0.620
    7. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.671
    8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) + 0.768
    9. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) +0.803
    10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +0.863

  • Red Bull boss Horner fears F1 title battle could be 'decided in law courts' Red Bull boss Horner fears F1 title battle could be 'decided in law courts'

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner fears that the Formula One title fight in 2022 could be "decided in law courts" due to global inflation and the season's budget cap. 

    The 10 teams on the grid have an annual maximum spend of £119million for the 2022 season, but amid rising costs across the globe, some have pushed for an increase to be announced – including Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

    Others, such as Aston Martin, disagree, resulting in a difficult situation for F1 officials on what approach to take, but Horner has continued his push for a budget increase, warning the title battle could be decided in the courts.

    "The way you design your car is within your control. That is something that you, together with your group of designers, you create. You're in control of your own destiny," he told Sky Sports.

    "What we're seeing in the world at the moment, we're not in control of the inflationary costs that are affecting households around the world. In the UK, we're seeing predicted inflation at 11 per cent.

    "That's a direct effect on staff, on raw materials, on electricity, on commodities, on supplied parts. I think it genuinely is a force majeure situation that the FIA need to deal with.

     

    "There's probably about 50 per cent of the teams who are going to breach the cap at the end of the year if it continues the way things are. Probably even more.

    "We don't want a championship decided in law courts, or in Paris in front of the FIA. We've got six months of the year to address this, we need to act now."

    Horner also warned that failure to address the issue could result in the loss of hundreds of jobs within Formula One, while it may also lead to the budget cap being scrapped further down the line.

    "I think the top teams would have to get rid of circa two, three hundred people each, to get anywhere near addressing it. Is that right?" He added.

    "The problem is if the cost cap fails badly, it'll be gone forever.

    "We need to find a solution to this issue. Nobody could have predicted this. We lowered the cost cap by $35m during the pandemic, and nobody could have predicted the issues that we've got."

    Red Bull currently lead both championships, with Max Verstappen ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez by 46 points in the drivers' championship, while Red Bull holds a 76-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

  • Madrid launches bold quest to bring Formula One to Spanish capital Madrid launches bold quest to bring Formula One to Spanish capital

    Madrid put its Formula One ambitions in writing on Thursday as Spanish capital chiefs declared the city is ready to host future races.

    Enrique Lopez, minister of the presidency, justice and interior in Madrid, sent a letter to Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali in which he outlined the vision.

    The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has staged the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991, and the letter from Lopez did not explicitly state Madrid would seek to take over the hosting of that race.

    The Barcelona circuit has a contract that runs until 2026.

    In recent times, Valencia also staged the European Grand Prix from 2008 to 2012, while the Madrid region has not held a Formula One race since Gilles Villeneuve won in 1981 at the Circuito del Jarama.

    Lopez pointed to Madrid's strengths in his approach to Domenicali, mentioning "an outstanding economic and social development in the Spanish and European contexts".

    "I believe that holding in Madrid a motor racing event, which is one of the most exciting sporting phenomena of our time, would be a success for all the professionals, institutions and companies involved in the development of Formula 1. Of course, it would also be a satisfaction for the whole region and its citizens," Lopez wrote.

    "That is why the government of the community of Madrid has the greatest interest in making it possible.

    "In short, I would like to confirm our commitment to you and to this project, as well as our willingness to sign the appropriate agreements to promote the race and offer a great sporting and entertainment spectacle. We are ready to work with you and your team to bring Formula 1 to Madrid."

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