Marc Marquez claimed his first race win since returning from injury as he ended Honda's MotoGP™ drought with a dazzling ride at the German Grand Prix.
A six-time world champion who missed nearly all of the 2020 season – as well as the start of this year's campaign – due to a broken right arm, Marquez had failed to finish in his three previous races, a career first.
However, the Spaniard clearly felt right at home around a Sachsenring track where he had won his previous 10 outings, including seven in a row in the top category between 2013 and 2019.
Further success on German soil appeared a tall order considering both his form and also his starting position following qualifying, yet Marquez burst off the line to go from fifth to second in a flash and was out in front by the end of lap one.
It was a lead he retained for the remainder of the race to become just the second rider ever to take eight consecutive premier class wins at the same circuit.
Instead it was Miguel Oliveira – winner of the Catalan Grand Prix last time out – who headed the chasing pack, the Portuguese getting inside a second of the frontrunner at one stage, but Marquez remained calm under pressure and was even able to pull away in the closing laps.
His victory means Honda have now won 17 of the 23 MotoGP races at the venue, though this is the first triumph for the manufacturer since the 2019 Valencia Grand Prix, a barren run of 21 outings – the worst in their history – that is finally over.
Emotions were understandably high at the result. There were tears on the track and in the garage, while Marquez dropped to his knees after dismounting his bike and looked skywards appearing to offer a prayer.
As for the championship standings, leader Fabio Quartararo extended his lead thanks to a third-place finish. The Frenchman is now 22 points clear of compatriot Zarco, while Jack Miller sits a further nine back in third place.
- Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
- Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +1.610s
- Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) +6.772s
- Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +7.922s
- Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) +8.591s
- Jack Miller (Ducati) +9.086s
- Aleix Espargaro (Reale Avintia Racing) +9.371s
- Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +11.439s
- Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) + 11.625s
- Pol Espargaro (Respol Honda) +14.769s
- Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 131
- Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 109
- Jack Miller (Ducati) 100
- Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 99
- Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) 85
- Monster Energy Yamaha 206
- Ducati 199
- Pramac Racing 136
- Red Bull KTM 130
- Suzuki Ecstar 113
There is little time to rest and recover as the European tour continues with a trip to Assen for the Dutch TT, which takes place next Sunday.