Marc Marquez hasn’t been beaten at the Sachsenring since 2009 in the 125cc category, kicking off a ten-race winning streak – that includes all seven of his German MotoGP class appearances – the following year.
The run would have ended last season when the Repsol Honda rider was sidelined with a broken arm, but Sachsenring was dropped from the shortened Covid calendar.
The Spaniard returns to Germany this weekend with a best finish of seventh from his five races this season, crashing out in the last three events while battling rear grip problems with his RCV and a continued lack of strength in his right arm and shoulder.
Throw in Honda’s longest premier-class losing streak since 1982 and it looks a long shot for Marquez to extend his victory run on Sunday.
Nonetheless, the anticlockwise circuit will play into the eight-time world champion hands, or rather shoulder, since he struggles far less in the left-hand corners that dominate the Sachsenring layout.
The improvement in Marquez’s physical condition was also underlined by a massive 87 laps at the Catalunya test, compared with just 7 laps a month earlier at the Jerez Test.
“After the test day in Barcelona, the week between races went very well to recover. In this test we worked a lot and now we come to the Sachsenring where I have always enjoyed riding in the past,” Marquez said.
“This year of course we arrive in a different position, but hopefully the layout should allow us to be more competitive from the physical side. Let’s see what the weekend brings.”
Monday’s post-race test was an important for new team-mate Pol Espargaro, as he also worked to improve rear grip, finishing with the sixth fastest lap time.
“We arrive here in Germany after a good day of testing in Spain. It has been a hard few races so it is important to keep our focus and do what we can this weekend,” said Espargaro, a best of eighth place so far this season.
“The Honda has been strong here in the past and with what we found in the test I hope that we can make some steps forward. Everything in MotoGP is so close so even a small improvement will help a lot, especially on Saturdays.
“We now have two races before the summer break, we want to head into the break on a positive.”
Espargaro is currently twelfth in the world championship, but just two points behind the lead Honda of Takaaki Nakagami, with Marc Marquez in 18th place and 99-points behind title leader Fabio Quartararo.