Marc Marquez's story at the Sachsenring began in 2010 when he won his first race on the German track in the 125. And he’s never stopped since. Two wins in the Moto2, then an impressive 8 MotoGP victories in row, the last one was last year, despite his arm and shoulder injuries. But, this time, Marquez won’t be racing, and the throne will be empty.
There’s a long line of riders just dying to sit on that throne and return home Sunday night with 25 more points in the rankings, starting with Fabio Quartararo. After his victory in Barcelona and the troubles his opponents experienced, he began to climb up in the rankings and would like to continue doing so. The French rider is also the one who has achieved the best results at the Sachsenring in the past and can boast a MotoGP podium last year. A third place, not much, but it still shows that the M1 can also be assertive on the German toboggan.
Ducati has always struggled to gain confidence on a narrow and winding track, where agility and not horsepower counts a lot. If you flip through the annals, you’ll find Dovizioso's 3rd place in 2016 and not much else. Although Bagnaia started 10th and came in 5th last year, not far from the last of those precious steps. The GP22 has also improved in agility, and this could make them hope for the best.
Actually, it’s an obligation because Pecco and Bastianini are coming from a missed strike after Catalonia (the first hit by Nakagami the latter fell because of him). Their position in the standings is becoming difficult, with Gresini's rider 53 points behind Fabio and the official team’s rider 66. They’ll both need to recover quickly if they don’t want the white flag raised before its time.
Aleix Espargarò is in an entirely different position. Aprilia's Spanish rider in Barcelona threw away important points (the early celebration cost him the podium), but the gap from Quartararo is still isn’t bad: 22 points. Less than a race.
Aleix never shined bright in Germany either, but this doesn’t matter much because the rider from Spain on the RS-GP in its 2022 version has continuously reversed the predictions in this first part of the season. He’s in great shape, as is his bike, and there seems to be nothing impossible for him.
When it comes to weather, it shouldn’t be a problem, and summer temperatures are expected, which is unusual for Saxony.
Friday’s the first day, and the only thing certain is that after 8 years there will be a different rider than Marc Marquez on the top step of the podium on Sunday.