* DOTD = Data Of The Day *
All rider photos sourced from MotoGP.com
We have some good news and we have some bad news… So let’s start with the bad.
The bad news is that the German, Dutch and Finnish GPs have all been canceled. The health and safety of not only the teams and riders but also the communities is the number one priority and so with that, we continue to wait for the start of the 2020 MotoGP season.
The good news is that Grand Prix Scout is continuing to bring you insightful analysis around all your favorite circuits, riders and teams! Since we will not be seeing riders take to the infamous Sachsenring Circuit this year, we thought today would be a great day to look back at our 2019 pre-race analysis for the German GP. Specifically, our thoughts on Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales who entered the race weekend on a high note as they had both just locked down a podium finish at the Dutch Grand Prix.
To refresh your memory, the 2019 German GP ended with Marc Marquez crossing the checkered line a solid 4.5 seconds ahead of Maverick Vinales and 7.7 seconds ahead of fellow Honda rider, Cal Crutchlow who rounded out the podium. Marquez had fought hard for a pole position prior to race day and maintained a P1 position from start to finish. Vinales started from P3 and endured a handful of lap-to-lap battles with Crutchlow and Rins but ultimately came out on top with a 2nd place podium finish.
The pre-race analysis released by the Grand Prix Scout team identified a handful of very specific factors that could make or break both Marquez’s and Vinales’s podium finishes at the Sachsenring Circuit. Looking back, we are happy to confirm that our insight was spot on and our indexes provided a crystal ball into the German race weekend…
Below we have provided the analysis we released around each rider prior to the German Grand Prix. Enjoy!
They Delivered At Assen
Can They Maintain Their Momentum In Germany?
Pumped up and ready for a comeback, Maverick VInales gave us a beautiful performance at the Dutch Grand Prix. Currently carrying the weight of the team on his shoulders (pssst Rossi where you at??), Maverick will need to replicate and round out the performance we saw from him last year in Germany. In 2018, Maverick landed the third podium position just 0.58 seconds behind his teammate, Valentino Rossi and 2.776 seconds behind the race winner, Marc Marquez. So when I say “round out” his performance, what exactly am I referring to?
Last year, Vinales owned T2 and T3. He held the strongest Speed Index in both sectors as well as the strongest Consistency Index in T2 and second strongest in T3. If the Yamaha rider can focus on matching his historical performance in T2 / T3 with T4, he will ultimately hold the upper hand against his opponents. Sector 4 is identified as the longest and most technical sector by our unique sector ranking index. Maintaining his momentum from sector 2 through sector 4 would allow Vinales to gain more ground on his competitors regardless of his position.
One last fun fact: Vinales holds a strong Prey Index at Sachsenring, meaning that in the past he has been successful in defending his lines and position. A strong start off the grid may just place Vinales in a promising podium position.
Can’t stop, won’t stop. Marquez is at it again with 7 podium finishes within the first 8 races of the season. The energy is high as the Repsol Honda team heads to Germany where they have been undefeated SIX yeares in a row. Yes, you heard me right. The young Spanish rider has taken every single pole and win at Sachsenring since 2013. I sure wouldn’t want to be in the same ring as Marc this weekend…
With a comfortable 44 point lead over Andrea Dovizioso, Marquez is slowly taking off in the Championship rankings. So what is it exactly that Marc brings to the circuit in Germany that allows him to, well, dominate?
I will tell you one thing, it is rarely his start off the grid. With the exception of 2017, Marquez has never maintained P1 from the grid through the first lap. In fact, his average position recorded for the first lap off the grid is P4. So his Prey Index is not so hot… maybe that explains his unmatched Predator Index. He often gets caught by his opponents but has an ability to study each competitor and ovetake at opportune times. Fun fact: his average lead over the finish line for the past six years is a 3.43 second gap.
Marc Marquez holds the strongest Speed Index at the Sachsenring Circuit (by far) and surely hasn’t been slacking on consistency. Marc and the team want all the points they can get, but if he pushes too hard to defend his title, we may see a similar race to that in Austin this past spring… Know your strengths and weaknesses but more importantly, know your opponent’s. In these situations, it is important to remember that a personal best is not the goal, but instead a strategic race to highlight your strengths in areas that others struggle.