It was a slow start from Honda’s Marc Marquez in the 2018 MotoGP German Grand Prix at Sachsenring, but the Spaniard picked it up later on especially when Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi came charging at him.

The Honda rider slipped to third in the opening lap when Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo took the German GP lead from Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci. Marquez came under pressure from Rossi but fended it off for the time being.

He then cleared Petrucci on Lap 4 to take second and was already back on lead on Lap 12 after overtaking Lorenzo as well. Behind, Rossi also took on Petrucci soon, followed by Lorenzo to be in second on Lap 15.

It was an alarm call for Marquez to push as the reigning champion started to increase the laptimes to create distance from Rossi. In the end, he could ease off with Rossi not able to pose any threat to take his sixth straight MotoGP win at Sachsenring.

He now has a 46 points advantage over Rossi heading into the summer break. Marquez though admitted that seeing Rossi, it was the message for him to push on, adding that the riders were better prepared this time since it was dry all-through the weekend.

“Today was an incredible victory,” he said. “You can say ‘oh another victory at Sachsenring’ but it’s not another victory; every year I have more pressure, every year it’s more difficult – especially this year, we had the whole weekend in dry conditions.

“So everybody could set-up their bike and their riding style in the correct way [for the race]. Already in the warm-up, I practiced and I tried to find the feeling [on the bike] to try and save the tyres.

“Also, to see how was the laptime and I was pushing to see what laptime I could do [at different stages]. I was just trying to save the rear tyre in the beginning of the race and then tried to keep in 1m21s high and 1m22s low.

“But then I saw Valentino was coming quite fast and then I said [to myself], ‘it is now time to use all the potential from the tyres’ – we will see [what happens] at the end of the race. But I did the fastest lap on Lap 22, that is amazing.

“Especially, because the tyre normally drop quite a lot [here]. When I opened up a two seconds gap, I managed it [in the end] when I saw he dropped quite a lot of pace [as well]. So, I am happy to take 25 points to go in the summer break with a good victory.”

While the Yamaha riders Rossi and Maverick Vinales were on his tail, the Spaniard was surprised with both the Ducatis of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso not up there in the fight, especially the latter after the consistent pace shown during the practice.