(Reuters) – MotoGP champion Marc Marquez kept his crown as ‘King of the Ring’ with a 10th successive German Grand Prix victory, across all classes, on Sunday to stretch his overall lead to 58 points.
The Honda rider, who also started on pole position at the Sachsenring for the 10th year in a row, completed his decade of dominance by taking the chequered flag 4.587 seconds clear of works Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow, on an LCR Honda, was third behind the two Spaniards despite suffering a fractured tibia earlier in the week.
Marquez has 185 points after nine of 19 races with Italian Andrea Dovizioso his closest rival on 127 after finishing fifth for Ducati.
The Spaniard, in a league of his own, said the strategy was perfect.
“It was not the best start but then in the first corner I braked so late,” he said.
“Then just my plan was, two laps slow to warm well the front tyre especially, and then push. And it’s exactly what I did, everything was in the plan. And then step by step I opened the gap and when it was three seconds I stayed there.
“In the end I was just riding, enjoying, thinking about my brother (Alex, winner of the Moto2 race).”
Marquez celebrated with fans trackside after taking the chequered flag before completing his lap back to the pits towing a party balloon in the shape of the number 10 on a string over his shoulder.
Marquez’s run of wins at the eastern German circuit near Chemnitz started in 2010 when he was competing in the 125cc category (now Moto3). He won in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012 and is on a sequence of seven in MotoGP.
French rookie Fabio Quartararo made the best start from second on the grid on the Petronas Yamaha but was swamped by others into the first corner, with Marquez then leading away comfortably.
Quartararo was the first faller, skidding out with 29 laps remaining when his bike went from under him.
Spaniard Alex Rins moved into second place for Suzuki but he also crashed out 12 laps from the end, with Vinales and Crutchlow then battling for the runner-up slot until the Briton eased off towards the finish.
“A couple of laps to go I had a big moment on the rear tyre and I thought Maverick can have it, he’s riding well and I was happy for him to have the second place and me take the podium today,” said Crutchlow.
Danilo Petrucci was fourth for Ducati after battling with team mate Dovizioso, while Italian great Valentino Rossi finished eighth for Yamaha.
German rider Stefan Bradl, replacing Marquez’s injured team mate Jorge Lorenzo, finished in the points in 10th place.
MotoGP now starts its four-week summer break before regrouping in Brno for the Czech Grand Prix on Aug. 4.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Clare Fallon)