BERLIN (Reuters) - Honda’s MotoGP champion Marc Marquez triumphed for the ninth year in a row in Germany on Sunday to stretch his lead over Italian great Valentino Rossi to 46 points ahead of the European summer break.
Rossi finished second, 2.196 seconds behind, with Spanish Yamaha team mate Maverick Vinales third at the Sachsenring circuit.
Marquez led from pole position, also his ninth in a row in Germany, but fell behind fast-starting compatriot Jorge Lorenzo before retaking the lead from the Ducati rider with 18 laps remaining and pulling away.
Lorenzo was also reeled in by Rossi before struggling for grip and fading to sixth.
“It was quite tough, especially in the beginning because the start was not perfect,” Marquez said. “I lost two positions and then to overtake Ducati riders is quite difficult.
“Nine victories in a row here is incredible. Liebe dich (I love you) Sachsenring.”
Rossi said he had made no mistakes but Vinales was not happy with his afternoon, with the Yamaha still not handling to his liking.
“It’s always the same problem on the electronics on the exit of the corner,” he said. “It’s impossible to battle the Ducatis, I lost seven or eight laps fighting with them while I could be a second faster,” he said.
Marquez’s run of wins at the eastern circuit started in 2010 when he was in the 125cc category (now Moto3). He then won in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012 and is on a sequence of six in MotoGP.
Sunday’s could be the last German grand prix at the Sachsenring, however, with speculation that the race could switch to the Nuerburgring due to contractual issues.
The Spaniard has 165 points after nine races to Rossi’s 119.
The next race is at Brno in the Czech Republic on Aug. 5.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond