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Winner Marc Marquez expected stronger Ducati threat in German GP

MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez says he expected a sterner challenge from the works Ducatis in the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring

Marquez started the German Grand Prix from pole but gave up the lead to Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo off the line, with Lorenzo remaining out front for the next 12 laps.

Lorenzo was ultimately passed by Marquez and soon began to fade, while team-mate Andrea Dovizioso's expected challenge never materialised, with Yamaha pair Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales completing the podium behind Marquez instead.

Asked whether the fight for victory played out as he expected, Marquez said: "Maybe the two guys that I missed after the practice, [which] for me was good news, was the two Ducatis.

"I saw Lorenzo was pushing a lot in the beginning, then I see immediately that he started to drop a lot.

"I say, 'OK, now is time to overtake'. It's so difficult to overtake Ducati riders but I was able to and then I just tried to keep pushing.

"And the other guy, Dovizioso - in race pace, warm-up, in FP4 - was very fast, but then looks like he dropped a lot of the pace in the race."

Lorenzo, who had to settle for sixth, said his loss of pace in the race was not down to returning stamina issues, but rather a consequence of having to use the medium rear tyre.

"The problem was the medium [rear tyre] was the only choice we had," he said.

"I tried to be so smooth on the throttle from lap one, but even like that, from the middle of the race to the end, it was impossible to have normal acceleration, even if I was smooth on the pick-up area.

"The rear of the bike was shaking with no traction. This was the main problem, not my physical condition."

Seventh-placed Dovizioso admitted that he was expecting a better outcome, but stressed tyre drop-off had made it difficult to make accurate predictions.

"I expected more," he said. "But [at the] Sachsenring [it] is impossible to know before the race what you can do.

Dovizioso was buoyed by the improvement Ducati made at a difficult track for it, but was disappointed to finish as its fourth-best representative, behind Lorenzo, fourth-placed Danilo Petrucci and Alvaro Bautista in fifth.

"The reality is we are much faster than last year, this is the positive, during the practice and at the end of the race, so this is the reality," he said.

"I am so happy about that. But our bike is a bit better, but with the same DNA. In the fast corners, we can't accelerate and we can't make the same speed as Honda and Yamaha, like always.

"This is the reason why in the races we're struggling more and we have more drop off on the rear tyre.

"Where I'm not happy is [that] I was the fourth Ducati. So it means there was the chance to make something better, this is the negative point."

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