Quartararo eyes succeeding Marquez as king of the Sachsenring

SACHSENRING (AFP): World champion Fabio Quartararo has a chance to become the first winner of the German MotoGP apart from Marc Marquez since 2013 in Sunday s race at the Sachsenring.

Spaniard Marquez is unable to defend his almost decade-long run of success after being ruled out for an undetermined amount of time following another operation earlier this month on an arm injury.

Quartararo, 23, has a 22-point advantage in the world championship over second place Aleix Espargaro after the Frenchman clinched his second victory of the season two weeks ago at the Catalonia MotoGP.

However, the Yamaha rider has never won on the German track near the Czech border, finishing third last season and failing to finish four years ago.

In Moto2 and Moto3, Quartararo never finished in the top 10.

“It s a totally different type of circuit to that of Montmelo,” Quartararo said.

“I feel in good form, and I m riding really well, so we have to achieve the best result possible.”

One of Quartararo s rivals this weekend, the penultimate stop on the calendar before the season is put on hold for a month after June 26 s Dutch Grand Prix, will be Espargaro.

Aprilia s 32-year-old was on pole in Catalonia and was leading going into the final lap but had to settle for fifth.

He has five podium finishes this season including victory in Argentina, his first at his 200th attempt.

“For the these two last races before the summer break, our objective must be to win significant points,” Espargaro said.

“This year we ve shown we can always be competitive on all tracks and all conditions, consistency will be key for the end of the season.

“I m motivated, we can do well at the Sachsenring,” he added.

– Unpopular Nakagami –

Eyes this weekend will also will be on Japan s Takaaki Nakagami who caused uproar among his fellow riders two weeks ago after causing a crash which wiped out Francesco Bagnaia and Alex Rins.

Rins suffered a wrist fracture and said LCR Honda s rider was one of MotoGP s most dangerous riders and Frenchman Johann Zarco said Nakagami had lost all his credit with other riders.

Nakagami then apologised for the incident on Instagram.

The 30-year-old is a doubt for this weekend due to a head injury but said this week he is hopeful of his chances of racing and posted an image of himself on social media on his way to Germany.

In Moto2, Italian Celestino Vietti will look to extend his advantage at the top of the championship after taking the lead following his win in Catalonia.

In Moto 3, Spaniard Sergio Garcia will also look to keep a firm grip on his top spot.