The strength of the BMW M4 Coupé is evident in every detail.
Sachsenring, Germany – Honda's Marc Marquez slashed through the field after a chaotic start to take his ninth consecutive win of 2014, the first rider to do so since Giacomo Agostini took the first 10 races of the 1970 season, with Dani Pedrosa on the second factory Honda and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) making up an all-Spanish podium.
South African rider Brad Binder (Mahindra) took the short walk to glory for the first time at a Grand Prix when he finished second in the Moto3 race to KTM rider Jack Miller by a heart-breaking 0.18sec, having set a new lap record for the class on lap eight.
Shortly before the start it began raining and the race was declared wet but by the time the riders went out for the warm-up lap the rain had stopped and the circuit was rapidly drying. Fourteen of the 23 riders – including all four of the top riders - elected to change to slicks after the warm-up lap, which meant they had to start from pit lane.
Local hero Stefan Bradl, who’d thrilled his home fans by putting his privateer Honda on the front row of the grid, less than half a second slower than Marquez’ new qualifying record of 1m20.937s, had also opted for wets, but had elected to swop to slicks on the grid before the warm-up lap.
That left him alone on the front row for the start and he duly led, until Marquez, who was 10th at the end of lap one, swept by on lap six to take a lead he was never to relinquish.
Bradl’s machine, sadly, was still set up for wet conditions and he dropped back as the race progressed to finish 16th.
After that normal service was resumed as the world champion – unbeaten thus far since winning the title – and his works Honda team-mate broke away eventually finishing 1.5 seconds apart, with Yamaha Factory team-mates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi third and fourth, nine and 18 seconds down respectively. The top five was completed by impressive privateer Andrea Iannone as the top Ducati rider.
Brothers Aleix (Forward Yamaha) and Pol Espargaro (Yamaha Tech3) were sixth and seventh respectively, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Alvaro Bautista (Honda) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) rounding out the top 10.
A bruising weekend for Bradley Smith on the second Yamaha Tech3) ended with a 19th place finish after an early crash - his fifth of the weekend!
Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter (Suter), got the better of Mika Kallio (KTM) on the last lap to claim his first Moto2 win in his 129th Grand Prix start.
Aegerter started from pole, but was soon blitzed by Kallio, who led most of the race until a determined charge that saw the lead change at least once in each of the final four laps brought Aegerter home just 0.091sec ahead when it counted.
Simone Corsi took third by 0.152sec from fellow Kalex rider Esteve Rabat. Maverick Viñales on another Kalex was in the podium hunt, but eventually came home just behind Corsi and Rabat in fifth.
The top10 was completed by Franco Morbidelli (Kalex), Randy Krummenacher (Suter), Mattia Pasini (Kalex), Thomas Luthi (Suter) and Xavier Simeon (Suter).
Caterham lead rider Johann Zarco crashed out in dramatic fashion on lap 15, leaving his bike in flames at the side of the circuit, while veteran Alex de Angelis tumbled out of 10th just seven laps from the end, with the marshals scrambling to get his Suter safely off the circuit.
The race result saw Kallio close to within 19 points of Rabat at the head of the standings.
An incident packed start saw Alex Rins (Honda) go down early on lap one, followed within the first two minutes by Livio Loi (KTM) Gabriel Rodrigo (Husqvarna), Enea Bastianini (KTM), Scott Deroue (Kalex KTM), and Binder’s Mahindra team-mate Bryan Schouten.
At the front a group of five riders stayed out of trouble with Miller and Binder fending off the attentions of Alexis Masbou (Honda), Marc Marquez’ younger brother Alex (Honda) and Danny Kent (Husqvarna).
Miller’s win extended his championship lead to 19 points, as lightweight-class veteran Masbou was third for only the second podium of his decade-long career. A mistake by Marquez late in the race cost him a podium finish, while much improved showing from Kent took him to fifth.
Honda team-mates Efren Vazquez and John McPhee were sixth and seventh, with Isaac Viñales (KTM), Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra) and Juanfran Guevara (Kalex KTM) completed the top 10.