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Get ready to go shopping because Amazon Prime Day is finally here!
If you live for online shopping, you live for this day. Some call it Black Friday/Cyber Monday in July (it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “Christmas in July” does it?). All we know is you’re about to save a bundle on so many things you need. And a lot of stuff you just want. So go ahead, treat yourself; get shopping. But first, you’re going to want an Amazon Prime membership.
The WiseGuide team is here to help you navigate the e-commerce marketplace. We write about interesting or exciting products available online. Each item is selected or approved by our editorial department. We may earn affiliate commission if you make purchases through our links. Follow WiseGuide on Twitter @WiseGuide_.
Well, it’s finally here, and we MOrons have found some deals for Amazon Prime Day. We’ve collected some deals that we think our Canadian readers would be interested in. For our American readers, be sure to check out our separate list for Amazon Prime deals for the U.S.
Remember, these deals are exclusively for Amazon Prime members. If you’re not already a member, you can sign up for Prime at the link below.
Remember, Amazon Prime Day deals will only be around for 36 hours, starting July 16 at 3pm EST (noon PST) until July 18 at 3am (midnight PST).
GoPro Hero5 Session Bundle
Start time: Now Percentage discount: 39%
Action cameras are becoming increasingly popular with motorcyclists who want to record their rides. Whether you’re thinking about starting a motorcycle vlog or just want to chronicle a road trip, this GoPro HERO5 Session bundle will help get you started.
SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSDXC
Start time: Now Percentage discount: 32%
If you are planning on recording a lot of video, you’re also going to need some additional storage. Most action cameras today accept cards up to 128GB in capacity, so a 32% deal on the SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSDXC might be what you need.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer
Start time: July 17 at 3pm EST (noon PST) Percentage discount: 36%
We’re hearing more and more these days about additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it is commonly known. Manufacturers such as BMW have started experimenting with printing motorcycle components, but anyone with the right knowhow can produce their own custom items. This mini 3D printer from Monoprice is a good way to get started.
Tile Bluetooth Tracking Device
Start time: July 17 at 3am EST (midnight PST) Percentage discount: 36%
Tile’s Bluetooth tracking devices are handy for people who often lose items like keys, but they can also be useful for recovering stolen items as one MV Agusta owner discovered. The devices are small and easy to hide under a motorcycle seat. If an item goes missing, Tile’s “Notify when found” feature is activated, any Tile user in the area will automatically ping the location.
DeWalt Wet-Dry vacuum
Start time: Now Percentage discount: 30%
Keep your work area tidy with this wet-dry vacuum from DeWalt. The vacuum can suck up to 2 gallons of detritus and is equipped with a HEPA-rated filter. If you have a DeWalt battery, the vacuum can also run cordlessly.
Start time: July 17 at 3pm EST (noon PST) Percentage discount: 45%
This 375 lumen flashlight from Coast is a useful tool when camping or checking a map on a late night ride. The light is waterproof, crush proof and drop proof, making it durable enough for most situations you’ll find yourself in.
Anker PowerCore+ 26800mAh External Battery
Start time: Now Percentage discount: 33%
The necessity of an external battery really can’t be understated. Since we all rely on bits of technology for our daily lives, it seems like a no brainer to have an external battery at home on the ready for the impromptu moto-trip, camping, or simply day rides to be sure you can film your entire sick canyon blast with your GoPro. The Anker PowerCore+ 26800 charger can charge most phones more than six times. Several of us MOrons own and use Anker Powercores and have never had any issues.
Sonos One Alexa-enabled Smart Speaker
Start time: Now Percentage discount: 17%
When it comes to smart speakers, people are familiar with Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home devices, but other manufacturers are getting in on the market as well. The Sonos One speaker has Amazon Alexa built in, plus the audio technology the company is known for.
With more savings than Boxing Day, you’ll definitely want to subscribe today to take advantage of these top 15 best Prime Day deals.
What is Amazon Prime Day? It’s a global shopping day created by the online retailer to reward its Prime members for their loyalty. Even with 36 hours to shop these deals, you’ll want to log on now. The savings started today at 3 p.m. and quantities can be limited.
Well, it’s finally here, and we MOrons have found some deals that we think our US readers would be interested in. Remember, these deals are for Amazon Prime members only. If you’re not already a member, you can sign up for Prime at the link below.
You’ve heard about how smart speakers are appearing in homes all over the country, and now’s your chance to bring Alexa into your home for 30% off! With your Prime membership you have access to Amazon’s Prime Music service. Take your first step towards a smart home here.
Use your Amazon Prime membership to buy the Amazon Echo here.
Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun
Start time: 5:10 pm Eastern
Curious how the heat may be affecting your trackdays? The Etekcity Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun will allow for quick track temperature checks as well as allowing you to check your tire’s temperatures throughout the day to gauge the effect temps are having on your tire’s performance.
Use your Amazon Prime membership to buy the Etekcity Lasergrip here.
Tranya Sports Wireless Earbuds: Bluetooth 5.0 Deep Bass True Wireless Headphones
Start time: 3:10 pm Eastern
The Tranya Sports Wireless Earbuds could be a great solution for those looking for a wireless option to listen to music while riding. Maybe you don’t like the idea of clamping a communicator on the outside of your helmet or you just simply want to listen to music without all the other features found in many Bluetooth communicators. Another cool feature of the Tranya earbuds is that they turn themselves on and connect to your phone as soon as they are pulled out of their case.
Use your Amazon Prime membership to buy the Tranya Sports Wireless Earbuds here.
The necessity of an external battery really can’t be understated. Since we all rely on bits of technology for our daily lives, it seems like a no-brainer to have an external battery at home on the ready for the impromptu moto-trip, camping, or simply day rides to be sure you can film your entire sick canyon blast with your GoPro. The Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger can charge most phones more than six times. Several of us MOrons own and use Anker Powercores and have never had any issues.
Use your Amazon Prime membership to buy the Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger here.
DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men
Start time: 4:05 pm Eastern
If you have eyes, you need the Duco Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses. Whether it be short jaunts in the canyon or multi-day rides, using sunglasses in your helmet gives you a few more options than a tinted face shield. For longer rides we prefer sunglasses and a clear visor so we don’t have to bring a spare. Simply pull the sunglasses off once dusk arrives and stow and you’re ready to go. Polarized, well that’s just an added luxury that you deserve.
Use your Amazon Prime membership to buy the DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses here.
Anker [Rechargeable] Bolder LC40 Flashlight, LED Torch, Super Bright 400 Lumens CREE LED
Start time: 3:30 pm Eastern
Carrying a good flashlight when on long rides is simply a smart idea. They can be indispensable when you find yourself with an issue on the side of the road. Not to mention, if you’re camping or just arriving late to your destination, they can be infinitely useful around camp and when unpacking your ride. Plus, with the Anker Bolder LC40, you can recharge via micro-USB which means you can use the Anker Powercore to recharge this bad boy when you’re out in the bush.
Use your Amazon Prime membership to buy the Anker Bolder LC40 Flashlight here.
Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote + Echo Dot
Start time: Now
The days of cable companies encroaching on your ride time are now over. By simply inserting the Amazon Fire TV Stick into your HDMI port and connecting to your wifi, you are now the cable installer, allowing you to free up time for riding wrenching, etc. Not to mention the integrated Alexa voice activation will make you feel like a motorcycling Tony Stark. Get em while they’re hot (and 50% off)!
Use your Amazon Prime membership to buy the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote + Echo Dot here.
ThiEYE T5 Edge 4K Action Camera
Start time: 3:10 pm EST
There’s more than one option when it comes to action cameras, and the ThiEYE T5 Edge 4K Action Camera is one of them. With 4K capability, the T5 records 4K 30fps, 2.7K 30fps, 1080P 60/ 30fps, 720P 120/ 60/ 30fps video and 14MP photos using a 170° super wide-angle 7G lens, which makes this sport camera the perfect partner to capture super smooth footage for you. Don’t miss a chance to capture your next ride – get the ThiEYE T5 camera here.
LEXIN Motorcycle Communication System
Start time: 3:35 pm EST
If you like riding with your buddies, then a motorcycle communication system is imperative. The Lexin LX-B2, B4, and T2 helmet communication systems are designed to work with several different kinds of helmets. They provides hands-free, Bluetooth communication to connect with other riders or your Bluetooth-enabled devices. Depending on the system, they work well at speeds up to, and over, 80 mph. If you’ve been on the fence about communicators,..
Say what you will about Chinese motorcycles; in most cases the MO team would probably agree with you. When your core market is the Asian continent simply looking for cheap transportation, as a manufacturer you stamp out cheap motorcycles by the truckful to meet the demand. Transport nearly any of those motorcycles to the U.S. – where the expectations are entirely different from the Asian market – and we’re going to be severely let down. Moral of the story: a cheap bike is a cheap bike.
The mistake, however, is assuming every Chinese motorcycle is junk. Enter the Benelli TnT300 and its bigger sibling, the TnT600. Benelli is likely a name most moto junkies are familiar with, as the Italian marque has a storied history dating back to 1911. Today, Benelli is under Chinese ownership from the Qianjian Group, with design still taking place in Italy and production occurring in China.
The TnT300 (right) and TnT600 proudly wear the “Made in China” badge.
SSR Motorsports, importer of Benelli Motorcycles and its own self-labled motorcycles (which have their own contingent of knock-offs in other markets), has been bringing motorcycles into the United States since 2002. Dirtbikes were the original offerings, but the company is expanding its portfolio with street motorcycles. Motorcycle.com has reviewed several of these models already, including the TnT300 and TnT600, but during a recent press ride, SSR/Benelli wanted to remind folks what each model was all about.
A word Michael Lee, Benelli’s marketing manager likes to use is “outlier.” As in, Benelli (and SSR by extension) are placing themselves as outliers in the respective markets its models compete in. In the case of the TnT300, the 282cc parallel-Twin distances itself from the small displacement competition in a few ways.
First off, it’s the only model in the class with a 360-degree firing order, meaning one cylinder fires after each complete revolution of the crank. The result is a cool, raspy exhaust note unlike anything else in class. Its claimed 32.2 hp (we haven’t had a chance to put one on our own dyno) and 18.4 lb-ft. puts it near the top when compared to similarly-sized competitors in class like the Honda CB300R and BMW G310R, but when stacked against slightly larger motorcycles like the 373cc KTM 390 Duke, it feels a little outgunned.
The most significant way the TnT300 stands out, however, is its $3,999 price tag. Less expensive than all the models listed above and others like the Suzuki GW 250 ($4,099), GSX250R ($4,499), and Honda Rebel 300 ($4,449), the TnT300 looks even more attractive now that Benelli is offering a $300 rebate on top of its class-leading price.
The TnT300 is a surprisingly fun motorcycle to toss around in corners. An upgrade in rubber would go a long way in upping the fun factor. Though you can’t argue with the name “Cordial” on the sidewall.
Short of repeating everything John Burns spouted when he reviewed the TnT300, I’ll go ahead and point out some of its high and low points. The first thing you notice about the 300 is it’s a physically larger motorcycle than its competition. Lee tells us this is because the 300 is intended for larger physiques, but in the case of the 300, it fits regular-sized adults very well whereas the other models in this class can be considered toy-like for anyone over 5-foot-7.
Springing the switchblade key open (a gimmicky-yet-cool feature) and bringing the 300 to life exposes the rider to the surprisingly raspy exhaust note. The clutch pull is a little stiffer than a lot of other bikes in the class, but it scoots along surprisingly well for such a little engine – just be sure to keep the revs between 6,000 and its 11,000 rpm redline. You’ll want to do this anyway as the baby TnT sounds really good wound out like this, even with the stock exhaust.
Despite the huge under engine collector necessary for EPA reasons, the TnT300 still has an intoxicating exhaust note. Something as simple as a slip-on exhaust would make it sound even better. Note also the twin, 296mm wave rotors up front. While they look cool, stopping power is decent at best.
Steel-braided brake lines and four-piston calipers are a nice touch, but the twin 296mm wave rotors are a tad small and get overworked when you really start pushing the bike. On the handling front, an inverted fork is a plus for this price and having rebound adjustability at both ends is also a surprise. Nicely spaced bars give decent leverage, but the bias-ply Cordial tires (yes, the tire name is Cordial) aren’t the most communicative.
As a general commuting machine, however, the TnT300 is quite impressive. Ergonomics feel comfortable, and the little bikini fairing pokes just a big enough hole in the air to divert a decent amount of wind away from your chest at highway speeds. All things considered, the TnT300 is the one I prefer between it and the 600. Read on to see why.
6(hundred) of one, half a dozen of the other
Visually, the aesthetics of the TnT600 have largely withstood the test of time. It’s an attractive motorcycle in the middleweight naked bike category, with its trellis frame and sharp angles. Though the main styling component clearly showing its age is the undertail pipes. They harken back to 2006 and a time when undertail exhausts were all the rage. Coincidentally, this was about the time the big TnT was announced. Like the TnT300, if you want the full scoop on the 600, check out Tom Roderick’s review here.
The TnT600’s four header pipes are hard to miss at this angle. What’s a little odd is seeing them route up and back towards an undertail exhaust. To quote my teenage niece, “That’s so 12 years ago.”
Looking at the TnT600 in pictures is one thing. In person, the 600 looks large and in charge. Like the 300, the bigger brother is physically larger than the competition. This was fine for the 300, as the added girth made the bike feel like a “real” motorcycle. When you sit on the 600, its wide fuel tank makes it look like it has love handles – that is, once you muscle the hefty 509-pound (claimed) motorcycle off the sidestand in the first place. From there, the wide tank is met with pegs that are a tad on the high side, making for a slightly awkward riding position. To put it in plain English, the 600 is a big motorcycle.
As the name implies, forward thrust for the bigger TnT comes from a 600cc inline-Four making 70.4 hp and 34.4 lb-ft of torque when we last had one on the dyno in our 2017 Naked Middleweight Shootout. The horsepower number is decent for the category, but it comes at a stratospheric 11,400 rpm. The torque is a bit anemic in class, too. Making matters worse, when you look at the dyno chart the TnT600’s fueling is all over the map – with a huge drop off between 5,000 rpm – 7,000 rpm. Meanwhile, others in its class like the Kawasaki Z650, Suzuki SV650, and Yamaha MT-07 feel more lively, sporty, and responsive, with corresponding dyno charts.
This view gives a good look at the steel trellis frame. Below it is a cast aluminum lower frame. Together, the two cradle the wide four cylinder engine and dial in just the amount of chassis flex the Benelli engineers wanted.
The 600 benefits from a 50mm inverted fork, which does help give the front end a feeling of stiffness the other bikes don’t quite match, but the extra heft the TnT carries practically negates that advantage. Stopping power is fairly good; two 320mm discs up front get paired with radial-mount four-piston calipers for pretty decent stopping power. But again, you also feel the extra weight when stomping on the stoppers.
If it’s not obvious by now, the other bikes in this category have a leg up on the Benelli for one simple reason: less weight. Up to 112 lbs lighter in the Yamaha’s case. Couple that with more power and torque, and the TnT600 is hard to defend.
However, we need to go back to Lee’s catchphrase: Outlier. While Lee didn’t admit to the same pitfalls for the 600 as mentioned here, he did admit to its $6,999 price tag giving it no advantage in the marketplace. For 2018, the TnT600 sees a significant price drop from $6,999 to $5,999. Dropping the price a thousand bucks puts it well clear of the $6,999 Kawasaki, $7,049 Suzuki, and $7,599 Yamaha. In fact, it even drops it below the $6,099 Honda CB500F.
With its reduced price, suddenly the TnT600 makes you stop and think about which financial choice to make between it and its similarly-priced rivals.
If cost is your biggest deciding factor, then the 600 poses a great value for performance. That is, if you don’t mind its extra weight and girth. Personally, since Benelli’s own research indicates models in the 600’s class are at least partially financed, I’d opt for either the Z650, SV650, or MT-07; the extra cost isn’t much when spread over the life of a loan.
Alternatively, you can opt for the TnT300 at $3,999 – a price range Benelli says consumers typically purchase outright without financing – and have a motorcycle that’s more entertaining than the 600 without a payment every month.
In the end, the TnT300 makes a stronger case for the best bang-for-the-buck between it and the TnT600. But with such strong competition in both categories, neither is the one we’d ultimately park in our garages.
Battery Sharing seems to be an interesting solution to electric two-wheeler’s commonly cited issues of charge times and range.
Begin Press Release:
Honda and Panasonic to Begin Research Experiment on Battery Sharing Using Detachable Mobile Batteries and Electric Motorcycles in Indonesia
July 13, 2018 — Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and Panasonic Corporation today announced plans to conduct a research experiment in Indonesia on battery sharing using the Honda Mobile Power Pack (“Mobile Power Pack”) detachable mobile battery with electric mobility products, including electric motorcycles powered by the Mobile Power Pack. The two companies are planning to begin the research experiment in December 2018. This research experiment will be conducted as one of the projects subsidized by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)*1under the theme of a “research experiment of mobile battery sharing as distributed energy resources.”
As the third largest motorcycle market in the world, Indonesia is facing an issue with air pollution associated with the increase in traffic volume. To address this issue, the Indonesian government has announced a policy to facilitate the widespread use of electric mobility products.
While being environmentally-responsible, electric mobility products still have some issues that need to be addressed, including range and charging time. The Mobile Power Pack and mobility products powered by it are expected to solve such issues and provide a boost to the widespread use of electric mobility products.
For this research experiment, the two companies will install charging stations at several dozen locations, which will charge multiple units of the Mobile Power Pack simultaneously and supply fully-charged Mobile Power Packs to users at any time. Users of electric mobility products who experience a low battery level can stop at the nearest charging station and exchange their Mobile Power Pack for a fully-charged one and get back on the road.
In order to fulfill requirements to conduct this research experiment, Honda, Panasonic and Pacific Consultants Co., Ltd.*2signed an agreement to establish a joint venture company in Jakarta, Indonesia (Company name: Pt. HPP Energy Indonesia) for the purpose of conducting this research experiment.
Honda sells more than 20 million mobility products (motorcycles and automobiles) a year all around the world and has a solid track record of developing environmentally-responsible electric mobility products. Panasonic has considerable experience in the development of high-efficiency and high-quality batteries for automobiles. The two companies will conduct this research experiment by utilizing the knowledge and know-how each company has amassed to date, as well as the Mobile Power Pack, charging stations and ITC system*3 that will have centralized control over the operational status of the Mobile Power Pack, which were developed jointly by the two companies. Pacific Consultants will be responsible for overall arrangements for the research experiment including on-site surveys and coordination with local companies.
Areas where this research experiment will be conducted
Bandung City in West Java Province, Denpasar City in Bali Province and Kuta subdistrict in Badung Regency in Bali Province, Indonesia
*1 New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO):
NEDO is one of the largest public research and development management organizations in Japan which collaborates with corporations, universities and public research institutions and pursues development and verification of technologies in an effort to solve global energy and environmental problems and to increase the technological strength of Japanese industry.
*2 Pacific Consultants Co., Ltd.
・President and representative director: Shigenori Takaki
・Head office location: 3-22, Kanda-Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8462
・Business area: Construction consultant
*3 ICT: Information and Communication Technology, which is a generic term for technologies related to information and communications.
The X-Fourteen MARQUEZ 5 TC-1 is the latest addition to our flagship model’s lineup and is the Champ’s go-to lid for the 2019 season. Featuring his iconic ant design on the top, this new design comes in a sleek red, white, and blue matte finish.
Buffalo, NY: When you look back at the history of Motocross, Dunlop tires have played a major role in helping riders win titles; from the world championships to the AMA Nationals and amateur races across the globe.
Now Dunlop is introducing the classic K990 in a 90/100-18 rear and 70/100-21 front. The rear size mimics the classic 3.50-18 size of yesteryear and is an ideal choice for small-bore vintage bikes that compete in both the 100cc and 125cc classes.
Off-road vintage racing enthusiasts might recall the Dunlop K990, the tire of choice for many racers in the 1990s. Back in the day the K990 offered cutting edge performance, and is now being reintroduced to offer today’s vintage riders an authentic choice in tires.
“No other motorcycle tire brand has a record of supporting motocross as long and consistently as Dunlop,” says Broc Glover, Sr. Manager, Off-road Motorcycle, “so it makes complete sense for Dunlop to offer tires for riders who enjoy participating in all forms of motocross and that of course includes Vintage. Recently I’ve been racing in some of these events and I realized just how difficult it is for these competitors, and many enthusiasts who work on vintage motocross restorations, to find the proper tires for their bikes, especially in the smaller 18-inch rear size. Now the K990s offer an authentic vintage choice with a championship heritage.”
2017-2018 BMW G310GS and G310R motorcycles (which are made in India) could potentially have weak or faulty kickstands that could cause the bike to fall over while parked. This is due to repeated use over time, and owners will have their sidestands replaced free of charge.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 16, 2018
BMW Recall: Side Stand or Frame Damage
Damage to the side stand and/or frame may result in the motorcycle unexpectedly falling over while it is stationary, increasing the risk of injury.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 18V408000
Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC
Potential Number of Units Affected: 2,376
2017 – 2018
Summary: BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2017-2018 BMW G310R and 2018 BMW G310GS motorcycles. Over time, repeated use and loading of the side stand could cause damage to the side stand and the motorcycle’s frame.
Remedy: BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the frame, installing a reinforcement plate and new side stand, or the frame will be replaced if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin August 7, 2018. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
Notes: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
Sadly, the 2018 Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland lived up to its advance billing. Marc Marquez, starting from pole for the ninth consecutive year, got a little swamped by a couple of Ducatis at the start. By Lap 5 he had moved past Danilo Petrucci into second place. On Lap 13 he went through on Jorge Lorenzo into the lead. With factory Yamaha pilots Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales playing catch-up over the second half, it was a routine ninth win in a row for Marquez in Germany as MotoGP makes the turn heading for the back, um, 10 starting at Brno in August.
Officially, Germany hasn’t had a king since the abdication of Wilhelm II 100 years ago, but we can at least crown Marc Marquez the king of Sachsenring?
Practice and Qualifying
Since FP4 doesn’t really count for anything and is mostly used for working on race set-up, the results after FP3 are important. This time around, the lambs heading directly into Q2 included most of the usual suspects. Dani Pedrosa snuck into 10th place in front of Andrea Dovizioso, sentencing the Italian to a second qualifying run – Q1 – in his increasingly futile effort to chase down Marquez.
Andrea Dovizioso was just a hair behind Dani Pedrsoa in qualifying, forcing him to go through Q1.
Notice how close Alex Rins (in 9th place) was to 1st place – 0.252 seconds – and to (Q1) 11th place – 0.125. Andrea Iannone pushed his Suzuki to within a tenth of the track record, which looked primed to fall. Rossi, struggling, only made it through on Saturday morning by the skin of his teeth. And let’s dispense with any discussion around his finishing Friday in 17th place being all part of the plan.
The Q1 goats included Dovizioso by 0.048, along with the suddenly tepid Johann Zarco, Jack Miller, who has cooled off, the KTMs and the rest of Tranches 4 and 5. The Ducatis failed to improve, sending only three riders – Petrucci, Lorenzo and … Alvaro Bautista? – directly through to Q2. My concern that Bautista would join Franco Morbidelli with the new Petronas team was apparently unfounded, as he is reportedly searching for a World Superbike seat for next season. Leaving unanswered, of course, the question of Morbidelli’s teammate, now that Pedrosa is hanging up his leathers. (I keep hearing the name Fabio Quartararo getting thrown around.)
Ahead of the Sachsenring round, Dani Pedrosa announced he will retire at the end of the season. Marc Marquez may have won the last six races at Sachsenring, but we’d be amiss to forget that Pedrosa won three in a row before him, making it nine straight wins in Germany for Repsol Honda.
Q1 was pretty straightforward, as Dovizioso responded to the imperative and made it through while Taka Nakagami, on the strength of one fast late lap, joined him on the passage through to Q2. Aleix Espargaro flirted with Q2 for much of the session, but it would have been for naught anyway, as he was penalized six grid spots for lollygagging in the racing line during FP3 (for the second time this season – repeat offender).
Danilo Petrucci fell just short of his first career MotoGP pole. Petrucci has shown he can swing with the factory boys, earning his spot with Ducati Corse next season.
Q2 was another morality play in reverse, in which the swarthy underdog (played by Danilo Petrucci) who had never won a premier class pole sat in first position, owning the new track record, as the checkered flag waved. His impending problem was that Marquez, the fair-haired boy conqueror, had successfully started his final lap before the flag fell. During what felt like injury time in soccer, Marquez survived three separate wobbles to lay down a 1:20.270, relegating Petrucci to second and Lorenzo, looking dangerous, to third. Poor Danilo. And putting the staff here at 5-for-7 for the season, hitting .720 breaking track records for the year.
Make that nine-straight pole positions at Sachsenring for Marc Marquez, including two in Moto2 and one in the 125cc GP class in 2010.
There it is again. Nine straight poles in Germany. Marquez looked utterly capable of dominating the proceedings on Sunday, especially if he were to enter Turn 1 of the first lap leading the pack. Petrucci and Lorenzo, his front row buddies, seem to be bristling, raring to go, another testament to the progress Ducati Corse has made during Dall’Igna’s tenure. Viñales, Dovizioso and Rossi hogged the second row, giving them at least a puncher’s chance on Sunday. Iannone, doing a good Snidely Whiplash impression with his new stash, could manage no better than 8th after blistering the field twice in practice. This track is tight and moving through traffic is as difficult as anywhere on the calendar.
Other than the mayhem leading up to the race, the German grand prix was a bit of a snooze. The carnage started on Friday, when Mika Kallio, on a KTM wildcard, took a header into an inflatable wall followed closely by his bike. He sustained a serious knee injury which, it appears, will end his season. (It could also mean a gig next year for Bradley Smith as a test rider for KTM.) During the morning warm-up on Sunday, Aleix Espargaro attempted to launch his Aprilia into a low earth orbit, sustaining a chest injury that kept him out of the race. Franco Morbidelli gave his bad wrist a try on Friday before calling it a weekend, the team calling upon Stefan Bradl to sit in for him.
Pol Espargaro made contact with Andrea Iannone on the third corner of the opening lap and then crashed into Iannone’s Suzuki teammate, Alex Rins.
On Lap 1, Pol Espargaro lost control of his KTM machine, which then took out an unsuspecting Alex Rins. And the LCR Honda contingent was pancaked during the race, Nakagami losing it on Lap 7, my boy Cal Crutchlow on Lap 10.
There was some good action farther back in the pack all day, but I’ve only got two hands. Suffice it to say that some people, perhaps fans of Petrucci, left today feeling buoyed by his razor-thin margins to Marquez in search of his first pole and Viñales in search of another podium. The ride of the day goes to Alvaro Bautista, horribly badmouthed in this space for years, who pushed his Ducati GP17 to fifth place, ahead of both Dovizioso and Lorenzo, the big factory studs.
Giving credit when it’s due, Alvaro Bautista was impressive today, finishing fifth behind Danilo Petrucci but ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso. That’s four Ducati riders occupying fourth through seventh, with the satellite riders finishing ahead of the factory riders.
The Big Picture
The 2018 MotoGP championship is now officially Marc Marquez’ to lose. He leads the ageless Valentino Rossi by 46 points heading into the break, with Rossi teammate Viñales another 10 points in arrears. Yamahas scored a lot of points today but were never a threat to actually win the race. Ducati riders turned in some blistering practice times, and their top four riders finished 4th through 7th, but again, they just weren’t competitive over the last three-quarters of the race.
Valentino Rossi scored his fourth podium in the last five rounds and yet his points deficit behind Marc Marquez increased by 16 points over that span.
The virtually unavoidable conclusion is that this is Marquez’ personal sandbox and the rest of y’all can just tussle over second place. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Marquez camp votes to retain Sachsenring as the venue for the German Grand Prix. Rins took whatever hopes Suzuki entertained today with him as he got skittled on Lap 1. Oh, and for you KTM freaks out there, let us not fail to mention Brad Smith’s stunning top ten finish.
Tranches After Assen
Tranche 1: Marquez
Tranche 2: Rossi, Viñales, Zarco, Rins, Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Lorenzo and Iannone
Tranche 3: Miller, P. Espargaro, Bautista, Petrucci, Rabat, Pedrosa
Tranche 4: Morbidelli, Syahrin, A. Espargaro, Nakagami
Tranche 5: Redding, Smith, Abraham, Luthi and Simeon
With another strong race, Danilo Petrucci gets bumped up to Bruce’s second tranch, joining Valentino Rossi and others but a clear step behind Marc Marquez.
Tranches After Sachsenring
Tranche 1: Marquez
Tranche 2: Rossi, Viñales, Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Petrucci
Tranche 3: Bautista, Pedrosa, Zarco, Rins, Crutchlow, Iannone, P. Espargaro
Tranche 4: Morbidelli, Syahrin, A. Espargaro, Miller, Rabat, Smith
Tranche 5: Redding, Nakagami, Abraham, Luthi and Simeon
By way of historical context, Germany’s “long racing heritage,” entirely missing today, is still celebrated here at what was, 75 years ago, ground zero for The Final Solution. Dresden was needlessly firebombed by Allied planes late in the war in retribution for the Nazi firebombing of Coventry, which the Allies knew was coming, but were prevented from warning the residents out of fear of revealing they had cracked the German military codes. We should not gloss this over. MotoGP doesn’t take us to a lot of places that were so brutally consumed by WWII, and we should honor them when we are visiting.
Five-time World Champion Mick Doohan was on hand to congratulate Marc Marquez on his victory. There’s still half a season left to go but Marquez looks all but certain to lock up his fifth MotoGP title.