Dre’s Race Review: MotoGP’s 2024 German Grand Prix

Jorge Martin blows the lead with two laps to go as Pecco Bagnaia takes his sixth win of 2024. Dre on the frustration of another Martin bottlejob in Germany.

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Dre Harrison Reviews



Read time: 5 mins

“The Bozo Gene.”

Just when you thought we were heading for a summer break of relative tranquility, MotoGP had to throw another twist in the Championship tail. Because for the clear big hitters in the field, we had another case of the “Bozo Gene”, and this time, it was Jorge Martin’s turn to fall from the front and create another huge flashpoint in the 2024 season. Let’s get into the German Grand Prix. 

It wasn’t supposed to happen. This time was meant to be Jorge Martin taking back some control in the Championship after Francesco Bagania had been laying the hammer on him over the last six weeks. 

By the Italian’s own admission, Jorge outsmarted him to take the Sprint and be able to get a bike in between them as Trackhouse’s Miguel Oliveira managed to finish second. The Grand Prix was different. Pecco Bagnaia went hard early on to try and take control of the race like he’s done so brilliantly recently. Only this time, Martin was able to stay with him and pass him back after putting down the fastest lap of the race while following on Lap 6. By Lap 8, it was a Pramac 1-2 with a surprising turn of form from second rider Franco Morbidelli. Bagnaia looked out of sorts, almost losing third to Alex Marquez at one point.

But Bagnaia weathered the storm and came back strong, passing Franky for second again and then keeping an honest length back to Martin. But the Spaniard was able to keep Bagnaia at bay by around six tenths of a second and looked reasonably comfortable. With two laps to go, Bagnaia was as close as he’s been, but he’s still half a second back. 

Martin crashes from the lead. 


I can’t believe I’m having to see this again. For the second time this season, Jorge Martin crashed from the lead of the race, and both times I think they were under relatively low pressure scenarios. In Jerez, he was a narrow leader, but we still had half the race left, not the end of the world if you get passed. On this one, he had time in hand, he didn’t have to be at 110% here. Even going back to Indonesia last year, he had a three second lead when he crashed. 

It’s immensely frustrating to watch because I want to see these two at their very best. In a perfect world, they’re at it every week because they’re two of the three best riders in the world and we were spoilt earlier in the season. But it seems both of these men have moments where they either lose concentration, or mishandle leading a race and crash. And Martin has done it multiple times in the last year and a half while at the same time developing the tremendous speed he has gained where he can genuinely challenge for the title. 

If Martin wins this race, he’s +20 going into the break. Even if he finishes second, it’s a wash at +10. Hardly an emergency. Now he’s down 10 having gifted Bagnaia his 5th win in the last six races. I don’t think you can afford to give the more consistent man in this fight any freebies at all and Martin keeps handing them out like chewing gum.

And another element of this Championship we’re not talking about enough for me. If we scored this Championship just on Grand Prix, Jorge Martin would be down by 42 points. The Sprint format is bailing him out and he needs to figure this out over an entire race distance or people are going to be questioning why for two years running Martin has had all the tools but lost his nerve when it mattered most.

Genuinely delighted to see Franky Morbidelli competitive again and comfortably his best since leaving Yamaha and his knee problems. There’s always been a quality rider there and this was a really good day. Probably a bit too aggressive with his bump into Marc Marquez and was a little fortunate not to get hit with a penalty but a Top 5 finish is nothing to scoff at. 

A delightful day in the Gresini camp as both Marc and Alex Marquez share the podium. The funny thing here is that after that Morbidelli contact punched out a part of his windscreen, Marquez became the fastest man on track and took half a second out of his brother a lap to take second place on the penultimate lap. And this was after coming from 13th on the grid after Stefan Bradl blocked him in qualifying, and a highside at the Waterfall that bruised his ribs and broke his left index finger. Like I said at Assen, I don’t think a title campaign is realistic, the GP23 is accepted to be .2/.3 seconds a lap slower to a GP24 that will get continued development and the performance gap will grow, but when you see him hold and be able to celebrate a Grand Prix podium with his brother…

…Who gives a shit? That’s the stuff of dreams right there. The first brothers to share a premier-class podium since Nubuatsu and Takuma Aoki did it in Imola back in 1997. Happy for the rest of the team, and didn’t even need to Photoshop any dreadlocks on people to celebrate1.

Also lost in the shuffle of the weekend, Fabio Di Giannantonio is set to be confirmed as staying at VR46 and has been promised factory equipment for 2025. A huge coup for Diggia and a testament to how hard he’s worked in the last year to go from man about to be ejected from the top class into a rider who’s going to be getting factory support next season. 

Interesting times at Trackhouse. They’ve struggled as they’ve tried to rebuild what was a Championship team, and they’re entering a dilemma. Miguel Oliveira I’ve been told may be heading out at the end of the year, just as he’s put together their strongest weekend since coming into the sport, with second in the Sprint, and highest non-Ducati in the Grand Prix in sixth. If he goes, Joe Roberts is rumored to be #1 contender, who just had a gutsy eighth place finish just nine days after breaking his collarbone.

I’ve talked about this before, but I don’t think I’ve stressed enough how important a decision this is. On normal merit terms, Roberts wouldn’t be getting a seat. He’s 26, and has done 7 years in Moto2. But he’s been the best of the Kalex chassis runners in the field. After Cameron Beaubier and Sean Dylan Kelly’s short runs, there is no American prospect left for MotoGP in a high position up the ladder. If Trackhouse wants an American to try and boost their home market and give a nod to the owners in Liberty, it’s now or likely never. There’s absolutely some commercial value in a Roberts hire, but is that worth it if he’s at the rear of the field and he ends up like Logan Saregant in F1? I think Sergio Garcia or Ai Ogura are better options if they want to go on sheer performance. In any case, I don’t envy Davide Brivio, he’s got to make a very tough decision here. Good luck to him.

Collin Veijer crashes from the lead in Moto3, Max Verstappen loses to Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, if Luke Littler beats Michael van Gerwen at Round 1 of the World Matchplay, there’s going to be violence in the streets. 

  1. Still almost radio silence from all the major players by the way. ↩︎

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Somehow can now call himself a Production Coordinator at the Motorsport Network, coming off the back of being part of the awkward Johto Era at WTF1. All off a University Project that went massively out of hand. Weird huh?

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