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Marc Marquez wins German GP

HOHENSTEIN-ERNSTTHAL, Germany -- Marc Marquez won the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring on Sunday for the fifth time in as many visits to make it nine victories from as many races in his MotoGP title defense.

Marquez, at age 21, is the youngest rider to win nine consecutive races.

The Spaniard finished comfortably ahead of compatriots Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. Valentino Rossi of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP was fourth.

The start of the race was disrupted by rain, and the podium finishers started from the pit lane after switching from a wet set-up to dry.

"I was worried about the back of the track initially and in the end my strategy was to copy Dani and Rossi, my main rivals for the championship. I followed them," Marquez said.

Home favorite Stefan Bradl led the early laps but his bike was not set up for the drying conditions and the German rider finished a disappointing 16th.

Marquez, who had claimed pole position, cut through the pack before pulling clear with Repsol Honda teammate Pedrosa, who ultimately finished 1.466 seconds behind. Lorenzo was 10.317 seconds off the winning time.

"The race was nice in the beginning because I overtook several riders and then I had a good battle with Dani. I'm really happy for this victory. Now we can relax a bit," said Marquez, referring to the summer break.

Marquez stretched his lead in the standings to 225 points, ahead of Pedrosa on 148 and Rossi on 141.

"I tried to make it up to Marc but the gap always stayed at 0.5, 0.6," Pedrosa said. "The rhythm was very similar and I wasn't really gaining or losing at all. I'm happy overall though."