As cloudy skies began to clear, a rapidly drying Sachsenring circuit caused confusion and riders rushed to their pits to make last-minute changes from wet setup to dry after the final warm-up lap. The starting grid appeared deserted as 14 riders were required to start the race from pit road.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) was the only rider to start from the front three rows of the grid and he appeared to have his best chance yet at claiming a victory but unfortunately his bike was not fully set up for dry conditions. Although he was able to start the race with slicks that were installed on the grid, the suspension was still set for rain. The German rider managed to hold the lead for the first few laps but struggled as the race progressed. His lead dwindled rapidly as riders coming out of the pits on slicks and proper suspension setups increased their pace. Bradl eventually dropped to 16th place.
After the race, Bradl commented on the crazy start, “When I saw the others starting from the pit, I could have done the same as my bike was ready and I am sorry for this mistake. I was three seconds slower each lap because my setting was not correct. I am speechless right now because this is the worst way to end my home race but I want to thank my fans for their great support throughout this weekend.”
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who suffered a hard high-side crash during the first practice session, was among those starting from pit road. He quickly cut through the pack in a chaotic first few laps and eventually pulled to the front with teammate Dani Pedrosa, who would ultimately cross the line 1.5s behind him. Nine seconds behind Pedrosa was Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who made a welcome return to the podium before the summer break. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who also started from the pit, rode a lonely race to a distant fourth place, 9 seconds behind Lorenzo.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) was the top Ducati-equipped rider in fifth with brothers Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) coming in sixth and seventh respectively.
The top ten was completed by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team).
A difficult weekend for Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) ended with a 19th place finish after an early crash – his fifth of the visit to Germany. Meanwhile on lap 19 Michael Laverty (Paul Bird Motorsport) crashed out, fortunately avoiding any serious injury.