- Rookie Marc Marquez leapfrogs Dani Pedrosa in the overall MotoGP standings
- Marquez wins the German Grand Prix ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi
- Pedrosa and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo missed the race with shoulder injuries
In a weekend filled with crashes, rookie Marc Marquez avoided the mayhem.
Marquez took the lead in the MotoGP standings after winning the German Grand Prix in his Honda ahead of Yamaha pair Cal Crutchlow and nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi.
Marquez, on pole, lost the lead on the first lap as Rossi pounced but recovered by lap three.
In the end he beat Crutchlow by a comfortable 1.559 seconds over the 30 laps, with the revitalized Rossi a further eight seconds adrift in eastern Germany.
"I hadn't expected to control the race like that," said the 20-year-old Marquez, who suffered his own share of crashes earlier in the season.
Marquez now leads teammate Dani Pedrosa by two points -- 138 to 136 -- although 10 races remain.
Pedrosa, the winner in Germany the previous three years, injured his left shoulder in a heavy crash in practice Saturday and missed qualifying.
Tests revealed he suffered a minor fracture and on Sunday morning he decided not to take part in the race.
Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo broke his left collarbone in practice for the Dutch Grand Prix last month and suffered more damage when he lost control of his Yamaha in practice Friday.
Altogether there were nearly 20 crashes over the weekend on the Sachsenring, a circuit with an abundance of challenging left turns.
With less than 10 laps remaining, it appeared as if Crutchlow -- nursing a hand injury himself -- was ready to make a charge. He narrowed Marquez's lead from 1.8 seconds to about 1.6.
But Marquez didn't lose more ground and coasted home for a second victory this term, adding to his win in Texas in April.
"I'm happy," said Marquez. "It's great to win, but you shouldn't forget that both Pedrosa and Lorenzo weren't here."
Even though he didn't challenge for the lead most of the race, Rossi claimed a second consecutive podium finish after winning the Dutch Grand Prix -- the first time he stood atop the podium in three years.
"I am happy, but I had thought I'd do better," said Rossi. "I had a few problems with the rear tires."
It's not known whether Lorenzo and Pedrosa will be ready for next week's race in California.