Results and summary of the MotoGP race at the Sachsenring:
Dani Pedrosa has taken a decisive victory, in only his second race after returning from surgery for his broken collarbone. The Repsol Honda rider was made to work hard for his win, first working his way past Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo, before finally seizing control towards the end of the race.
Pedrosa got his customary holeshot, but the Spaniard immediately had company from Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner. Lorenzo was past before the lap was out, diving underneath the Repsol Honda at the bottom of the hill into Turn 12. With Lorenzo leading, a large group formed with nothing to separate them. Behind Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso had sliced his way forward to hold 2nd for the first couple of laps, before his teammate Casey Stoner barged past him on his way to Lorenzo. Dani Pedrosa sat assessing his position behind the leaders in 4th, while Marco Simoncelli and Ben Spies hung close behind Pedrosa. Spies was the first to drop off the back of the group, with the Hondas of Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli following at one-third distance.
That left the three protagonists to fight it out among themselves, and it turned into a tense and nerve-wracking fight. Casey Stoner was the first to seize the initiative from Lorenzo, taking the Yamaha rider at the bottom of the hill, while Pedrosa closed on his compatriot from behind. Stoner pushed to gain an advantage, but it never grew more than a few tenths, before he fell back into the claws of Lorenzo and Pedrosa.
Next up was Lorenzo. The Spaniard put a hard pass on Stoner at the bottom of the Waterfall, the steep hill leading into Turn 12 to take back the lead, and Pedrosa followed past Stoner at Turn 1 a couple of laps later. It was Lorenzo's turn to try and pull a gap, but once by Stoner, Pedrosa got up a head of steam and would not be denied. Pedrosa chased down Lorenzo, passing the Spaniard as the pair crossed the line to start lap 22. Once past, he was gone, and an elated Pedrosa went on to take victory in just his second race after returning at Mugello.
The race for 2nd was not settled, however. Once Pedrosa got past Lorenzo, Casey Stoner got in on the action as well, diving past Lorenzo on the brakes into Turn 1. But Stoner had left his chase for Pedrosa too late. Though the Spaniard remained tantalizingly close, he could never close on his Repsol Honda teammate and try to attempt a pass. Instead he still had Lorenzo to deal with. The Yamaha man tried as they crossed the line to start the last lap, but Stoner held him off into Turn 1. Lorenzo then tried lining him up at the top of the hill, but a small mistake saw him appear to lose touch. But the last two corners would prove fatal to the Australian: Stoner blocked into Turn 12, and Lorenzo seized his chance, holding a 125cc line through Turn 12 to dive up the inside of Stoner in the final corner, stealing a precious 4 points from his championship rival to close the gap to 15 points. Stoner was forced to settle for 3rd, and far from happy about it.
The battle for 4th was equally entertaining, Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli slugging it out for most of the race. Their battle offered Ben Spies the chance to catch the pair, the Yamaha man passing Simoncelli for 5th in the final corner, Dovizioso winning the chase to the line in 4th. Further back, an ecstatic Alvaro Bautista fended off attacks from the factory Ducatis to secure 7th, crossing the line ahead of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi after an outstanding performance on the Rizla Suzuki. Rossi lost drive with a gearshift problem out of the final corner, and was forced to cede 8th to his teammate Hayden. But after the disastrous results in practice on Friday and Saturday, the Italian was relieved that a change to the weight distribution found in the morning warm up had worked out. Being able to brake harder and deeper into the corners meant that Rossi could at least be a little competitive.
|13||14||Randy DE PUNIET||DUCATI||41'51.897||39.415|
|17||50||Sylvain GUINTOLI||DUCATI||41'28.441||1 lap|