2012 Sachsenring MotoGP Race Result: Thrilling Duel Settled By Penultimate Corner Crash

Results and summary of the MotoGP race at the Sachsenring:

Dani Pedrosa has taken his first win of the season, winning the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring for the third year in a row. The Spaniard emerged victorious from a race-long battle with his Repsol Honda teammate, who crashed out at the penultimate corner on the very last lap. Stoner's crash hands Jorge Lorenzo the lead in the championship, the Yamaha man finishing in 2nd once Stoner crashed out.

Pedrosa got the holeshot, exactly as expected, his Repsol Honda teammate joining him after the Omega Kurve, at which point Pedrosa and Stoner took off like a pair of scalded cats. By lap 4, they had opened a gap, and a couple of laps later they had disappeared completely, engaged in a tight duel that would last to the bottom of the hill on the very last lap.

Pedrosa led the first lap, but Stoner soon came past with a very brave pass on the way towards the top of the circuit, taking over the lead from his Spanish teammate. Stoner tried pulling a gap, but it never grew much beyond half a second over Pedrosa. As the race approached the two thirds mark, Pedrosa dived back past into Turn 1, the Spaniard getting better drive out of the final corner and up the steep hill onto the short front straight. Stoner had not yet given up, however, pushing hard at Pedrosa, looking for a way past through turns 12 and 13, but never quite making it. With two laps to go, Stoner looked ready to pounce, when the Australian had a moment as they crested the hill. Two laps later, as the Repsol pair plummeted down the hill, in a final attempt to make up ground, Stoner closed on Pedrosa but lost the front through Turn 12, sliding out of contention and sacrificing 20 points in the championship. It was Stoner's first DNF since Jerez last year, and his first unforced race crash since leaving the Ducati to join Honda.

Pedrosa took a comfortable victory, Lorenzo benefiting from Stoner's crash. The Factory Yamaha rider had ridden a long and lonely race, giving up several tenths a lap, but still took both a 2nd place finish and a comfortable lead in the championship. Lorenzo had earlier disposed of a gaggle of Yamahas, getting by his teammate Ben Spies and the Monster Tech 3 Yamahas of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow.

That trio provided an entertaining battle for most of the race, Dovizioso leading for much of the race after passing Spies early, with Crutchlow snapping at his teammate's heels. Crutchlow's determination saw him pushing in every corner, eventually running wide trying to pass Dovizioso into Turn 1 and running through the gravel, losing a lot of time. That left Spies and Dovizioso dicing over what they thought would be 4th, but became the last spot on the podium when Stoner crashed out. Dovizioso held off to the line the man whose seat he is chasing at Factory Yamaha, taking 3rd just ahead of Spies. 

Stefan Bradl won what was another entertaining battle, this time for 5th. Bradl had led a group containing all three regular Ducatis, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and Hector Barbera swapping places almost every lap. The foursome were joined by Alvaro Bautista, who had started from the back of the grid, and Cal Crutchlow, rejoining behind them after running wide earlier. Valentino Rossi won the scrap among the group, taking 6th behind Bradl, ahead of Alvaro Bautista, Cal Crutchlow, Hector Barbera and Nicky Hayden.

Pedrosa's victory leaves him in 2nd in the championship, 14 points behind Lorenzo. Stoner's crash was very costly, now 20 points behind the Spaniard. After Lorenzo's crash at Assen, Stoner's crash levels the playing field again, both men having a single DNF this season. And there are still 10 races left to go in the championship.


Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 41'28.396  
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 41'43.392 14.996
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO YAMAHA 41'49.065 20.669
4 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 41'49.136 20.740
5 6 Stefan BRADL HONDA 41'56.289 27.893
6 46 Valentino ROSSI DUCATI 41'56.446 28.050
7 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA HONDA 41'56.642 28.246
8 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW YAMAHA 41'56.843 28.447
9 8 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 41'57.449 29.053
10 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 41'57.622 29.226
11 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 42'21.572 53.176
12 5 Colin EDWARDS SUTER 42'26.600 58.204
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 42'33.050 1'04.654
14 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ BQR 42'41.939 1'13.543
15 77 James ELLISON ART 42'58.714 1'30.318
16 2 Franco BATTAINI DUCATI 41'35.941 1 lap
17 9 Danilo PETRUCCI IODA 41'43.788 1 lap
18 22 Ivan SILVA BQR 41'57.963 1 lap
Not Classified
  1 Casey STONER HONDA 40'06.207 1 lap
  54 Mattia PASINI ART 5'44.863 26 laps
  51 Michele PIRRO FTR 4'39.063 27 laps


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Wow the CRTs were still 24+ seconds back at the end

Good for Stoner for pushing for the victory. I think many riders would've just settled for 2nd and managed the championship points. I like his style...too bad it cost him here. Great racing!

1) I don't know if Stoner was going for the win or not, if he was pushing to setup a pass on Pedrosa at the end (if so, he was taking a HUGE risk -- it was clear he did not really have the pace to overtake Pedrosa easily). Have not heard any post-race comment from him. 2) When thinking about the championship, 20 points would have been a LOT better than 0. And the goal should be to win the title. I'm sure his employer would agree. It looked like he comfortably had 20 points. In addition, his crash gifted Lorenzo 4 points.

Anyway, from what I saw, it did not look like he was pushing. He just lost the front. By that point I believe rain had started to fall. So perhaps he caught a wet patch. Could've happened to anyone. Very unfortunate.

We'll see what he says about it.

for the next turn, he just pushed that little bit too much.
He also said it had nothing to do with the rain, there were really few drops on the last lap.
And he confirmed that at this point he's not thinking championship but race wins.
That may not be the cleverest move, Lorenzo used to be like that then he matured but love him or hate him, Casey is Casey: raw.

They put a cover over his rear tyre in parc fermé - don't think I have seen that since the days of the tyre war. Any idea why?

i have some questions.

both the hondas looked near-perfect today. is the chatter finally resolved ? i'd like to know what he(casey) and his crew chief have to say about it.

about lorenzo and his M1 - what was the matter ? i think i saw a good amount of rear chatter or am i wrong ? or was it lorenzo's ankle or just some other bike problem ? if it's indeed the chatter or some other bike problem and if the hondas have indeed resolved or reduced the chatter to an acceptable small margin of error, then the lorenzo team have a lot of work to do in a very short amount of time if they wanna win the title...else it'd be like 2011 all over again when we saw his M1 having issues almost all of 2011 and the hondas were near perfect.. casey wont be crashing out every race..of course today's crash was just a DNF equalizer. Jorge lost his 25 points lead in assen due to someone else's brain fade and today casey gave it back to him thanks to his own mistake (or maybe a last minute front wheel problem?). how ironic and dramatic.

need to see the highlights a few times for closer and repeated looks over their bikes...live race is so new and fast i cant notice a lot of things..

championship opened even wider...i still cant believe casey's crash. he must be so angry at himself.

btw, great ride by dani and bradl...

yea those Repsols looked on rails for the majority of the race. Have Honda found something on the hard tyres? Lorenzo 15 seconds down..fair enough hes still walking with crutches but even the other Yams were miles behind...and this tight twisty track was meant to be the Yams playground?

scary signs indeed..if Honda have found something then Lorenzos 20 point advantage will seem woefully inadequate...

Sachsenring is and always was playground for Honda. Honda was always stronger here then Yamaha. So this result was expected. Fantastic race from Dani and Casey. And Dani hitting fastest lap of a race in last lap on used tires! There was no way for Casey to go past him on that corner. But, brave move on Casey part.

yes twisty circuits suit the yamahas better than the others usually but apparently going by the history of sachsenring somehow the hondas have always performed better here..

i seriously hope there was no problem with lorenzo's bike (although i cant stop thinking about so much rear chatter that i think i saw several times) and it was just his bad ankle and/or maybe, as someone below has suggested, he just used one of his old engines. i just came to know that bridgestone strongly advised lorenzo against going in with soft tyres because of safety issues (bridgestone feeling insecure after assen!!) and so he went in with hard tyres like everyone else about which lorenzo is now upset coz he says he just couldnt get any pace with the hard tyres.

as much as i hoped the chatter in casey's bike to get resolved (which it now seems to be the case), i wished that only so that there were straight-up battles between him and jorge for the title throughout the season (we've seen only a few of those so far in this season). but now if lorenzo's bike has developed issues, we're back to square one. i dont want another 2011.

Jorge knew that this track is Honda ground. And he knew that Dani desperately needs a win. Since this is Dani/Honda ground and he was not 100 % there was no reason to push and risk new problems. He got comfortable 3. place and wait what will happen in Honda match. Casey want to win always, and Dani must win on his favorite track. It was smart. I dont think that Yamaha is behind.

to the rest of my suburb for swearing profusely at the top of my voice when Casey went down..
Fantastic race, brilliant vision of 1 and 26 at speed from each others bike, just superb. Both clearly pushing very hard and getting loose, amazing.
Battles throughout the pack fantastic to see as well.

Good on Dani! It was great to see him happy with the win, because even though he says he's happy with regular 2nd and 3rds, he's not very convincing.

And the crash? He races to win and sadly that didn't happen. Incredibly stylish dismount though.. Bring on Mugello!!

I wonder if Jorge thought that 3rd looked the best in pratice and he used an old engine. If not the yam is in trouble. Rossi passed all the dukes on one lap the tyres worked fine etcbut Bautista was lucky not to take Rossi and Bradl out as he tried another assen at the bottom of the waterfall and it cost him, clearly hasn't learnt anything. Great ride by dani. Huge error by casey and cal has wrk to do. Pretty sure Jorge would have loved the opportunity to decide whether he fell off. Jorge did a replica of casey same spot against Rossi a few years ago.

The title chase needed exactly that result. Bummer for Casey but credit to him for chasing the win above the title on the day.
The points situation and todays results suggest pens are going to be put to paper rather quickly for 2013.
I was really happy for Stefan. Dovi is officially the new Alex Barros in terms of late braking. Well done all around.

Honda have deffinatly found something that works, Both Factory Yamahas looked like Crap coming into and exiting corners..The Tech3 Bikes are Faster on the Straights then Ben Spies M1,Something doesn't seem right.Even Bradl and AB's RCV was noticabley Faster then the rest of the field.

"eventually being run wide by Dovizioso into Turn 1" I'd hardly say Dovi ran Cal wide. Cal looked like he was riding that 1% over what he should have at the time. Nothing more.

That was indeed a well run race by him.
Stoner had a dig at the marshals in his post race comments.
Didn't see much of what happened in the gravel trap after he crashed, and it looked as if his bike could have sustained only minor damage.
Can anyone comment?

There were 17 bikes and riders heading down the waterfall right behind Stoner. They were all on a direct course to the point where Stoner, his bike and the marshalls were standing. I would say that is a fairly good reason for them to usher him away.

I don't know what all was broke but from the onboard camera you could see that his clutch lever was bent 90 degrees upward at the base of it and his rear wheel looked to be locked up. I think the only way that bike makes it cross the finish line is if the marshalls carried it.

Any insight into what prompted NH69's late drop to the back of the pack he was running in? Local TV coverage broke away, and when they returned he'd fallen from right behind Bradl to the rear of that gang. Did he run wide somewhere, get pushed wide by another rider, ... ?