Dani Pedrosa won the German Grand Prix for the third year in a row after a heated battle with teammate Casey Stoner.
The rain that plagued practice and qualifying sessions subsided just long enough for the main event as MotoGP riders took to the track at Sachsenring in dry conditions. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa
took full advantage, earning his first win of the 2012 season. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo
trailed by a wide margin in comparison to how close podium battles have been so far this year, over 14 seconds behind Pedrosa in second and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Andrea Dovizioso
rounded out the podium a further six seconds back. Pedrosa's teammate and reigning world champion Casey Stoner was on pace to finish on the podium as well until, in the final turns of the last lap, Stoner went down and took a DNF for the round.
"I'm really very happy with this win," said Pedrosa. "We finally made it happen and it's great not only for me, but also for my team that never gave up, for my family and fans that have been pushing and supporting me all this time when we were taking second and third places, but missing out on the victory."
At the opening, Pedrosa and teammate Casey Stoner
got out front early and proceeded to build a gap on the rest of the field. Stoner overtook his teammate for the lead in the early laps and held steady out front until mid-race where Pedrosa re-gained the front. The two went head-to-head for the remainder of the race, unchallenged by riders from behind, and it appeared that it would be another one-two finish for the Repsol team. Stoner then lost grip coming through a turn and slid off into the gravel. He was unable to get his bike running again, failing to finish within sight of the checkers.
"I'm pretty disappointed, I had planned to go for my 'win or bin' effort in the last corner not that one," said Stoner. "I was happy on the bike and felt we had a few tenths a lap over Dani and confident I could pull him back in. As soon as I tried to turn in a little more, the front went. I was already off the brakes and not in the hard braking area, as soon as I eased of the brakes I guess the weight came off the front and down I went."
After Stoner’s devastating crash, Lorenzo moved immediately to second after running one of his loneliest races of the season. The Mallorcan rider came off a terrible round at Assen where he lost the points lead and an engine after San Carlo Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista
took him out in the first turn of race. "Well, things can change completely in one race. In Holland we had a 25 point advantage then suddenly zero, one engine less and we were very disappointed. Then today we had some luck from Casey’s unfortunate crash. I would have been happy to have finished in third position because today the bike and the rear tire was not so good."
Dovizioso held to finish third after scrapping in one of the closest battles outside the Repsol match-up out front. Dovi, Tech 3 teammate Cal Crutchlow
and Loreno’s teammate Ben Spies
ran tight through the entire race, nearly on top of one another at times, but it was the Italian's measured pace that prevailed at the checkers. Crutchlow pressed hard, desperate to find a way to pass Dovi in the tight corners of the German circuit, but then ran wide late in the contest and came out of the gravel outside the top ten. He was able to battle back to eighth in the final minutes. Spies was just a fraction of a second behind Dovizioso in fourth at the finish.
"Of course we have to consider ourselves a little bit fortunate today to finish third because of Casey's crash," said Dovizioso. "But it proved how crucial it was for me to remain at the front of the battle with Cal and Ben for the whole race. If I had let them overtake me then perhaps I would not have been third. I am happy because I rode an intelligent race today. I never pushed completely at the limit, especially during the first laps, as I knew from the past that I would probably pay for that tactic at the end of the race. My focus was to be consistent and I managed that and that was the key to this result."
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl rounded out the top five in front of his home crowd after fending off the advances of a large group which included Ducati’s Valentino Rossi
in sixth, Bautista in seventh, Crutchlow in eighth, Pramac Racing’s Hector Barbera in ninth and Rossi’s teammate Nicky Hayden in 10th. The six rider battle was heated and the running order changed a number of times before the checkers.
Bautista made up the most ground of the group through the course of the race, moving from last-place at the start to 13th by the end of the opening laps. The Spanish rider continued to push forward until he was well entangled in the factory contest for fifth
Among the CRT field, Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet led the way in 11th with NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards trailing in 12th. De Puniet’s teammate Aleix Espargaro took 13th ahead of Avintia Blusens’ Yonny Hernandez.
Lorenzo comes out of Round 8 the outright leader in points once again with Pedrosa now holding second overall just 14 off the lead. Stoner’s DNF left him with the 140 points he started with and drops him to third overall. Dovizioso moved up to fourth, displacing his teammate, Crutchlow, who now sits in fifth.
MotoGP Sachsenring Results 2012:
1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha)
4. Ben Spies (Yamaha)
5. Stefan Bradl (Honda)
6. Valentino Rossi (Ducati)
7. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)
8. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)
9. Hector Barbera (Ducati)
10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)
11. Randy de Puniet (ART)
12. Colin Edwards (Suter)
13. Aleix Espargaro (ART)
14. Yonny Hernandez (BQR)
15. James Ellison (ART)
16. Franco Battaini (Ducati)
17. Danilo Petrucci (Ioda)
18. Ivan Silva (BQR)
MotoGP Championship Points:
1. Jorge Lorenzo, 160
2. Dani Pedrosa, 146
3. Casey Stoner, 140
4. Andrea Dovizioso, 92
5. Cal Crutchlow, 85
6. Valentino Rossi, 71
7. Alvaro Bautista, 67
8. Nicky Hayden, 65
9. Stefan Bradl, 62
10. Ben Spies, 61