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Classic Races: Hockenheim 1992

Classic Races: Hockenheim 1992

Classic Races: Hockenheim 1992

After his vibrant triumph in Catalonia, Wayne Rainey arrived at the next meeting, the 1992 German Grand Prix, with morale at a peak. However, Mick Doohan showed from the practice that the NSR 500 was going to have a lot to say at the extremely fast Hockenheim circuit.

Rainey injured himself during the Saturday session, suffering a cracked bone in his hand and injuring his ankle. Regardless, the Yamaha rider was to put himself in second on the grid, behind an impressive Doohan who had qualified for pole position over a second and a half faster than anybody else. Kevin Schwantz would start from third. Susuki had unveiled a new close firing order engine, but the American preferred to stick with the old version. John Kocinscky´s Yamaha completed the front row.

With a perfect start, Doohan gained a rapid advantage. Despite his efforts, Schwantz failed to slipstream the Australian, who escaped the move and fled. However, the big attraction in the race was the fight for third position, with an epic battle between the ex-World Champion Wayne Gardner, Kocinsky, Eddie Lawson, Alex Barros, Doug Chandler and the Spaniards Alex Crivillé and Joan Garriga. Seven riders were in contention for the third step on the podium up until the last breath, after a frenetic race that almost resembled a 125cc round.

Wayne Rainey had kept himself in the fight for third, but was forced to retire after injuries took their toll.

The uncontested victory of Doohan saw Schwantz finish a full 24 seconds behind the Australian. Gardner completed the rostrum positions following a last lap full of attacks and unforgettable duels, in which elbows and collisions played a major part. The youthful Crivillé would finish fourth, less than two tenths behind Gardner.

MotoGP, 2006

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