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Stoner continues victory run with wet weather masterclass

Stoner continues victory run with wet weather masterclass

A run of three victories in a row from pole position was continued by Casey Stoner in Sachsenring.

MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner continued his spectacular return to form with victory at the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, his third win in as many races. The Ducati Marlboro rider braved the wet conditions of the Sachsenring circuit and appeared equally adept to the task as he had been in the dry practice sessions, a sign that will have his title rivals preoccupied for the second half of the season.

The race had looked set to be a wet weather repeat of Dani Pedrosa´s comprehensive 2007 victory, after the Repsol Honda rider once again used his finely-honed launch control to take the holeshot. He stormed out of the blocks and immediately created a two second gap. The advantage increased to nearly eight seconds by the time the Spaniard crossed the line for lap six, but just moments later disaster struck as he lost control of the RC212V and picked up his first DNF of 2008.

Pedrosa´s crash allowed Stoner to return to the script written in practice sessions for the German race, and the Australian needed no further invitation. He assumed the reigns in the same style with which he had taken the win at the past two races, breaking free and riding solo for 23 laps right up until the chequered flag was waved.

Second place from the third row of the grid was a more-than-respectable result for Valentino Rossi, and the runner-up spot allowed the Fiat Yamaha rider to reassume the leadership of the MotoGP World Championship. Heading to the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in just a week´s time, the five-time title holder now holds a 16-point advantage over Pedrosa, whose hand and foot injuries picked up in the crash may affect his form and perhaps even participation in the Laguna Seca race.

Rizla Suzuki´s Chris Vermeulen forced his way through the pack for a first podium of 2008, in doing so denying MotoGP rookie Alex de Angelis his maiden rostrum placing. Both had great rides in the wet, with the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider equalling his best premier class result to date and becoming the highest-finishing Honda man.

Andrea Dovizioso finished in the top five for the fourth successive race, after getting a fantastic start onboard his JiR Team Scot Honda. Dovizioso came in ahead of Sylvain Guintoli, Loris Capirossi, Randy de Puniet, Shinya Nakano and Anthony West, while the riders outside the top ten were lapped by Stoner on the second shortest MotoGP circuit.

Besides Pedrosa´s tumble, there were also crashes for Jorge Lorenzo, Colin Edwards and Marco Melandri as they fell foul of the tricky conditions.


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