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Anticipation builds ahead of Sachsenring

Anticipation builds ahead of Sachsenring

Defending his Championship lead at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland this weekend will be Jorge Lorenzo, with a decision on whether Valentino Rossi will make his return due on Wednesday.

Jorge Lorenzo arrives at Sachsenring for the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland in the best shape possible, with a 52-point lead in the Championship and off the back of a hot run of three successive wins. Having finished in the top two in every race of 2010 so far (five of those being wins), the Fiat Yamaha man is the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2005 to have been on the podium in the first seven races of the season. He will however be aiming for a first premier class win at Sachsenring, one of four circuits he is yet to taste victory at in any class with last year’s second place his best result there.

Closest to Lorenzo at this stage of the season is Dani Pedrosa, and the Repsol Honda man has mixed memories of the circuit. In 2007 he won there, in 2008 he was leading the Championship standings when he crashed out of the race and suffered an injury that effectively ended his title challenge, and last season he finished on the podium. His team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, now 22 points behind in third, has a best premier class finish of fifth (in 2008) and will be going for a first podium in any category at the venue.

Level on 69 points in fourth and fifth respectively are Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda). The American has more podium finishes at Sachsenring than at any other circuit, thanks to his run of third places from 2004 to 2007. De Puniet’s season continues to be one of impressive results and he will be confident of improving on his previous best MotoGP placement of eighth from 2008, the only time he has completed a premier class race at the track.

Casey Stoner is two points further back in sixth but the signs of a resurgence are already there and the Ducati Team rider comes into this weekend having taken back-to-back podiums in the two previous rounds. A first win of 2010 for the Australian will be fancied by many, and he has taken victory once before here in 2008.

Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) finds another new track in what is already proving to be a strong debut season, and he holds a 20-point advantage over San Carlo Honda Gresini pair Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli who are level and complete the top ten in the standings going into the weekend.

Making a return to the premier class this weekend is Alex de Angelis, who begins his spell as the substitute rider on the Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team in place of the injured Hiroshi Aoyama. Fiat Yamaha and Valentino Rossi will make a final decision on Wednesday as to whether the World Champion makes his return from injury this weekend, with Wataru Yoshikawa prepared to ride in place of the Italian once more if he decides Sachsenring is too early.


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