Pedrosa charges to first season win in dramatic Sachsenring race

Sunday, 8 July 2012

At the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring it was Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa who took victory in a dramatic race in front of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.

It was Pedrosa who got the best start as he led into turn one ahead of teammate Casey Stoner and the Yamaha Factory Racing duo of Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo. The grid was tightly bunched early on, with Stoner soon passing his teammate for the lead, as the Australian looked to have more pace in the opening stages.

Many early two-way tussles ensued, including the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, as well as Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. With 27 laps to go, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro retired with a mechanical issue, while a lap later Spies ran wide and let Lorenzo into third, to chase down the Repsol Hondas.

As Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini crashed out of the race with 25 laps left, Spies’ mistake had let the tussling Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair catch up, with Dovizioso and Crutchlow switching places as they looked for a way past Spies. The following group was joined by Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi and Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá, as they made it another four-way scrap with Hayden and Bradl.

Two laps on, both Dovizioso and Crutchlow made it past Spies, who looked to be slowing, as the Repsol Honda pair started to pull out a gap at the front. Meanwhile, San Carlo’s Álvaro Bautista, who had started at the back of the grid, had made his way up to 11th in front on the CRT contingent.

With 17 laps remaining, with Crutchlow all over the back wheel of his Italian teammate, Spies had caught back up to the pair, as the trio fought a three-way Yamaha scrap. At the front, Stoner and Pedrosa were engrossed in an inter-team battle, while Lorenzo was dropping off slightly in third, though still with a significantly margin over the following group.

And with 12 laps left Pedrosa made his move past Stoner into turn one, shortly after which the Austrian had a big wobble on his bike trying to keep up with the Spaniard. However, this was just momentary, as Stoner continued to stick to Pedrosa’s rear wheel. With just seven laps remaining the three-way Yamaha tussle was getting ever more fierce as Crutchlow continued to look for a way past Dovizioso in fourth. It was however not to be as the Brit out-braked himself going into turn one and ran into the gravel. He managed to keep his bike upright yet re-joined behind Bautista, leaving Spies and Dovizioso to fight it out alone.

The last few laps were a thrilling affair as Stoner and Pedrosa were neck and neck, but there was huge drama in the final turns as Stoner crashed out chasing down the Spaniard. Pedrosa was setting a record pace as he fought hard for his maiden win of the season, and crossed the finish line first in front of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso, who recorded his third podium this season. This result puts Lorenzo 14 points clear in the championship with Pedrosa now in second, a further six points ahead of Stoner in third. The first non-podium finisher was Ben Spies in fourth, followed by Bradl and Rossi, whose sixth place was his best dry result this season. Bautista, Crutchlow, Barberá and Hayden complete the top ten, while Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet finished as top CRT bike in 11th.

TAGS Germany

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