News 19 Jul 2010

MotoGP: Pedrosa storms to Sachsenring win, Rossi stars

Pedrosa was unstoppable at the Sachsenring on Sunday.

Pedrosa was unstoppable at the Sachsenring on Sunday.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa reduced the gap to Jorge Lorenzo in the championship standings to less than 50 points with victory in today’s restarted eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at Sachsenring.

The original race was red flagged on lap nine when a crash for Randy de Puniet at turn four brought down both Álvaro Bautista and Aleix Espargaró, neither of whom could avoid the Frenchman’s bike as it burst into flames in the middle of the track. The top five order at that stage was Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso and Rossi, which is how they lines up on the grid for the restart after the race had been red flagged.

Espargaró and Bautista were not allowed to start the shortened 21-lap race as both failed to return to pit lane with their bikes within the allowed five-minute window after the showing of the red flag. De Puniet was physically unable to retake the grid, having sustained fractures in his left tibia and fibula in the incident.

Espargaró was later diagnosed with a cracked C6 vertebra.

After a 25-minute interval the new shortened race got underway, with Mika Kallio sliding out at turn one in an unfortunate end to his weekend. As he had done in the original race Pedrosa got his nose in front on the first lap, but Lorenzo quickly assumed the race lead – that would change again however.

The top order was much the same as it had been before the red flag, with Lorenzo holding off Pedrosa, Stoner in third, and Rossi and Dovizioso battling for fourth. The reigning World Champion was in front of his Italian compatriot before too long, and the Repsol Honda man was caught by the chasing pack shortly after.

The battle between Lorenzo and Pedrosa was developing into a thriller with the two Spaniards swapping the lead as they constantly looked for ways through on one another. Pedrosa was at his best as he set a new circuit lap record on lap 10 and then again on lap 12, assuming the race lead and breaking his own record from the previous year and consistently riding in the low 1’22”s bracket.

There was a good scrap going on for fifth between Marco Simoncelli, Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, with the latter two going through on the rookie when he had a bit of an out of the saddle moment on the drop down to turn 12.

Rossi was defying his precarious physical condition to engage in a great contest with Stoner for third, the two side by side with only a few laps to go and taking their duel to the bitter end.

Pedrosa crossed the line in first position, 3.355s clear of championship leader Lorenzo thanks to a faultless ride.

“I’m very happy because we are back winning races and it’s a great feeling,” said Pedrosa. “Today’s win was even better than Mugello, because I was battling with Lorenzo and finally beat him, so this is even more important. This weekend has ended perfectly.”

“I don’t think I rode as well in the second part of the race as I did in the first,” explained Lorenzo. “Dani was very strong and I was on the limit trying to stay ahead. When he passed me I tried to stay with him, but he was much faster than me today.”

Stoner managed to edge Rossi for third with a final corner move that handed the Italian fourth on his return from injury, a highly impressive result.

“Valentino was taking big chunks of time out of me and, once he went past, I didn’t think I’d be able to follow,” admitted Stoner. “I tried really hard to stay in there and had a good battle with a lot of nice passes. We touched at the bottom of the hill, but it was a good, clean fight and I’m pleased to come away with a podium.”

“I thought it was maybe possible to make fourth or fifth place, but I thought it would be very difficult. I certainly didn’t expect this,” declared Rossi. “I felt some pain from my leg and my shoulder, but the battle with Casey was so much fun I didn’t really think about it. Unfortunately though, he got the better of me on the last corner. This is a fantastic result though after missing four races.”

Dovizioso finished fifth, with Simoncelli achieving his best premier class result to date in sixth. American duo Hayden and Ben Spies were seventh and eighth respectively, with Héctor Barberá and Marco Melandri completing the top ten.

The final two riders to complete the race in 11th and 12th were Loris Capirossi and stand-in rider Alex de Angelis. Colin Edwards had crashed out on lap seven of the original race.

Lorenzo now has 185 points at the top of the standings, with Pedrosa second on 138 and Dovizioso third on 102. Stoner moves into fourth, 19 points off Dovizioso.

Toni Elías’ third win of the season came at Sachsenring today, as the Gresini Racing rider triumphed in the Moto2 class, extending his advantage at the top of the championship standings.

An opening-lap crash saw five riders in the gravel trap, as Raffaele De Rosa collected Héctor Faubel, Ricky Cardús, Joan Olivé and Lukas Pesek after crashing at turn one. Faubel and De Rosa rejoined the race, but the Italian was eventually forced to retire just a few laps before the end. Clear of the trouble at the front was the Fimmco Speed Up pair of Gabor Talmacsi and Andrea Iannone, with Julián Simón chasing hard in third.

Another faller came in the shape of Yuki Takahashi and shortly after Simón’s participation was ended early when he slid out whilst pushing hard to keep on the tail of Talmacsi. Home rider Arne Tode, who had qualified in second position, Alex Debón and Sergio Gadea also fell, with an early end to a frustrating weekend following shortly after for Thomas Lüthi.

With 11 laps remaining Elías was well on the way to recovering from a start that had seen him drop from his starting position of third, charging up the order and through on Talmacsi – who started to drop back as his tyres went off – with Simone Corsi also passing the Hungarian. The Italian’s race ended on lap 20 however when he lost the front of his machine at turn 12 when in third position.

The experienced Elías was closing in all the while on race leader Iannone and six laps from the end the championship leader made his move, taking first position. Roberto Rolfo was moving up the order too and went through on the by now frustrated Talmacsi, who was unable to do anything.

A fantastic last-lap battle for third played out between Rolfo and Fonsi Nieto was eventually being won by the Italian, after Elías had crossed the line 3.297s clear of Iannone for his third win of the season.

Nieto took fourth, with Karel Abraham fifth and Talmacsi sixth. A fantastic ride from stand-in rider Damian Cudlin for the Tenerife 40 Pons team handed the Australian seventh.

Elías now has 136 points at the top of the standings, 42 clear of second-placed Lüthi after his DNF. Iannone moves into third, just four points off the Swiss rider thanks to his third podium of the season.

Marc Márquez’s dominance of the 125cc class continued today at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, where the 17 year-old Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider benefitted from a late crash for Pol Espargaró to take a fifth consecutive win, with Tomoyoshi Koyama and Sandro Cortese completing the podium in a thrilling contest.

It was a noticeably nervy grid prior to the start of the race as riders and teams tried to best judge what tyre combinations to go for, with the wet track fast drying out. Home riders Jonas Folger and Marcel Schrötter opted for full wet front and rear, giving them an early advantage as they got clear at the front with Folger leading by 2.4s from his compatriot.

The first crasher of the race was Alberto Moncayo, with a host of riders fortunate not to be taken out by the young Spaniard’s bike, and as the surface continued to dry quickly the early gap opened by Folger and Schrötter had been swallowed up by lap six as Márquez and Espargaró overtook.

The pair initiated a battle for the lead at the front and started to open a gap back to the remainder, and further back Folger had a run off as his race ran into difficulties. A quartet comprising Randy Krummenacher, Esteve Rabat, Bradley Smith and Koyama had by then established themselves as the group contending for what looked to be the only remaining podium spot by mid-race distance.

The Márquez-Espargaró battle continued to rage in an aggressive manner and the championship leader experienced a momentary wobble on his Derbi machine as the pace remained high. As the final quarter of the race unfolded Cortese had done an admirable job of pulling himself up to the group fighting for third.

On lap 24 of 27 Krummenacher suffered the bitter disappointment of crashing at turn one as he pushed hard to maintain third position, thus opening the door to the remaining challengers. More drama, which would affect the race lead, was to come on the next lap however.

With Espargaró in front of Márquez the Tuenti Racing rider’s rear tyre touched the astroturf on the side of the track and he was thrown from his bike, Márquez only narrowly avoiding being taken out as well. Unable to restart his machine and get back on track the race was over for the 19-year-old, as Márquez cruised on to victory by a margin of 17.578s.

The crash of Espargaró elevated Koyama to second position, a great result for his team in their home GP, with home rider Cortese edging Rabat in the dying stages of the final lap to complete the podium, his first of the campaign and one which naturally delighted the fervent German crowd.

Rabat and Smith completed the top five, with Johann Zarco, Danny Webb, Efrén Vázquez, Sturla Fagerhaug and wildcard rider Dani Kartheininger in the top ten. Krummenacher eventually finished 11th. In total 13 riders failed to finish the race.

The result means Márquez now holds a 26-point lead at the top of the championship, with Espargaró remaining second and the absent Nico Terol third. The win was also the 100th in GP racing for Derbi.

Click here for detailed results