The MotoGP™ classes encountered glorious sunshine, torrential rain and an incredibly dramatic last lap at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring, where Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa took his first victory of the season 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.
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. Two laps on, the pair made it past Spies, who looked to be slowing, as the Repsol Honda pair started to pull out a gap at the front.
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 and re-joined behind San Carlo’s Álvaro 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. After the race Stoner was highly critical of the track marshals, claiming they did not help him get back on track.
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 four points ahead of Stoner in third. The first non-podium finisher was Ben Spies in fourth, followed by LCR Honda MotoGP’s Bradl and Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi, whose sixth place was his best dry result this season. Bautista, Crutchlow, Pramac Racing Team’s Héctor Barberá and Ducati’s Hayden complete the top ten, while Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet finished as top CRT bike in 11th.
Text and photography courtesy of motoGP.