MotoGPGermanyJuly 17, 2011
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 09
German Grand Prix Race Results

Pedrosa Scores Heroic Win, Stoner A Close Third

Qualifying >>

Just two weeks after returning from injury, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) was back on the top step of the podium at the Sachsenring after a thrilling race-long battle with reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) and current points leader Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC212V).

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) & Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

The trio dominated the race, all of them taking their turn to lead, but in the end it was Pedrosa who had winning speed, the Spaniard crossing the finish line 1.477s ahead of Lorenzo. It was a heroic weekend’s work from the former 125 and 250 World Champion who had missed the Catalan, British and Dutch rounds with a fractured collarbone that required two operations.

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) continued his strong run of results, running with the leaders in the first half of the race and taking fourth place after a frantic battle with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) who was beaten into sixth by Ben Spies (Yamaha) at the final turn.

Stoner started the race from pole position, but played it safe in the very early stages, slipping to fourth on the first lap. Anxious to prevent his tyres from overheating – this anti-clockwise circuit places huge stresses on the left side of the tyres – Stoner was planning to save his best for last. He started moving forward on lap four, passing Pedrosa, then the next lap bettering Dovizioso and Lorenzo to take the lead, but he couldn’t break away.

Lap after lap, Lorenzo stayed close, with Pedrosa, Dovizioso and Simoncelli swapping positions right behind. Then on lap 14 Lorenzo dived inside Stoner at turn 12. The Yamaha man managed to pull a gap of six tenths in a couple of laps, Stoner apparently struggling as his RCV got lively in some of the circuit’s fast, undulating turns. Sure enough, on lap 16 Pedrosa went past his team-mate at turn one and set off in pursuit of Lorenzo. It took him just five laps to catch his fellow Spaniard, zooming ahead on the start-finish at the start of lap 22 after Lorenzo lost drive out of the final turn.

Pedrosa was in sensational form, quickly making the break, leaving the other two to dispute second place. Not surprisingly, Pedrosa was exhausted in the final stages, but the remarkably resilient 25-year-old didn’t slacken. Only after the race did he reveal that he has been suffering from anaemia, probably the result of going under the knife twice in recent weeks. This was his second win of the year and his fifth at the Sachsenring – three on MotoGP bikes and two on 250s.

Stoner’s hopes of keeping his tyres from getting too hot came to nothing. In the final lap it was obvious that he was lacking grip in left-handers, which allowed Lorenzo to close right up on him halfway through the lap then dive inside at the final corner. That pass cost Stoner four points and shrank his World Championship lead to 15 points, with nine races done and nine to go.

The Dovizioso v Simoncelli also duel went all the way to the flag, Spies joining the two Italians in the final two laps and splitting them at the finish. Dovizioso’s fourth place – 10.5s down on the winner – means he hasn’t finished outside the top four in the last seven races. His consistency is paying dividends in the title hunt – he is currently a very strong third, 21 points behind Lorenzo and 36 behind Stoner.

Simoncelli was disappointed to have lost out to Dovizioso and Spies, but nevertheless it was another strong finish for the former 250 World Champion who has managed to avoid making major mistakes at the last two races.

Still suffering from his nasty crash at Mugello, Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) struggled all weekend here, crossing the line in 15th position to claim the final point. Toni Elias (LCR Honda MotoGP RC212V) had another challenging race and finished 16th.

Marc Marquez (Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter) made it three wins in a row in the Honda-powered Moto2 series, the 18-year-old coming out on top of a tense duel with local hero Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex). Rookie Marquez’s fourth win of the year inched him closer to Bradl in the points chase, but the 21-year-old German still leads the way by 47 points.

It certainly won’t be in Bradl’s game plan, but even if he finishes second to Marquez in the last eight races he will still win the world title.

Pole-position man Marquez led the charge away from the grid, but Bradl squeezed past into the first turn, only for Marquez to retake the lead at the next corner. From there the pair disputed the lead throughout, Marquez in front most of the way, Bradl getting past on several occasions. At one point Marquez let Bradl by because he didn’t want to do all the hard work out front. De Angelis was also in the mix, with Luthi joining the leading trio at half-distance.

Marquez and Bradl weren’t alone out front until the last five laps when they pulled a gap on Alex De Angelis (JIR Moto2-Motobi) and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2-Suter), who had been right with them for much of the race. De Angelis got between Marquez and Bradl on several occasions, but never quite made it into the lead. On the penultimate lap Luthi fell victim to Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing-Kalex), who had a brilliant ride from 15th on the grid, often lapping faster than the leaders.

All the riders were trying to conserve their tyres, but at the same time no one could ease off for a moment, with barely a couple of tenths separating each of the first quartet, lap after lap.

With seven laps to go Marquez and Bradl swapped the lead three times in two laps, the reigning 125 champion retaking the lead for the last time as they swept down the hill into turn 12 for the 24th time. Try as he might, Bradl never quite got close enough to have another go. After struggling with front grip in qualifying his team had modified their set-up, which ended up costing him some rear grip in the final stages. He crossed the line 0.896s down on Marquez and 0.491s ahead of De Angelis, who scored his first podium result of the year. Krummenacher finished a further two seconds down and just ahead of Luthi.

The battle for sixth was won by Yonny Hernandez (Blusens-STX-FTR), who had been at the tail end of the lead group until shortly before mid-distance. Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Suter) was next up, just ahead of Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project-FTR).

Front-row starter Aleix Espargaro (Pons HP40-Pons Kalex) was just behind the lead group when he crashed at high speed coming down the hill from turn seven, taking Max Neukirchner (MZ Racing Team-MZ) with him. Both men were badly battered and bruised in the accident, but suffered no serious injuries. Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2-Suter) had a luckless return from injury, sliding off at the very first corner after qualifying an impressive fifth fastest. The Spaniard also escaped with bruising.

The MotoGP class now heads west for next weekend’s United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, while the Moto2 pack starts its summer holiday. Both classes reconvene at Brno for the Czech Grand Prix on August 14.

Casey STONER ( Repsol Honda Team) Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

Casey STONER ( Repsol Honda Team)

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP rider quotes
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): race winner
“It’s an incredible feeling to be back and win a race so early; I didn’t expect it, but this circuit has been always very good for me and I made it happen. I was already surprised yesterday with second position in qualifying and to finish the weekend in this way is amazing, a huge relief for me after a very hard time with injuries. Here I suffered less than in Mugello because of the layout, but in the race today I had a strange feeling, something I’ve never had before. At the beginning of the race I wasn’t feeling great on the bike, I was fourth, but I didn’t get nervous or worried because I’m still not mathematically out of the championship battle, but I know it’s almost impossible. So, I just let the laps pass and in the middle of the race, with less fuel in the tank and when the tyres started sliding, I decided to step it up a little and it worked perfectly. I’m very happy with this victory; I’ve been suffering a lot even though this race track is not physically demanding, because I’m still weak. So a big thanks to my family and doctors that helped me to be back here because they all know how hard it has been. Also to my team and to all my fans that never gave up, they deserve it also.”

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“We knew today would be a hard race, we found a good set up yesterday in qualifying but we had an issue with the rear tyre and the temperatures getting too high, with it spinning too much. We took it easy in the early part of the race and thought we’d try to preserve the tyre and warm it up slower than we did in Mugello. After a few laps I decided to make a move to the front to see what we could do and we were able to pull a small advantage, but too small compared to the effort we were putting in so I backed off on my pace a little and tried to stay as smooth as possible and see what happens. They came past me and Dani was riding so strong and was able to get past Jorge before I got there, he built a small advantage and by the time I got past Jorge and I struggled to chase him down. I made a few small mistakes and that left just Jorge and I for the last few laps. I tried everything I could, riding the cleanest lap possible and trying to block my line, but Jorge came up on the dirty part of the track and I thought it would be too high a risk, but he made it stick and I have to settle for third place. I’m still leading the Championship and I’m thankful for the points here today.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda: 4th
“It was a tough race because this circuit is small and difficult. Our target was the podium so I’m a little disappointed with fourth position, but if we look at today’s race in a bigger perspective, we took a big step forward in terms of race pace compared to my previous records at this circuit. We had a good start and tried to stay with the front riders. It was a good battle with Simoncelli and Spies for fourth position and I’m happy we won this battle! We were consistently fast during the whole weekend and even though today we were struggling, we finished fourth. We confirm that we are there and we have retained third position in the Championship, even if we aimed to gain more points on Lorenzo and Casey. My congratulations go to Dani, Casey and Jorge for a great race.”

Marco Simoncelli, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 6th
“It’s a shame because fourth place would have felt completely different. I was faster than Dovizioso for the first half of the race and maybe I took too long to pass him, losing contact with the leaders in the process. We passed each other a few times and then the tyre wear was so bad on the left side I was really struggling and it was hard to control the bike. I tried everything I could on the last lap but it wasn’t enough and Spies also came through. It is a shame but this was still a good race for us because we were close to the front and if we can just find another couple of tenths in race trim we’ll be fighting for wins.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 15th
“It wasn’t an easy race, especially the first half, but I tried to finish it in the best possible way. Unfortunately my physical condition has been a problem all weekend and I have not found it easy. I have tried to get more confident with the bike from session to session but it has been hard. I am sorry for the team and I hope to be in better shape for the next race at Laguna Seca.”

Toni Elias, LCR Honda MotoGP: 16th
“Yesterday we thought we made a good step forward and I was hoping for a better result. But at the beginning of the race with the full load of fuel when the bike was heavier I struggled very much to control it. Suddenly our usual problems came back again and I started to lose the front in braking and had no confidence in the rear. I managed to cross the line in 15th position but obviously I am very frustrated. By the way, I do not want to lose my motivation and my concentration and we’ll see what is going to happen in Laguna.”

Moto2 rider quotes
Marc Marquez, Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol-Suter: race winner
“Before the race I knew we could make the difference at the end because we were very strong on used tyres. This track is a little special – you need confidence in the bike to really push. And this victory is so important, because I beat Bradl at his home track. He was so strong, but in the end I could push 100 per cent. At one point I let him past because 29 laps in front here is a long time – it’s important to control the other riders. Near the end I followed him for five laps and I could see that I could go faster. Three wins in a row is great because it’s so difficult to do this in Moto2, and it means that we can go into the holidays relaxed. I want to enjoy the moment and I don’t want to think about the title yet. Early in the season I made too many mistakes and lost many points, so I want to do this race by race. Everything is possible. The gap to Bradl is very big, so there’s no pressure on me. I can race for wins every race and we will see where we are at Valencia.”

Stefan Bradl, Viessmann Kiefer Racing-Kalex: 2nd
“I knew he might be faster than me, but I was a bit surprised by my rear tyre losing so much near the end. I had expected to lose something because yesterday morning I crashed and in qualifying we had a problem with the front, so I lost some confidence in the front. We made some improvements to the front for qualifying and we made some more adjustments to the front for the race, so I expected to lose some rear grip. During the last five laps I realised that I was at the limit – that was enough. I’m very happy with my performance at the moment – it’s great to be one of the top guys, fighting for wins and making good results. It’s a good feeling to go into the holidays in this situation. I’m not thinking about the championship too much because we are only halfway.”

Alex De Angelis, JIR Moto2-Motobi: 3rd
“This podium is very, very important, even though it’s come quite late! Me and my team have spent a lot of energy this season. At first our new chassis didn’t like me, but now I feel very confident with the bike, so I was able to make a lot of overtakes in the race. I didn’t have enough speed on the straights though, so I was getting passed by the other guys a lot. I am happy for the podium and now we must continue working like this. I know I cannot fight for the World Championship, but I know I can fight for race wins.””

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 09
German Grand Prix

1 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3 Casey STONER ( Repsol Honda Team)
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)
6 Marco SIMONCELLI (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
7 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
8 Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)
9 Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)
10 Colin EDWARDS (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
11 Hector BARBERA (Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP)
12 Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)
13 Randy DE PUNIET (Pramac Racing Team)
14 Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
15 Hiroshi AOYAMA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)
2 Stefan BRADL (Viessmann Kiefer Racing)
3 Alex DE ANGELIS (JIR Moto2)
4 Randy KRUMMENACHE (GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Ra)
5 Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)
6 Yonny HERNANDEZ (Blusens-STX)
7 Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)
8 Simone CORSI (Ioda Racing Project)
9 Jules CLUZEL (NGM Forward Racing)
10 Michele PIRRO (Gresini Racing Moto2)
11 Kenan SOFUOGLU (Technomag-CIP)
12 Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)
13 Pol ESPARGARO (HP Tuenti Speed Up)
14 Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)
15 Claudio CORTI (Italtrans Racing Team)
1 Hector FAUBEL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
2 Johann ZARCO (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo)
3 Maverick VINALES (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
4 Nicolas TEROL (Bankia Aspar Team 125cc)
5 Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)
6 Sergio GADEA (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing)
7 Jonas FOLGER (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)
8 Sandro CORTESE (Intact-Racing Team Germany)
9 Danny KENT (Red Bull Ajo MotorSport)
10 Niklas AJO (TT Motion Events Racing)
11 Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia Banca Civica)
12 Toni FINSTERBUSCH (Freudenberg Racing Team)
13 Jakub KORNFEIL (Ongetta-Centro Seta)
14 Danny WEBB (Mahindra Racing)
15 Jasper IWEMA (Ongetta-Abbink Metaal)

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