MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) earned a dramatic third consecutive victory in the German Grand Prix after team-mate Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) fell while chasing Pedrosa two laps from the end of the race, which was enjoyed by a crowd of over 81,000 at the Sachsenring in the former East Germany.
Stoner had led from the pole with Pedrosa, who had won here in 2010 and 2011, in his shadow from the start. The pair made short work of the rest of the field, easing away to turn the eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship into a Repsol Honda family feud.
Pedrosa kept Stoner honest before executing a perfect pass in the first turn right-hander on the 19th of 20 laps. Stoner then assumed the role of pursuer and hounded the Spaniard for the duration. Just as the pair were going through the turn 12 left at the bottom of the hill, Stoner suddenly lost the front end and went sliding into the gravel trap, unhurt. He tried to get his motorcycle re-started, to score as many points as possible, but was disappointed not to be assisted by corner marshals.
With Stoner out, Pedrosa sped to victory by 14.996s over Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo.
The win was not only Pedrosa’s third in a row at the Sachsenring, but his fourth overall in the MotoGP category at the track in the former East Germany. It was also his first win since last October’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. Stoner’s non-points finish was his first in 22 races, since he was taken out of the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
Stoner’s crash had profound championship implications. Lorenzo, who had arrived in Germany tied on points with Stoner, now has sole control, with Pedrosa moving into second, 14 points behind. Stoner sits third after eight of 18 races.
German Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) was inspired by his home crowd to a career best fifth in his rookie season. The Bavarian was part of the battle for what would become fifth place. Fronting a group that included a pair of former MotoGP World Champions. Under pressure throughout, Bradl was resolute and repelled any and all attacks to secure the best dry track finish by a German MotoGP rider in some time. Bradl was also fifth on a wet track in Le Mans.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) finished a creditable seventh after starting from the back row. A week earlier in Assen, Bautista was involved in an incident that resulted in Lorenzo crashing. His penalty was to start from the back of the grip. The Spaniard made his way through the CRT riders by the sixth lap and set out for the prototypes. Closing at faster than half a second a lap, he injected himself into the fight for fifth and passed a rider each of the final three laps.
Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) failed to finish the race, suffering the same technical problem, which had sidelined him in the season-opener in Qatar.
Marc Marquez (Team Caixa Catalunya Repsol – Suter) expanded his Moto2 championship lead to 43 points with a nearly flag-to-flag victory, his fourth win of the season, in the first race of the day.
The Spaniard jetted away from his sixth pole in eight races to set the early pace. Soon he was joined by Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up), who slotted into second with a pass of Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex) on the fourth of 29 laps.
Iannone passed Marquez for the lead in the turn 12 left on the eighth lap and held the point until the first turn on lap nine, when Marquez out braked the Italian.
Two laps later Iannone’s victory chances were dashed when he crashed in turn 1. Iannone remounted and finished 18th, and out of the points.
Now it was Marquez and Kallio out front, with company from Alex de Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing), who had switched from the Suter to the FTR chassis for the race in Assen. De Angelis immediately adapted to the British-made chassis, setting a new record fastest lap of 1m, 25.167s on the sixth lap of the race.
De Angelis lost second to Kallio on the 15th lap and was not able to find a way past until lap 27. By then Marquez had disappeared with a trio of fast laps. Marquez increased his lead by nearly a second from laps 24 to 26, ending the lap with a cushion of 1.428s. He would go on to win by 2.093s.
On the final lap de Angelis had one last move, into the final corner, but was outplayed by Kallio who scored his first podium of the year. De Angelis also had his best finish in third.
Fourth went to Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex). The Spaniard had made his race more difficult by qualifying a season worst 17th. He was fighting to the front when he ran off the track, losing more time. And on the final lap he had to withstand a furious attack from Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock –Suter), who finished fifth.
Marquez finished the day with 152 points to 109 for Espargaro. Luthi is third with 107, three better than Iannone.
Alexis Masbou (Caretta Technology – Honda) earned his first podium in the Moto3 race, and very nearly his first win, in his 103rd grand prix. Instead he came second at .635s to Sandro Cortese (KTM), the German rider who scored a popular home win.
Both Masbou and his team-mate Jack Miller led the race at different points, Miller from laps two through 15, as the wet track was rapidly drying, and Masbou lap 16 and laps 22 and 23. Masbou then lost the lead to Cortese who went on to victory. Masbou was second with Miller missing out on his first podium by .053s, but still finishing a career best fourth. Masbou’s previous best finish this season was fourth at Silverstone, Miller’s previous best was 15th in Catalunya.
Finishing fifth was Efren Vazquez on the JHK Laglisse FTR Honda. Vazquez worked his way up from 13th at the start to take over fifth with two laps to go when Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany – FTR Honda) crashed.
Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) lost his championship lead by finishing out of the points. Vinales had a difficult qualifying session and was not able to improve in the race. He finished 17th and now trails Cortese 130 to 148.
|1||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|3||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|4||Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)|
|5||Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)|
|6||Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)|
|7||Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)|
|8||Cal CRUTCHLOW (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|9||Hector BARBERA (Pramac Racing Team)|
|10||Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)|
|11||Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|12||Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|13||Aleix ESPARGARO (Power Electronics Aspar)|
|14||Yonny HERNANDEZ (Avintia Blusens)|
|15||James ELLISON (Paul Bird Motorsport)|
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)|
|2||Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)|
|3||Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)|
|4||Pol ESPARGARO (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)|
|5||Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)|
|6||Simone CORSI (Came IodaRacing Project)|
|7||Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)|
|8||Xavier SIMEON (Tech 3 Racing)|
|9||Claudio CORTI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|10||Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)|
|11||Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)|
|12||Esteve RABAT (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)|
|13||Ricard CARDUS (Arguinano Racing Team)|
|14||Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)|
|15||Julian SIMON (Blusens Avintia)|
|1||Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|2||Alexis MASBOU (Caretta Technology)|
|3||Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)|
|4||Jack MILLER (Caretta Technology)|
|5||Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK Laglisse)|
|6||Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)|
|7||Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)|
|8||Luca GRUENWALD (Freudenberg Racing Team)|
|9||Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|10||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)|
|11||Toni FINSTERBUSCH (Cresto Guide MZ Racing)|
|12||Niccolo` ANTONELLI (San Carlo Gresini Moto3)|
|13||Alan TECHER (Technomag-CIP-TSR)|
|14||Niklas AJO (TT Motion Events Racing)|
|15||Simone GROTZKYJ (Ambrogio Next Racing)|