A last-minute front-end lose while chasing team-mate Pedrosa has all but killed off the 2012 title hopes for Australian rider Casey Stoner, at the German MotoGP. This puts Yamaha's Lorenzo (who suffered what looked like a title-ending crash in Assen) back in the lead, ahead of Pedrosa and Stoner.
Stoner said: "I'm pretty disappointed, I had planned to go for my 'win or bin' effort in the last corner not that one! I was happy on the bike and felt we had a few tenths a lap over Dani and confident I could pull him back in.
"On the final lap I made a mistake going into the first turn and I had to push a little more than I wanted through some of the sections but I got on to Dani exactly where I wanted and planned to make my overtake in the last corner, if I didn't have an opportunity earlier in the lap.
"I felt confident but as soon as I tried to turn in a little more, the front went. I was already off the brakes and not in the hard braking area, as soon as I eased of the brakes I guess the weight came off the front and down I went. I'm frustrated I wasn't allowed to get up and try and score some points, the bike was perfect, but the marshals pushed me away.
"It's our first crash in a race, down to our own mistake, for the first time in a long time so I'm disappointed for sure, but we knew we had the pace. If we can continue this momentum for the rest of the season then we shouldn't be so worried for the Championship."
Here's the report.
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.
Amid warm and sunny conditions at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring it was Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez who extended his championship lead in the Moto2 category as he took victory ahead of Mika Kallio and Alex de Angelis.
At the start it was Márquez who took the holeshot followed by Marc VDS Racing Team’s Mika Kallio and Blusens Avintia’s Julián Simón. Kallio’s teammate Scott Redding crashed out in the first set of bends as he made contact with Mapfre Aspar Team’s Toni Elías. With 24 laps remaining, Elías too crashed out of the race, while Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone continued to heap ever more pressure on Márquez in second. A lap later, Pons 40 HP Tuenti’s Pol Espargaró did tremendously well to save a near crash, though he did drop back some positions. To add to the excitement, with 21 laps to go Iannone made his pass on Márquez, with the Spaniard taking him back almost immediately. On the same lap, JiR Moto2’s Brazilian youngster Eric Granado crashed after running off into the gravel.
Following this there was drama at the front as Iannone crashed out pushing too hard into turn one, though he was able to re-join the race in 26th. With 15 laps remaining, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis made a move on Kallio at turn 12, but the Finn got the better drive out of the corner and re-took second. A few laps later De Angelis had another go and made it stick that time, as Espargaró started to hunt down the front three. GP Team Switzerland’s Randy Krummenacher crashed out of the race on the same lap, yet was unhurt in the incident.
The pack had settled down in the latter stages, however it was Kallio who provided a last gasp of excitement two laps before the end as he passed De Angelis into turn one to take second place. De Angelis tried to retake him in the final corner yet ran wide, with the Finn having the better drive out of the bend.
Ultimately it was Márquez who took the chequered flag for his fourth win this year, with Kallio and De Angelis both taking their first podium of the season. Márquez now leads the championship by 43 points ahead of Espargaró, who finished fourth. They were followed by Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi, Came IodaRacing Project’s Simone Corsi, Tech 3 Racing’s Bradley Smith and Xavier Siméon, Italtrans Racing Team’s Claudio Corti and CIP-Technomag’s Dominique Aegerter.
After the skies opened just before the Moto3 race at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring it was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese who coped best with some difficult track conditions to take his first home win ahead of Alexis Masbou and Luis Salom.
JHK Laglisse’s Adrián Martín got the holeshot ahead of Caretta Technology’s Jack Miller with Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Danny Kent in tow. Most riders looked very tentative at the start, yet Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi made his way through the field and soon came up behind Miller and Martín.
Just before the race had run half its distance, the sun had come out with all its force, creating a quick-drying line.
With 14 laps left, Ambrogio Next Racing’s Giulian Pedone retired from the race, while a lap later RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom went past Rossi in turn one to take second spot. Miller’s teammate Alexis Masbou was a man on a mission as he carved his way through the pack on the drying line. With ten laps left there was heartache for German fans as IodaRacing Team’s Jonas Folger’s race was ended with a bike issue, as was Moto FGR’s Jasper Iwema. With seven laps to go Martín was caught out as he crashed heading into turn seven, but walked away unscathed.
The latter stages of the race also saw Salom’s teammate Binder crash out at turn 11, while a group of Masbou, Cortese and Salom had formed at the front. In the meantime, Danny Kent had returned to the pits with a bike issue, while Faubel’s teammate Alberto Moncayo also suffered a mechanical problem. With two laps to go, Mahindra Racing’s Marcel Schrotter made it the second German rider out of the race with a crash.
In the final two laps there was drama at the front as Rossi retired with a mechanical issue from fifth, as Cortese diced with Masbou for the win. And it was ultimately the local Cortese who kept his nerve to become the first German to win at the newly-built Sachsenring and retake the lead in the championship, with Masbou taking his first ever Grand Prix podium and Salom completing the top three. This result now puts Cortese at the top of the championship standings, 18 points ahead of Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales, who finished in 17th. Behind the winning trio were Miller, JHK Laglisse’s Efrén Vázquez, AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Faubel, Freudenberg Racing Team’s wildcard Luca Gruenwald, Red Bull’s Arthur Sissis and Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Jakub Kornfeil.