Call it a feeling of shear uncertainty, nervousness if you will... or better yet anticipation. That is exactly what the German round of MotoGP racing provided for fans around the globe. Not only was the Sachsenring round the mid-marker of this season's racing schedule, but more importantly it would give life back to the shake-up that can only be described as "The Rossi Factor." A turn-nine crash by Randy de Puniet, which would take out two other riders culminating in his motorcycle bursting into flames, didn't hurt the action either.
Just as the rest of the field were settling into their respective places in the championship fight, and only six weeks after the brutal high-side that would leave a bone poking through his skin, Valentino Rossi – who had to hobble out to his bike using crutches – returned to racing with the goal of salvaging valuable championship points and proving that no one should relax just yet. As racing reached blastoff – and after the Puniet crash and re-start of the abbreviated 21-lap race – Jorge Lorenzo was able to fall into a familiar position at the front of the pack, but Repsol Honda pilot and runner-up in overall points Dani Pedrosa was not about to let Lorenzo run away with the German round.
After swapping positions several times, Pedrosa finally took firm control of the lead and proceeded to set a blistering pace around the Sachsenring circuit, setting a track record only to best that time two laps later on his way to a 3.5-second margin of victory. Lorenzo admitted to happily playing it safe on his way to second place, collecting valuable championship points, when he said, "Dani was very, very strong and I was at the limit trying to stay ahead."
Stoner, Rossi and Dovizioso competed the top five in just that order, with Rossi almost edging his way on to the podium as he and Stoner had a wonderful battle that would last right up to the final turn. Hit the jump for the full top ten results, including that of Spies and Hayden. To put it mildly, we can't wait to see what develops as the action comes Stateside. See you at Laguna!
[Source:Motogp.com | Image: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images]
|1||25||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||160.4||28'50.476|
|2||20||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Fiat Yamaha Team||Yamaha||160.1||+3.355|
|3||16||27||Casey STONER||AUS||Ducati Team||Ducati||159.9||+5.257|
|4||13||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Fiat Yamaha Team||Yamaha||159.9||+5.623|
|5||11||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||158.8||+17.158|
|6||10||58||Marco SIMONCELLI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||158.7||+17.757|
|7||9||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||158.7||+17.935|
|8||8||11||Ben SPIES||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||158.5||+20.957|
|9||7||40||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Paginas Amarillas Aspar||Ducati||158.4||+22.000|
|10||6||33||Marco MELANDRI||ITA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||Honda||157.2||+35.217|