MotoGP: It’s Not Over Until It’s Over at Sachsenring

07/08/2012 @ 3:01 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

MotoGP: Its Not Over Until Its Over at Sachsenring Casey Stoner Dani Pedrosa MotoGP Sachsenring 635x421

With the rainy weekend turning to cloudy but dry skies, racing for the German GP proved to be a challenge as teams had only one practice session plus the warm-up to get their dry-setups right for the afternoon’s race. With Casey Stoner sitting on the pole-position, all eyes were on the Australian to see if he could convert the front-row start into a points advantage in the MotoGP Championship, after Lorenzo’s crash in Assen leveled the points between the two rivals.

The level playing field was courtesy of one over-zealous Alvaro Bautista, whose first-turn crash at Assen took the factory Yamaha rider down with him, thus negating his 25 point lead in the 2012 MotoGP Championship. With much of silly season still undecided, the focus wasn’t just on the riders at the front, as Ben Spies, Andrea Dovizioso, and Cal Crutchlow all are vying for the last factory seat in the Yamaha garage. As the German GP would prove, even with half of the season nearly over, it could all come down to the last minute. Click on for a full race report with spoilers.

Another rocket start, another Dani Pedrosa lead into the first turn. Followed closely by Repsol Honda teammate Casey Stoner, the pair of Hondas would walkaway from the trailing Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo. Dropping his teammate to the satellite Yamaha wolves that followed, Lorenzo would find himself out in no-man’s land, with a sizable gap in front of him and the factory Hondas, as well as a safe margin to the melee that was underway behind him.

A three-way scrap for fourth, it was almost fitting that Spies, Dovi, and Crutchlow would come together for a race-long fight. Vying for more than just fourth place in the German GP, the race showed a renewed form for the American Spies. However, even though Spies was showing a renewed self, he was still losing the war, as the men he contended with were better making results with lesser machinery. Unable to catch Dovi at the finish line, Spies would have to settle for fourth, as Cal Crutchlow’s error with five laps remaining cost him his position in the fight.

For those doing the math with all the “fourths”, Spies’ looking fourth-place finish was assisted by one of the most monumental crashes of the season, as Casey Stoner lost the front of his Honda RC213V with half a lap remaining. Chasing down Dani Pedrosa for the race win, Stoner was unable to rejoin the race, thus handing his advantage in the Championship right back to Lorenzo, who had a similar price to pay in Assen just eight days earlier.

The crash meant Dani Pedrosa’s first win of the season, and the second podium in a row for satellite rider Andrea Dovizioso. The crash also meant a 20 point advantage to Lorenzo over Stoner, as well as Dani Pedrosa moving into second in the points totals, just 14 points behind Lorenzo.

Having to start from the back of the pack, Alvaro Bautista ran a fantastic race to come from 21st to 7th, catching the group the ultimately was battling for 5th. A melee between Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi, Hector Barbara, and Stefan Bradl. The group would be caught by Crutchlow after his mistake, as well as Bautista who had a strong late-race charge — making it a seven-way dash to the finish.

Giving his German fans something to cheer about, Bradl rode a strong race, and fended off the Ducatis. While Nicky Hayden gave Bradl the most pressure, it was ultimately Rossi that would be the Best of Bologna, though the nine-time World Champion was nearly half a minute off the pace.

With not too much going on at the pointy end of the race, the German GP had serious consequences for the Championship as a whole. The last stop in this quick three-race blast, MotoGP comes from Mugello next Sunday for the Italian GP, and then will be officially half over.

Race Results from the German GP at Sachsenring, Germany:

Pos.RiderNationTeamBikeTime
1Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda41’28.396
2Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha+14.996
3Andrea DOVIZIOSOITAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+20.669
4Ben SPIESUSAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha+20.740
5Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda+27.893
6Valentino ROSSIITADucati TeamDucati+28.050
7Alvaro BAUTISTASPASan Carlo Honda GresiniHonda+28.246
8Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha+28.447
9Hector BARBERASPAPramac Racing TeamDucati+29.053
10Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati+29.226
11Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART+53.176
12Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingSuter+58.204
13Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART+1’04.654
14Yonny HERNANDEZCOLAvintia BlusensBQR+1’13.543
15James ELLISONGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART+1’30.318
16Franco BATTAINIITACardion AB MotoracingDucati1 Lap
17Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda1 Lap
18Ivan SILVASPAAvintia BlusensBQR1 Lap
Not Classified
DNFCasey STONERAUSRepsol Honda TeamHonda1 Lap
DNFMattia PASINIITASpeed MasterART26 Laps
DNFMichele PIRROITASan Carlo Honda GresiniFTR27 Laps

Source: MotoGP; Photo: HRC

Comment:

  1. Jonathan says:

    He was pushing. In fact he was leaned over so far that it was hard to tell when the leaning stopped and the crash started. It happened right about the time that the rain shower started too. Looks like Honda are getting on top of the chatter problem though. I know Dani always does well at the Sachsenring, but on the form of the bikes so far this season I was expecting the more nimble yamaha to be more competitive at this twisty track.

  2. Damo says:

    I have no idea why Stoner was pushing so hard. He should have been happy with 2nd and the lead in the championship.

    Imagine my happiness if for some reason Dani stays in form and snatches the crown from the two disposed kings!

  3. MikeD says:

    Stoner………..you are killing me here dude.

    Get your shit together, i know u can get out this year with the Championship in your pocket. (^_^)

    @Damo:

    I was saying the same, he didn’t need to finish first…just finish in the top 3, BUT…specially FINISH THE RACE.
    I bet he must be kicking his own ass right now. Live & Learn.

  4. KevinH says:

    How’s that ol’ chestnut go … “Aww Casey mate I guess your ambition outweighed your talent”. And to cap it all off, the Moto3 guys made you look like an even bigger ass.

  5. GeddyT says:

    Jensen… let’s at least keep the typos out of the headlines!

  6. spectre says:

    How did the moto3 riders make Casey look stupid? Missed that one…

    Seeing as it’s the first race he hasn’t finished since Japan last year, I think he can afford a bit of risk. Rain had just started to fall, who dares wins etc.

  7. Campisi says:

    “How’s that ol’ chestnut go … ‘Aww Casey mate I guess your ambition outweighed your talent’.”

    The first bit of MotoGP I ever watched began with that clip. Seeing Stoner be such an ass to Rossi after he ran over from his pit to apologize (and respond to Stoner’s quip with further humble apologies) soured me on the fellow. I respect his incredible riding talent, but to this day I can’t bring myself to think of his personality positively.

  8. KevinH says:

    Moto3 riders hauled ass on a heavily soaked track (that then dried out almost completely) and defied expectations that most of them would fall over. On rain tyres. After a dry practice.

    Post-race interviews put me off Stoner … I think he mistakes whinging and moaning for being humble?

    No doubt he can ride! But there are other riders who are far better sportsmen …

  9. MikeD says:

    @KevinH:

    Have u not know or maybe just conveniently forgotten that the most precarious time to be riding a motorcycle is when STARTS or STOPS raining and NOT when the pavement is fully soaked with clean water and not drenched with a slick mix of water, suspended tire dust and what not ?
    I think it was stated in this same article that started raining at the time of the incident…if memory serves my right*.

    Oh, by the way…i completely understand how a measly 250 * 4 STROKE * making close to 50-55hp is a TOTAL DEMON to control on WET Pavement when compared to a 250hp+ 1000cc Motorcycle…yes, INDEED, it would take skills of EPIC proportions. After all, GP Pilots get started on 250hp+ 1000cc bikes and work their way up to 50-55hp 250cc Screaming Banshees.

    P.S: Even tho im defending the guy here i made very clear before that what he did was a ” Total Bautista” move…im just giving credit to his fall but not his “star move”.

  10. KevinH says:

    You’d think a world champ wouldn’t forget either ;)

    Tell you what Mike – go out there in the rain and do some fast knee-down laps with a 250 then get back to us, eh?

    Bautista took out the championship leader … who did Stoner take out? Oh himself. Lorenzo back on top!

  11. MikeD says:

    Sorry dude, gonna have to let u down on that request…my bicycle has a flat as we speak…and it’s raining…don’t want to have a ” Stoner Moment ” … too much HP and not enough of a “clear head” to handle it…too much pressure.

  12. KevinH says:

    The irony is your sarcasm hits the nail right on the head there, Mike. Goes to show that even the greatest of us can let our ambition run away from our talent. Oh wait what – I said that already!
    QED.