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Pedrosa toe-to-toe for German GP win, Stoner falls
8 July 2012
Dani Pedrosa has taken his first win of the season, and 1000cc era, after going toe-to-toe with team-mate Casey Stoner for almost the entire 30 lap distance in Sunday's German MotoGP at Sachsenring.
Stoner, who came into the race tied with Jorge Lorenzo for the title lead, was pushing to pass Pedrosa and claim his fourth win of the year when he lowsided out of second place at the penultimate turn.
The Australian sprang to his feet after the high-speed slide, but was unable to continue (he later criticised the marshals), marking his first self-inflicted DNF as a Repsol Honda rider.
It also dropped Stoner to third in the points behind Lorenzo and Pedrosa - who won his third successive German GP by 14.996s, setting the fastest race lap on the last lap.
Pedrosa had taken the holeshot, been passed by Stoner on lap 2, but stuck with the Australian and retaken the lead on lap 19.
Stoner in turn refused to yield and looked poised to try a last-gasp victory pass until the front folded on entry into the left hander at the bottom of the hill.
Stoner's accident put Yamaha's Lorenzo into a surprise second place, after a lonely race that saw the Spaniard pass team-mate Ben Spies early on but never able to match the Repsol riders.
Lorenzo is now back in the title lead by 14 points from Pedrosa with Stoner 20 points behind after eight of 18 rounds.
Front row starter Spies was soon locked in a thrilling dice with Yamaha Tech 3 team-mates Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow. Wheel-to-wheel and fanning out across the track at almost every turn, three became two when Crutchlow ran through the turn one gravel with five laps remaining.
Dovizioso kept Spies at bay by less than a tenth of a second to claim what had been fourth, but suddenly turned into the Italian's third podium of the season.
Local star and MotoGP rookie Stefan Bradl held off a pack of riders to claim his best dry result to date with fifth place for Honda LCR, taking the chequered flag with Ducati's Valentino Rossi and last-place starter Alvaro Bautista in his wheeltracks.
Gresini Honda rider Bautista had been demoted to last on the grid as a penalty for his Assen collision with Lorenzo.
Crutchlow regained three places for eighth after his error, being followed over the line by Ducati riders Hector Barbera and Nicky Hayden.
Bradl to Hayden was covered by just 1.3s!
Then came the top CRT rider in the form of Aspar's Randy de Puniet, in twelfth place and five seconds ahead of Forward Racing's Colin Edwards.
Aleix Espargaro (Aspar), Yonny Hernandez (Avintia) and James Ellison (PBM) completed the point scorers.
Cardion AB Ducati's Karel Abraham, who missed the British MotoGP weekend and then withdrew from race day at Assen due to left hand injuries sustained in testing at Aragon, was replaced by Ducati test rider Franco Battaini this weekend.
39-year-old Battaini, a veteran of the former 250cc class who also spent one season in MotoGP with WCM in 2005, rode from 20th to 16th, one lap down.
Round nine of 18, the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, will take place next weekend.
Lorenzo has won four of the races this year, Stoner three and Pedrosa one.
1. Dani Pedrosa
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Andrea Dovizioso
4. Ben Spies
5. Stefan Bradl
6. Valentino Rossi
7. Alvaro Bautista
8. Cal Crutchlow
9. Hector Barbera
10. Nicky Hayden
11. Randy De Puniet
12. Colin Edwards
13. Aleix Espargaro
14. Yonny Hernandez
15. James Ellison
16. Franco Battaini
17. Danilo Petrucci
18. Ivan Silva
19. Casey Stoner
20. Mattia Pasini
21. Michele Pirro
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