The MotoGP championship saw further drama in the points race this past weekend as the series headed to Sachsenring, Germany for round eight of the championship. This time, it was Respol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who claimed his first podium of the season in a dramatic race that saw Jorge Lorenzo take second and Andrea Dovizioso claim the third and final spot on the podium.
Pedrosa, who won at the German circuit, led the field off the start ahead of teammate Casey Stoner and the Factory Yamaha’s of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies. With a tight field early on, it was defending World Champion Casey Stoner who eventually took the lead.
Plenty of other challenges ensued throughout the race between the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machines of Cal Cruthlow and Andrea Dovizioso, as well as Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and the LCR Honda of Stefan Bradl. San Carlo Gresini Honda’s Michele Pirro crashed out with 27 laps remaining and retired from the race, while Ben Spies ran wide and Jorge Lorenzo moved into third.
The Monster Energy Tech 3 pair of Crutchlow and Dovizioso would eventually catch up with Ben Spies,, while a battle ensued behind them between Valentino Rossi, Pramac Racing’s Hector Barbera, Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl.
The Repsol Honda’s of Stoner and Pedrosa continued to battle up front, while Jorge Lorenzo, who was struggling with tire issues, faded into third, unable to match the pace of the Hondas, reportedly due to a hard tire choice that was recommended to him for safety reasons.
With 17 laps remaining, a three-way battle ensued between the Yamaha’s of Crutchlow, Dovizioso and Spies. Cruthlow would eventually out-brake himself trying to get around Dovizioso and ran wide into the gravel. He rejoined the race with San Carlo Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista, while the Yamaha’s of Spies and Dovizioso took off to battle for 4th position.
The final laps of the race were a thriller as Stoner and Pedrosa were neck and neck fighting for top spot on the podium. Casey Stoner would eventually crash out in the final turns, giving Pedrosa the victory and promoting Jorge Lorenzo to second position, while Andrea Dovizioso finished in third. Ben Spies and Stefan Bradl rounded out the top five, while Valentino Rossi finished in 6th position ahead of Alvaro Bautista. Cal Crutchlow would cross the line in 8th, ahead of Hector Barbera and Nicky Hayden who finished 9th and 10th respectively. Randy de Puniet was the top CRT machine, finishing in 11th position, ahead of Colin Edwards, Aleix Espargo and Yonny Hernandez.
Factory Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, who saw his points-lead crushed when Alvaro Bautista took him out at Assen, has returned to the top of the series standings with 160 points, 14 points over Dani Pedrosa and 20 points ahead of defending World Champion Casey Stoner.
Round nine of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Mugello, Italy from July 13-15, 2012.