MotoGP Sachscenring Results & Race Report: Pedrosa Wins Shortened 2nd Race, Rossi Barely Misses Podium


What Happens When Things Look Similar to Before

9:14am EST — Dani Pedrosa won at the end of a shortened 21 lap German Grand Prix after a red flag for a crash involving Randy de Puniet, Aleix Espargaro, and Alvaro Bautista on lap nine.  He fought with second palce finisher Jorge Lorenzo through the opening laps of both races, but it was Pedrosa who rode to victory while the more exciting race was for the final podium position between Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi, who finished in that order despite trading the position regularly between them during the final third of the shortened race.  Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the top five, after his own battle with Marco Simoncelli and Nicky Hayden, who finished sixth and seventh.

Jorge Lorenzo won pole for the 2010 German Grand Prix on his spare bike, after his primary race bike lost its engine and caught fire, causing a red flag for oil on the track during Saturday qualifying.  That oil ended Randy de Puniet’s session, as he returned to his pit and was then taken to Clinica Mobile for an x-ray.  He still qualified seventh.  Casey Stoner gave Lorenzo a run for his money for pole, posting a time only a few hundredths off of Lorenzo’s 1:21.817, though both displaced session leader Dani Pedrosa in the closing minutes.  He will start third on Sunday.  Andrea Dovizioso continued his good season, posting the fourth fastest time while still recovering Valentino Rossi will start fifth, just six weeks after his crash that resulted in a compound fracture at Mugello.  Rossi completed 33 laps on his healing leg during the session, with only Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Ben Spies, and Marco Melandri completing more.Americans Colin Edwards, Spies, and Nicky Hayden have had better qualifying session, starting twelfth, thirteenth, and fifteenth, respectively.

The riders faced a damp track and lap times about ten seconds off of pole for Sunday morning’s warm-up, with Dovizioso leading the way in lap times.  He displaced Stoner, who had led much of the session, late as the track dried out.  Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and a much-improved from qualifying Hayden rounded out the fastest five.  Rossi posted the ninth fastest time.

Pedrosa led into Turn1, with Lorenzo and a great-starting Barbera just behind on the inside of Stoner.  Doviziosos took fourth from the Australian as he attempted to get by Barbera.  Dovizioso slid up the inside of the Spaniard, who again had Stoner behind, with Simoncelli and Rossi behind.  Lorenzo took the lead a few turns before the end of the lap, and by the end of L1, it was Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, and Barbera as the top five.  Rossi was attempting to take Simoncelli as he was desperate to get around Barbera.  Simoncelli took the position and the next turn it was Rossi’s turn.  Behind, Hayden, who had a great start from fifteenth to eighth, had a go at Barbera, but had a bit of a sit0up on the bike, whereby Melandri took both of them.  Meanwhile, Stoner took third from Dovizioso as the top four had a bit of a gap over the rest of the field, though the top three had a gap of their own to Dovizioso, who would soon be chased down by Rossi, who had made his own way around Simoncelli.  As L4 began, Stooner had a look on Pedrosa, but was simply not close enough.  A bit further back, Hayden was fighting with Melandri, getting through, losing it, and keeping the position for seventh.

Five laps into the race and Lorenzo still led Pedrosa, Stoner, Dovizioso, and Rossi as the top five, with a slight gap in front and behind Rossi.  Hayden was moving up, getting through on Simoncelli for sixth.  The top three were beginning ot string out, with a small gap between Lorenzo and Pedrosa, and another slightly larger one back to Stoner, and again to Dovizioso who was losing time as he tried to keep Rossi behind.  Edwards slid out while somewhat off lilne all on his own, ending a race and past few weeks that had not been kind to the American.

Nine laps into the thirty lap race and a big crash by Randy de Puniet, who was caught out by Lorenzo’s oil spill in qualifying, also collected Espargaro and Bautista, which brought out a red flag when de Puniet’s bike caught fire.  He appeared to already bee off the track, though his bike was decidedly not, with the two Spaniards unable to miss it.  de Puniet was already injured from the quali crash, and was taken by ambulance to the Clinica Mobil, while the other two appeared to be fine, despite Espargaro’s slow speed in getting up off the track.  All the riders went to the garages, waiting for the track to the cleaned in preparation for a re-start.  They would file onto the grid in the order from the final complete lap for a shortened 21-lap race.  Bautista and Espargaro would not restart since their bikes did not return to pit lane in the prescribed time.  Similarly, de Puniet hadn’t gotten his back in time either, but was still at Clinica Mobil.  Later it would be announced that he suffered from a broken left leg.

On the restart, the grid was Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Stoner, Dovizioso, Rossi, Hayden, Simoncelli, Barbera, [Espargaro’s empty slot], Capirossi, Kallio, Spies, de Angelis, [de Puniet’s empty slot], and [Bautista’s empty slot].  Pedrosa did not get the great start, nor did Lorenzo, on the restart.  Lorenzo looked to have dropped to fourth, but he passed back to second.  It was Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Dovizioso, Stoner, Hayden, and Rossi in sixth.  At the back, Espargaro, who was able to restart, slid out into Turn 1 and ended his race for the second time.  At the end of the first lap of this second race, Rossi slid his way under Hayden for fifth while Stoner lost touch with Dovizisos ahead.  Lorenzo took a  look and the lead just as he did earlier in the day.  It was Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Stoner, and Rossi as the top five with nineteen laps to go.

Stoner had closed up on Dovi by the end of L3, though he was unable to make a move for third.  His Ducati teammate Hayden was also sliding backwards, having already lost position to Rossi and then to Simoncelli.  Pedrosa took a look on Lorenzo, but the drama was just behind as Stoner took third from Dovizioso.  Rossi passed Dovi when he ran wide, but he could not keep the position.  Meanwhile, Stoner had already pulled out a second gap on Dovizioso and Rossi.  At the end of L5, it was Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Stoner, Dovizioso, Simoncelli, Hayden, Barbera, Melandri, Spies, Capirossi, and de Angelis as the  running order of the entire field.  But then it changed as Rossi took and kept fourth from Dovizioso.  Still, he was two second behind Stoner on L14.  Pedrosa managed to take the lead from Lorenzo, but the Yamaha rider fought back to regain and keep the lead when Pedrosa immediately ran wide.  The fighting would continue, especially as Pedrosa tried again and kept the lead this time, on the next lap.  While there was a second and a half gap from Stoner to Rossi in fourth, a fast lap from Rossi dropped it to under a second.  Dovizioso and Hayden managed to make up a  spot when Simoncelli has a miraculous save.  Hayden soon attempted to take fifth from Dovizioso, but was unable to do so.  Rossi was, meanwhile, right behind Stoner, looking for a third on his return from a still-healing broken leg.  Rossi did make it around the Australian, but was a bit too overzealous and unable to keep third.

Two-thirds of the way through the “second” race and Pedrosa had a more than one second lead on Lorenzo, with Stoner and Rossi fighting for the final podium position.  Hayden had gotten through on Dovizioso, who also lost position to Simoncelli, with Spies having moved up to eighth.  Rossi then took third again from Stoner and kept it with six laps to go.  Stoner fought again to get on the podium, though there was still plenty of time for either man to keep or lose the position.  Pedrosa was continuing his attack on lap records and had pulled out a gap of well over two seconds on Lorenzo, who had his own gap of three seconds on the Stoner/Rossi battle with three laps to go.  They continued to trade position, as Rossi had the podium at the end of L18.  Stoner took it again by the end of the next lap, with Rossi fighting rather unlike a man with a still-healing broken leg.

Back in the fight for fifth, Hayden had it, but lost to both Dovizioso and Simoncelli, as Rossi took third again on the final lap.  It might not have been the best position to be in, as they had traded the position between them each lap.  On the final corner, Stoner just slid onto the podium by passing Rossi.  Pedrosa kept the lead as he had for much of this second race, while Lorenzo finished second.

Final Positions for the 2010 German Grand Prix:
1. Pedrosa
2. Lorenzo +3.355
3. Stoner +5.257
4. Rossi +5.623
5. Dovizioso +17.158
6. Simoncelli +17.757
7. Hayden +17.935
8. Spies +20.975
9. Barbera +22.000
10. Melandri +35.217
11. Capirossi +45.042
12. de Angelis +45.204

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