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MotoGP: Butting heads in the final laps in Germany’s Sachsenring

Sachsenring MotoGP Post Race Review:

Sadly, I need to have someone pass me the salt so I can eat my words, as Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa proved me wrong in his triumphant win this past weekend at Sachsenring. Not only did the stunning Spaniard hold the top 3 positions for the entirety of the German hosted 30 lap race, but in the process, broke his own lap record with a 1’21.846 time.  Dani surprised everyone, including himself by rediscovering his comfort zone with his RC212V throughout the race weekend, finding the predominately left turn circuit easier to master on his ailing collarbone.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be back and win a race so early, said Dani. I didn’t expect it, but this circuit has been always very good for me and I made it happen. I was already surprised yesterday with second position in qualifying and to finish the weekend in this way is amazing, a huge relief for me after a very hard time with injuries. It’s super cool!”

Yamaha’s reigning World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo did not reach his history making goal by scoring his first victory in Sachsenring this past weekend. But, he did manage to obtain second on the start line and a deserving second place on the rostrum, after an ongoing  back and forth battle to lead the pack with Honda’s Casey Stoner and his teammate, Dani Pedrosa.

“I’m very happy! I think I made some type of miracle today, Exclaimed Jorge. It has been a fantastic race today. From the middle of the race I got very tired in my left hand so I didn’t know where I could find the strength to push and keep pushing to the end. Then Casey stopped the bike a lot two corners from the end so I took advantage of it, opened the throttle full stand in the last corner I went for it. It was a miracle pass! This race is very important so we are very proud and happy with the result. I have to thank my Yamaha crew who worked very hard to give me a fast bike all weekend, they have been fantastic.”

Repsol Honda Rider, Casey Stoner had a slight repeat performance fromItaly’s Mugello, accepting a third position on the podium at Sachsenring. The tenacious Aussie began to show signs of wavering by his loss of momentum midway through the race. Once again, dealing with high temperatures in the rear tyre, Casey’s main objective was to take it easy by preserving the spin and to not make the same mistake as Mugello, which dropped him from first to third. The revered Repsol rider still holds a 15 point lead in Standings over Jorge Lorenzo.

“We knew today would be a hard race, we found a good set up yesterday in qualifying but we had an issue with the rear tyre and the temperatures getting too high, with it spinning too much. We took it easy in the early part of the race and thought we’d try to preserve the tyre and warm it up slower than we did in Mugello. After a few laps I decided to make a move to the front to see what we could do and we were able to pull a small advantage, but too small compared to the effort we were putting in so I backed off on my pace a little and tried to stay as smooth as possible and see what happens”.

Teammate, Andrea Dovizioso had another solid race, even though the reserved Italian was not all that happy with his race performance. Andrea had a strong start and progressed up the line from 5th to 3rd  in the first lap. The steadfast rider remained there for basically the duration of the race, until he had a brief clash with Marco Simoncelli and Ben Spies for  his final 4th  position in the final 2 laps of the race.

“It was a tough race because this circuit is small and difficult, said Andrea. Our target was the podium so I’m a little disappointed with fourth position, but if we look at today’s race in a bigger perspective, we took a big step forward in terms of race pace compared to my previous records at this circuit. We had a good start and tried to stay with the front riders. It was a good battle with Simoncelli and Spies for fourth position and I’m happy we won this battle! We were consistently fast during the whole weekend and even though today we were struggling, we finished fourth. We confirm that we are there and we have retained third position in the Championship, even if we aimed to gain more points on Lorenzo and Casey. My congratulations go to Dani, Casey and Jorge for a great race.”

Factory Yamaha’s 5th place rookie rider, Ben Spies had a rough end to a smooth start in his game plan, when an aggressive start ended in a losing battle for 4th with Andrea Dovizioso and San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli. Simoncelli ran a clean race and fought hard to gain momentum in his first second row start on the grid in 6 races. The lanky Italian had to settle for 6th when he began to experience rear tyre problems in the last few laps.

The other upset of the weekend was Rizla’s Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista. The Solo Suzuki rider had an unfavorable start to the weekend with a dramatic tumble in the warm-up session. The fair-haired Spaniard rallied back on race day, putting on an impressive show for the over 100,000 fans by scoring his highest ranking of the season in 7th place.

Ducati’s Valentino Rossi is yet again, trying to find his comfort zone with the ever-changing GP11. The good-natured Italian is losing patience in the racing ability and consistency with the Factory Italian bike. Discontent in his 9th place performance and poor exiting in Sachsenring’s 2nd and 3rd corners, Rossi and his team are now trying to decide whether to go with the newly revamped GP11.1 or revert back to the old GP11 for this weekend’s Laguna Seca race.

Teammate Nicky Hayden squeezed out Rossi in the final hour of the race and claimed the 8th position. The American rider is looking forward to coming home to Laguna Seca in California this weekend and racing one of his favorite tracks.

With an accident infused pre race weekend, the last of the premiere riders to cross over the finish line, did so in an upright position. Making Sachsenring another circuit to be deemed as a crash-free zone!

There were rumours circulating around Sachsenring in regards to the American, Ben Bostrom riding for LCR Honda in a wild card position at Laguna Seca this weekend. These rumours are still holding true, even though current GP rider, Toni Elias damaged both RC212V’s this past weekend.

This will be a short week for the GP riders, so look for more racing action to commence this Friday, July 22 (GMT+7) or Pacific Time for the first free Practice round starting at 10:10am.

Sachsenring, Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 160.4 41’12.482
2 20 1 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 160.3 +1.477
3 16 27 Casey STONER AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda 160.3 +1.568
4 13 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team Honda 159.7 +10.513
5 11 11 Ben SPIES USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 159.7 +10.719
6 10 58 Marco SIMONCELLI ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 159.6 +10.923
7 9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 158.6 +27.451
8 8 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 158.6 +27.510
9 7 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Ducati Team Ducati 158.6 +27.576
10 6 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 158.2 +33.491
11 5 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 157.9 +38.944
12 4 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE CardionABMotoracing Ducati 157.9 +39.148
13 3 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 157.8 +39.415
14 2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 157.8 +39.477
15 1 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 156.9 +54.516
16   24 Toni ELIAS SPA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 155.8 +1’12.335
17   50 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Pramac Racing Team Ducati 154.0 1 Lap

 Total points in standings

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 168
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 153
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 132
4 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 98
5 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 94
6 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 85
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 85
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 60
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 59
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 57
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 49
12 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 41
13 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 39
14 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 35
15 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 34
16 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 22
17 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 15
18 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
19 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 3
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July 18, 2011 - Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, girlracer, Jorge Lorenzo, Laguna Seca, marco simoncelli, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, mugello, Nicky Hayden, toni elais, Valentino Rossi

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