2012 Sachsenring MotoGP Race Result: Thrilling Duel Settled By Penultimate Corner Crash
Results and summary of the MotoGP race at the Sachsenring:
Dani Pedrosa has taken his first win of the season, winning the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring for the third year in a row. The Spaniard emerged victorious from a race-long battle with his Repsol Honda teammate, who crashed out at the penultimate corner on the very last lap. Stoner's crash hands Jorge Lorenzo the lead in the championship, the Yamaha man finishing in 2nd once Stoner crashed out.
Pedrosa got the holeshot, exactly as expected, his Repsol Honda teammate joining him after the Omega Kurve, at which point Pedrosa and Stoner took off like a pair of scalded cats. By lap 4, they had opened a gap, and a couple of laps later they had disappeared completely, engaged in a tight duel that would last to the bottom of the hill on the very last lap.
Pedrosa led the first lap, but Stoner soon came past with a very brave pass on the way towards the top of the circuit, taking over the lead from his Spanish teammate. Stoner tried pulling a gap, but it never grew much beyond half a second over Pedrosa. As the race approached the two thirds mark, Pedrosa dived back past into Turn 1, the Spaniard getting better drive out of the final corner and up the steep hill onto the short front straight. Stoner had not yet given up, however, pushing hard at Pedrosa, looking for a way past through turns 12 and 13, but never quite making it. With two laps to go, Stoner looked ready to pounce, when the Australian had a moment as they crested the hill. Two laps later, as the Repsol pair plummeted down the hill, in a final attempt to make up ground, Stoner closed on Pedrosa but lost the front through Turn 12, sliding out of contention and sacrificing 20 points in the championship. It was Stoner's first DNF since Jerez last year, and his first unforced race crash since leaving the Ducati to join Honda.
Pedrosa took a comfortable victory, Lorenzo benefiting from Stoner's crash. The Factory Yamaha rider had ridden a long and lonely race, giving up several tenths a lap, but still took both a 2nd place finish and a comfortable lead in the championship. Lorenzo had earlier disposed of a gaggle of Yamahas, getting by his teammate Ben Spies and the Monster Tech 3 Yamahas of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow.
That trio provided an entertaining battle for most of the race, Dovizioso leading for much of the race after passing Spies early, with Crutchlow snapping at his teammate's heels. Crutchlow's determination saw him pushing in every corner, eventually running wide trying to pass Dovizioso into Turn 1 and running through the gravel, losing a lot of time. That left Spies and Dovizioso dicing over what they thought would be 4th, but became the last spot on the podium when Stoner crashed out. Dovizioso held off to the line the man whose seat he is chasing at Factory Yamaha, taking 3rd just ahead of Spies.
Stefan Bradl won what was another entertaining battle, this time for 5th. Bradl had led a group containing all three regular Ducatis, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and Hector Barbera swapping places almost every lap. The foursome were joined by Alvaro Bautista, who had started from the back of the grid, and Cal Crutchlow, rejoining behind them after running wide earlier. Valentino Rossi won the scrap among the group, taking 6th behind Bradl, ahead of Alvaro Bautista, Cal Crutchlow, Hector Barbera and Nicky Hayden.
Pedrosa's victory leaves him in 2nd in the championship, 14 points behind Lorenzo. Stoner's crash was very costly, now 20 points behind the Spaniard. After Lorenzo's crash at Assen, Stoner's crash levels the playing field again, both men having a single DNF this season. And there are still 10 races left to go in the championship.
|11||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||42'21.572||53.176|
|16||2||Franco BATTAINI||DUCATI||41'35.941||1 lap|
|17||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||IODA||41'43.788||1 lap|
|18||22||Ivan SILVA||BQR||41'57.963||1 lap|
|1||Casey STONER||HONDA||40'06.207||1 lap|
|54||Mattia PASINI||ART||5'44.863||26 laps|
|51||Michele PIRRO||FTR||4'39.063||27 laps|