Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa won his second race of the year by passing World Champion Jorge Lorenzo on the 22nd of 30 laps and speeding to victory in front of a crowd of 101,000 at the Sachsenring. Lorenzo fell to third, then re-passed Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner two turns from the end to claw back four championship points as the series packs up and heads to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the July 22-24 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.The win was Pedrosa’s fifth at the Sachsenring, and second in a row, and his first since the May 1 Portuguese Grand Prix in Estoril. In the next race in France, Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) broke Pedrosa’s collarbone when he took him out with an ill-timed pass attempt. Today’s win comes 11 weeks after that crash and in the second race since his return to the track in Mugello two weeks ago.”It’s unbelievable feeling after all to come back so soon and win,” Pedrosa said. “It’s unbelievable feeling. I mean, already yesterday with the front row I was super-happy because I didn’t expect it at all. And not either the race win, so I’m really happy.”At the beginning I was running in fourth. I wasn’t feeling perfect with the bike, but as the laps went on I felt even better and I started to get some more rhythm and finally I could stay on front and win that race.”I mean, it’s just incredible for me, so I want to thank all the fans and all the people that’s been with me all this hard time, and thanks to them, because it really was a hard time for me, but we already come back and win one race, so it’s super-cool.”Lorenzo said his late race pass of Stoner was “some type of miracle,” since he didn’t expect to overtake Stoner “because he was braking so strong, so deep and I was really, really tired, especially on my forearm on the left side.”From the middle of the race I saw that Dani (Pedrosa) was completely at the limit and completely quick, so I couldn’t follow him. For me was OK the position, but at the end I push at the limit, Casey (Stoner) close the door a lot and then in the two corners before the end I open full throttle and I stay with him. In the last corner I play my games at full and it happens in the best way.”The day ended with Stoner still on top of the championship with 168 points to 153 for Lorenzo. Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso, fourth today, remains in third with 132 after passing Simoncelli for fourth two laps from the end.”The beginning of the race we really didn’t want to overheat the tire like we did in Mugello,” Stoner said of the previous race where he was beaten by Lorenzo. “We were really patient. We didn’t try and get to the front straight away. After a few laps everything started to feel comfortable, so I thought I’d go to the front, see if we can try and pull an advantage. And we were pulling a slight advantage, but not enough for the effort that I was putting. So I decided just to back it off a little bit. Wasn’t too comfortable running at the pace that I was. So tried to stay smooth, keep the tires as good as possible, because we knew were going to have some problems at the end.
“Middle part of the race, that’s when they sort of, they kept a small advantage, but I didn’t really want to let them get away too far. At the end I knew I was able to pick my pace up quite a lot, but by that time Dani had already got very comfortable started pushing forward, he was able to pass Jorge (Lorenzo). After that I really wanted to get past Jorge and try and chase Dani down. I got sort of a little bit closer but then just made some more small mistakes, losing a lot of grip on the edge and really struggling. Nearly crashed a few times.”So I guess it’s a nice thing. I suppose leading the championship at this moment in races where you don’t feel that you can do that extra bit. I did everything I could today to hold Jorge back, but he was really strong in that last corner. Passed me twice in two laps; I guess I didn’t learn my lesson the first one, but he held on well. I thought I had it, but, yeah, obviously not.”Lorenzo had gotten the jump and led the first five of 30 laps in the sunshine before Stoner came through in the most popular passing zone on the track, the turn 12 left at the end of the back straight. Pedrosa was down in fourth at that point behind teammate Dovizioso and in front of Simoncelli. Yamaha’s Ben Spies was sixth and falling back, but he’d make a late race charge.Further back Ducati Marlboro’s Valentino Rossi was making up for qualifying 16th and trying to inject himself into the fight for seventh being waged among teammate Nicky Hayden, Rizla Suzuki’s Alvaro Bautista, and Monster Energy Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards.On the ninth lap Pedrosa began his charge with a pass of Dovi on the brakes into turn one with the fastest race lap to that point.With the race approaching the halfway point, Lorenzo re-passed Stoner for the lead in turn 12 after setting up the pass at the top of the hill. Dovi lost fourth to Simoncelli while Hayden was fronting the battle for seventh.
Halfway in the order was Lorenzo, Stoner, Pedrosa, then Simoncelli and Dovi with Spies alone, and Hayden back in front of Bautista, Rossi next, then Edwards.One lap into the second half of the race Pedrosa passed Stoner in turn one. Two laps later Dovi was through on Simoncelli, and on the same lap Rossi went through on Bautista.Pedrosa was on the charge, setting another new fastest lap on the 20th. Two laps later he’d pass Lorenzo with a storming run out of the final corner, again setting a new fast race lap.The Spaniard continued to maintain the pace and pulled away to win by 1.477 secs.Lorenzo was content to trail Stoner until the final run through turn 12 when he set up the move that Stoner couldn’t counter.Simoncelli made a mistake in the last turn that let Spies through to take fifth.Hayden attacked Bautista in the final corner, but the Spaniard held him off by .059 sec. for seventh. Rossi was just .066 sec. back in ninth.Edwards dropped off the pace at the end to finish a solo tenth.Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP’s Hector Barbera overcame running off the track on the second lap to finish tenth in front of Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham (Ducati), Pramac Racing Team’s Randy de Puniet (Ducati), and Cal Crutchlow on the second Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha.Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was alone in 15th, as was LCR Honda MotoGP’s Toni Elias.The final finisher was Sylvain Guintoli riding the Pramac Racing Team Ducati in place of the injured Loris Capirossi.MotoGP Results:1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) +1.477
3. Casey Stoner (Honda) +1.568
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) +10.513
5. Ben Spies (Yamaha) +10.719
6. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) +10.923
7. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) +27.451
8. Nick Hayden (Ducati) +27.510
9. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) +27.576
10. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) +33.491