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Pedrosa wins in Germany

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) earned a dramatic third consecutive victory in the German Grand Prix after team-mate Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) fell while chasing Pedrosa two laps from the end of the race, which was enjoyed by a crowd of over 81,000 at the Sachsenring in the former East Germany. Stoner had led from the pole with Pedrosa, who had won here in 2010 and 2011, in his shadow from the start. The pair made short work of the rest of the field, easing away to turn the eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship into a Repsol Honda family feud.

Pedrosa kept Stoner honest before executing a perfect pass in the first turn right-hander on the 19th of 20 laps. Stoner then assumed the role of pursuer and hounded the Spaniard for the duration. Just as the pair were going through the turn 12 left at the bottom of the hill, Stoner suddenly lost the front end and went sliding into the gravel trap, unhurt. He tried to get his motorcycle re-started, to score as many points as possible, but was disappointed not to be assisted by corner marshals.

With Stoner out, Pedrosa sped to victory by 14.996s over Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo.

The win was not only Pedrosa’s third in a row at the Sachsenring, but his fourth overall in the MotoGP category at the track in the former East Germany. It was also his first win since last October’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. Stoner’s non-points finish was his first in 22 races, since he was taken out of the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.

Stoner’s crash had profound championship implications. Lorenzo, who had arrived in Germany tied on points with Stoner, now has sole control, with Pedrosa moving into second, 14 points behind. Stoner sits third after eight of 18 races.

German Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) was inspired by his home crowd to a career best fifth in his rookie season. The Bavarian was part of the battle for what would become fifth place. Fronting a group that included a pair of former MotoGP World Champions. Under pressure throughout, Bradl was resolute and repelled any and all attacks to secure the best dry track finish by a German MotoGP rider in some time. Bradl was also fifth on a wet track in Le Mans.

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) finished a creditable seventh after starting from the back row. A week earlier in Assen, Bautista was involved in an incident that resulted in Lorenzo crashing. His penalty was to start from the back of the grip. The Spaniard made his way through the CRT riders by the sixth lap and set out for the prototypes. Closing at faster than half a second a lap, he injected himself into the fight for fifth and passed a rider each of the final three laps.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: Race winner
“I'm really very happy with this win. We finally made it happen and it's great not only for me, but also for my team that never gave up, for my family and fans that have been pushing and supporting me all this time when we were taking second and third places, but missing out on the victory. The podiums we had this season were very important, but I really wanted to give a victory to my team and it arrived today at a circuit that I always enjoy. It's been a really hard day though. Casey (Stoner) had a superb race also and put a lot of pressure on me at the end, but I knew that I had the pace and that we both would need to fight for the victory until the last turn. I tried to brake hard, close all the doors and to take the win. Finally, it is a great feeling and sure will give us a lot of motivation for the next races. It's also good for the championship, but we will not relax; victory this season has not been easy for any of us, so we have to keep pushing as we do.”

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha: 2nd
“Well, things can change completely in one race. In Holland we had a 25 point advantage then suddenly zero, one engine less and we were very disappointed. Then today we had some luck from Casey’s unfortunate crash. I would have been happy to have finished in third position because today the bike and the rear tyre was not so good. The race was very tough; I always seem to finish second here! I would have preferred not to crash in Assen and for Casey not to crash here but that is racing sometimes. We struggled a little all weekend with the changing weather so we must be happy with the end result.”

Andrea Dovizioso, Yamaha: 3rd
“I am really happy to finish on the podium again and it is a great feeling to do it here because this track has never been the best for me. It was the same in Assen last week, so to be on the podium there and also here at the Sachsenring shows the fantastic job that we are all doing in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. Of course we have to consider ourselves a little bit fortunate today to finish third because of Casey's crash. But it proved how crucial it was for me to remain at the front of the battle with Cal and Ben for the whole race. If I had let them overtake me then perhaps I would not have been third. I am happy because I rode an intelligent race today. I never pushed completely at the limit, especially during the first laps, as I knew from the past that I would probably pay for that tactic at the end of the race. My focus was to be consistent and I managed that and that was the key to this result. I was only six seconds behind Lorenzo and that is good because he is the benchmark at Yamaha and that means I was only 0.2s per lap slower than him. We can still improve but my feeling with the Yamaha is fantastic and I am really happy with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. Now I go to my home race in Mugello with a lot of confidence and the goal will be to battle for the podium again.”

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: DNF
“I'm pretty disappointed. I had planned to go for my 'win or bin' effort in the last corner not that one. I was happy on the bike and felt we had a few tenths a lap over Dani (Pedrosa) and confident I could pull him back in. On the final lap I made a mistake going into the first turn and I had to push a little more than I wanted through some of the sections, but I got on to Dani exactly where I wanted and planned to make my overtake in the last corner, if I didn't have an opportunity earlier in the lap. I felt confident, but as soon as I tried to turn in a little more, the front went. I was already off the brakes and not in the hard braking area; as soon as I eased of the brakes I guess the weight came off the front and down I went. I'm frustrated I wasn't allowed to get up and try and score some points, the bike was perfect, but the marshals pushed me away. It's our first crash in a race, down to our own mistake, for the first time in a long time, so I'm disappointed for sure, but we knew we had the pace. If we can continue this momentum for the rest of the season then we shouldn't be so worried for the championship.”

Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team: 6th
“Today’s race went a little bit better. This weekend we decided to work on a setting that was similar to the one we used at Barcelona and Estoril, in order to suffer less with the rear tyre. Although we weren’t able to try it much in the dry, it turned out to be pretty effective. It allowed me to have a pace that was consistent and pretty fast until the end. The gap to the Hondas is large, but the Yamahas were closer today. When I realized that I didn’t have the pace to escape the group I was in, I waited for the right moment to attack, and in the end, I was able to pass almost all of them. I tried with Bradl as well, but when I was almost next to him, they gave us the yellow flag for Stoner’s crash, and I backed off because anyway, I would have had to let him back by. I was sixth, our best result in the dry this year, so now we’ll continue in this direction. The bike is a little more difficult to ride, but at least I’m able to brake hard and to ride at a good pace until the end.”

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