ROSSI WINS MICHELIN-DOMINATED THRILLER Valentino Rossi (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) won a breathtakingly close German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring this afternoon, the race dominated by a foursome of Michelin riders who crossed the finish...
ROSSI WINS MICHELIN-DOMINATED THRILLER
Valentino Rossi (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) won a breathtakingly close German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring this afternoon, the race dominated by a foursome of Michelin riders who crossed the finish line within just three tenths of a second.
The result was in doubt until the very last after Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V-Michelin) tried an audacious around-the-outside move on Rossi at the final corner. He crossed the line 0.145 seconds down on his compatriot, with Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) barely metres behind. For the first third of the race there were more riders in the mix, until Kenny Roberts Junior (Team Roberts KR211V-Michelin) slid off, taking Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V-Michelin) with him.
Michelin's two front tyre profiles were both to the fore today, Rossi and Pedrosa preferring the narrower-profile tyre, Melandri and Hayden preferring the wider profile. These four riders also strengthened their grip on the top four places in the World Championship standings - just 35 points now separating leader Hayden, Rossi, Pedrosa and Melandri.
"This has been another very good weekend for us," saidNicolas Goubert, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "Yesterday we filled the top three places in qualifying, Dani taking pole position, almost a whole second faster than last year's pole time. And the race was also faster than last year's, even though the top four were fighting so hard together, Dani taking another lap record. It was shame that Kenny and Tamada went down because both were riding so well, Kenny proving he's really back by qualifying on the front row again."
Rossi, who wore an Italian team football shirt during his victory lap in celebration of his country's World Cup success, was delighted with his win from 11th on the grid: "We struggled with the bike in practice but today my M1 was flying, we did a great job, especially with Michelin who helped a lot here."