PEDROSA SCORES RUNAWAY VICTORY AT RED-HOT SACHSENRING Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) rode to his first victory of the year at the Sachsenring today, running away to finish 13.166 seconds ahead of his nearest rival in extremely ...
PEDROSA SCORES RUNAWAY VICTORY AT RED-HOT SACHSENRING
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) rode to his first victory of the year at the Sachsenring today, running away to finish 13.166 seconds ahead of his nearest rival in extremely challenging conditions, with track temperatures reaching a sizzling 50 degrees. Pedrosa and his Michelin tyres revelled in the ultra-tough conditions to such an extent that his winning margin was the biggest on a dry track since the advent of four-stroke MotoGP racing in 2002*.
Reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) and Colin Edwards (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) made it three Michelin men in the top four this afternoon. Both Americans got the best out of their tyres in gruelling conditions to charge through the pack after completing lap one in tenth and 11th positions.
Pedrosa led from start to finish, extending his advantage pretty much throughout the 30 laps, despite debilitating 33 degree heat at this very demanding, newly resurfaced circuit. His race time was six seconds faster than last year's German GP.
"This is one of the three most demanding tracks in MotoGP, along with Valencia and Phillip Island, so we are very happy to get such a strong result here," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing, after his company's second successive MotoGP victory. "It has been a very interesting weekend, seeing how all the teams have worked. It's really difficult when you come to a resurfaced track and the weather get hotter and hotter every day and the pace gets faster and faster.
"It was tough for the riders who had to manage their tyres over 30 laps. Dani did it very well, leading from the start and controlling the race throughout. It was also amazing to see Nicky and Colin come back so strongly, we're very happy for both of them, especially since it's their home race next weekend. Of course, we were upset to see Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) fall. Otherwise he would've been up front and maybe he would've made the race even more exciting. He was passing another rider when he fell, so he was off his usual line, and the riders say it can be dusty off line here. We hope our partners are happy with our work here, we are happy with theirs, and we aim to continue working together like this."
Pedrosa was delighted with his first victory since last year's British GP. "I'm very happy, this was a great race for us, so my thanks to the team, to Honda and to Michelin," he said. "Michelin gave us very good tyres here, I was especially confident with my rear tyre. Now we go to Laguna, aiming to build on this and have another good weekend."
Pedrosa's team-mate Hayden scored his second consecutive podium despite qualifying 14th. "The first two days here were frustrating, we got behind but the team worked great," he said. "In the race I put my head down, got some good laps together and made a few passes. The tyres were great, I'm really grateful to Michelin and now I'm really looking forward to Laguna."
Rossi had hoped to have a go at repeating his Assen victory here but slid off at the slow-speed turn three on lap six while fighting through from a slowish start.
*MotoGP's biggest winning margin was achieved by Rossi at the soaking wet 2002 Portuguese GP, where he beat fellow Carlos Checa by 22.2 seconds. The previous biggest dry win was also achieved by Rossi at the 2002 Australian GP, where he beat Alex Barros by 9.782 seconds.