Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took a close-fought victory in Germany today from second grid, setting a new lap record and a new total race time record to open an eventual winning margin of 1.477seconds.
For much of the race though no rider led by more than one second, the top spot changing hands between Casey Stoner who crossed the line in third and Jorge Lorenzo who passed Stoner into the last corner on the final lap. The laptimes throughout were remarkably consistent as the top three set mid-to-low 1m 22s for the entire race.
Despite the cloud cover and a slightly reduced track temperature, all the front-runners used Bridgestone’s extra hard compound front tyres and harder option rears. Despite being one step softer in Germany this year, race-distance durability of the rear slicks was very good. Pedrosa’s lap record came at two third race distance on lap 20, though he also set a provisional record on lap 9, and the total race time was over 9seconds faster than the previous benchmark.
Further back the battles raged just as closely around the undulating 3.6km Sachsenring circuit. Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies and Marco Simoncelli hotly contested fourth position, all using the harder tyre options, whereas Álvaro Bautista used the softer option front and rear slicks to finish seventh, taking the chequered flag just ahead of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department “Congratulations to Dani and the Repsol Honda Team for a fantastic win here today in just his second race back from injury. This is clearly a circuit he likes as last year he also set a lap record on his way to victory. That was a very exciting race with so many close battles throughout the field and these are exactly the sorts of races we like to see and that are good for the spectacle of the sport and for the 101,309 fans that attended today which is a fantastic number. Sachsenring is a short circuit so hopefully we’ll have another exciting race like this one at Laguna Seca!”
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division “I am pleased with tyre performance today as both specs showed good warm-up performance, outright grip and race-distance durability. I am also satisfied with our revised softer rear tyre compound selection for this race as we saw a good mix of both the harder and softer options, meaning that both were suitable. A new lap record by Dani is a good measure of tyre performance, especially on lap 20 of the race, whilst we can see from the consistency of the laptimes at the front and the new total race time record that durability was also good.”
Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner “This is an unbelievable feeling. To come back so soon and win so soon is unbelievable and I’m very happy. Even with the front row yesterday I was so happy, but I didn’t expect this. I wasn’t feeling perfect with the bike but as the race went on I was feeling better and had a better rhythm. I knew I would suffer less here than Mugello because it’s more lefts but still I was suffering a lot physically by the end. I’m really satisfied with the victory and I want to thank everyone who’s been with me during this hard time.”