Lorenzo and Spies Save it for the Last Lap in Sachsenring Thriller
The Grand Prix of Germany provided some of the most exciting racing yet this season as Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies kept it to the last corner to deliver second and fifth places respectively.
Mugello race winner Lorenzo spent the entire 30 lap race distance embroiled in a battle at the front with Championship leader Casey Stoner and fellow Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. Having retained second off the grid, the Yamaha Factory rider passed Stoner with 17 laps to go. As the laps counted down Lorenzo conceded first to Pedrosa then second to Stoner before coming back with a stunning pass on the last corner of the last lap to steal second place back at the line.
Spies dropped one place to sixth off the start line, the Texan battling with a lack of grip that prevented him from closing down the front group early on. A consistent pace for the majority of the race saw a lonely ride holding position until his patience paid off as Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso were gradually reeled in. The fighting of the two in front made it difficult to make a pass on the twisty track. Spies held off until the last corner on the last lap to pass Simoncelli for fifth, echoing his team mate’s pass on Stoner just seconds earlier at the same spot.
Denying Stoner second place means Lorenzo has now taken a step to close the Championship lead down, trailing by just 15 points with a total of 153 as they head to Laguna Seca. Team mate Spies holds onto sixth position, now just 13 points behind Valentino Rossi in fourth.
Position 2nd - Time +1.477
“I’m very happy! It has been a fantastic race today. From the middle of the race I got very tired in my left hand so I didn’t know where I could find the force to push and keep pushing to the end. Then Casey stopped the bike a lot two corners from the end so I took profit from it, opened full throttle and in the last corner I went for it. It was a miracle pass! This race is very important so we are very proud and happy with the result. I have to thank my Yamaha crew who worked very hard to give me a fast bike all weekend, they have been fantastic.”
Position 5th - Time +10.719
“Unfortunately I got to the front group a little too late but I tried as hard as I could. I just lacked some rear grip in the beginning, I tried to be consistent and hope they came back to me because I couldn’t run the pace they were running in the beginning. Lap time wise it was probably the most consistent I’ve ever done in a race. We caught up to them with three laps to go and then all hell broke loose. Simoncelli started trying to find a way past Dovizioso and every time I tried to look to go past one of them was on one side of the track and the other on the other side. It was fair play, they were racing each other but it kind of messed up my game plan! Simoncelli ran wide at the end so I got him again in the last corner. I wish we could have got Dovizioso because we had the pace, we just ran out of laps.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A great result, of course we would have liked to win it but it was clear that Dani had a little bit extra, he’s very good at this track and was also strong last year. To make up four championship points in the last corner at the end of the race is of course great, especially mentally for Jorge. The rest of the season is coming up and we’re closing the gap with still a few races to go!”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“A good weekend for us, we are catching Stoner. I think Jorge did a really great job and a very impressive last lap. He saw a door almost open and he just went in and took the place cleanly, a perfect job. Ben had a big lack of grip but he was really consistent; he did almost all the race at the same pace. I don’t think he could have found an additional tenth of a second. Fifth place is not so bad looking at the pace and I think he could have finished fourth with a couple more laps. We are looking to Laguna Seca now, and I am confident we can make another step forward.”