Situated in the heartland of the former East Germany's once-glorious motorcycle racing industry, the Sachsenring played host to this weekend's tenth round of the 2005 MotoGP championship season, and a furious fight for victory to the final moments...
Situated in the heartland of the former East Germany's once-glorious motorcycle racing industry, the Sachsenring played host to this weekend's tenth round of the 2005 MotoGP championship season, and a furious fight for victory to the final moments of the German Grand Prix.
After a strong start from Valentino Rossi, the early laps saw several riders fall victim to the German circuit. However, lap five was the catalyst when Suzuki rider John Hopkins highsided and landed on his back in the centre of the circuit, bringing the race to a halt. Thankfully Hopkins was uninjured in the incident.
The riders pulled into the pits after the incident and waited the restart, which came twenty minutes later, a completely new event of just twenty-five laps, that saw Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi and Alex Barros start from the front row and Sete Gibernau relegated to row two.
Hayden got another good start with Sete Gibernau moving into third behind Rossi. By the time the first lap was completed, Rossi had moved into the lead with Gibernau taking the battle to his Italian rival soon afterwards, relegating Hayden to third. Sete took the lead into the Sachsen curve on lap three but Rossi was determined to keep the pressure on his rival, staying a mere fraction of a second behind the Honda rider.
Lap five saw Carlos Checa off the circuit and into the gravel while Sete Gibernau began to eke out a small lead on Rossi. Nicky Hayden was hanging on to third with Alex Barros fourth. Positions remained the same until lap 12 when Hayden snatched second from Rossi into turn one with Barros almost following him through. The Laguna Seca winner then began to hunt down Gibernau, constantly closing the gap to the leading Honda on every lap.
The top five, Gibernau, Hayden, Rossi, Barros and Biaggi remained tightly knit as they crossed the line with just nine laps to go, keeping the pressure on each other in the hope that someone would make a mistake. But no one managed to get close enough to attempt a pass until lap 19, when Rossi reclaimed second place from Hayden and set off in pursuit of Gibernau.
With three laps to go Biaggi had made his way past Barros while Rossi continued to pressure Gibernau for the lead, with Hayden still hanging on in third. Would the Spaniard be able to hold on and take his first win since Qatar last season? The laps counted down and Rossi kept trying to pass his rival, who finally succumbed to the pressure and ran wide into turn one on the final lap, allowing Rossi though for the win, the 76th of his career, and the eighth of the 2005 season.
Gibernau was second, Hayden third, Biaggi fourth, Barros fifth and Shinja Nakano sixth.