In a fantastic tight finish, with four riders split by only four hundredths of a second at the line, Italian ace Valentino Rossi added another superb victory to his career today by taking the win in the German Grand Prix on the Sachsenring circuit...
In a fantastic tight finish, with four riders split by only four hundredths of a second at the line, Italian ace Valentino Rossi added another superb victory to his career today by taking the win in the German Grand Prix on the Sachsenring circuit of Chemnitz, the tenth round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP). Rossi was followed acrosss the line by fellow countryman Marco Melandri and American Nicky Hayden.
Rossi led a train of four riders with Melandri, Hayden and polesitter Dani Pedrosa, in which all four had strong chances to claim a victory, that finally went to the reigning World Champion -- after starting from eleventh on the grid.
"That was an unbelievable race for me and my team. The first thing I have to say is 'sorry' to my (Yamaha) M1 because last night was the first time in our relationship that I ever doubted her! But she was true to me once again and for this I owe a huge thank you to Jeremy (Burgess) and all my mechanics and engineers", commented Rossi with his usual style.
The Italian's doubt about his bike were because after the qualifying session, Rossi was one second away from the pole position, with no chance for victory today. At least that seemed.
But, like happened in Donington Park, the warm-up before the race was the moment to find all the answers for the Yamaha engineers and the M1 proved Rossi that she is still the same.
"Last night I didn't think I could win this race but we made a change in the morning warm-up and then again before the race in the afternoon and today my M1 flew. In some parts of the track it was very, very fast", Rossi remarked.
The seven-time World Champion commened about the intense fight for the lead with the three Honda riders: "At the start I realised that my rhythm was good enough to battle for the win. Once I got to the front I knew I was probably two or three tenths faster than the other guys but it wasn't enough to escape and I had to battle with Dani, Nicky and Marco -- each one was a great fight".
With today's victory -- the 83rd for Rossi in the Continental Circus -- the Italian moves to second place in the standings with 143 points, 26 away from Hayden, who still holds the lead.
Fortuna Honda rider Melandri raced today with a fractured collarbone, the consequence of his Catalunyan GP accident. As it happened in the British GP two weeks ago, Melandri lost his position -- this time the lead, in Donington it was second place -- in the hands of Rossi on the last lap of the race.
"It was an incredible battle. At Donington the fight was for first place, but here in Germany it was for first position all the way through. I had a great battle with Pedrosa at first and then later with Valentino. I believe the fans will have enjoyed it as much as I did, it was a lot of fun", the Italian mentioned.
About the fight with Rossi itself, his rival and friend explained: "I tried to overtake Rossi lots of times on that final lap but he closed the door every time. In the recent races we have been right up there at the front and I believe that is a good sign".
This is Melandri's second consecutive podium after P3 in British GP, a result that allow him to stay right there in the dispute for the title in fourth place.
Both Repsol Honda boys fought all the way between themselves and the Italian pair, but were unable to snatch the victory at the end. "Towards the end I knew these guys were going to fight it out so I thought I had a good chance to get in front. On the last lap I thought Marco would go up the inside and maybe open the door at the bottom of the hill and that's what I was planning on at the end. I'm not completely satisfied with third because this is a good track for me and I thought I had a shot at the win today, but I enjoyed the battle", was Hayden's explanation after the race.
Hayden put his RC211V in the podium for the eighth time this season, the reason of why the American stil holds the lead in the championship. Next stop in the shedule for MotoGP is the U.S. Grand Prix in a week time and the Kentucky boy knows it could be a great chance to confirm his title ambition with a victory in his home race.
"I'm really looking forward to going home -- and I'm proud to be going to Laguna leading the points. We'll definitely be trying to get 25 more there", he said.
Polesitter Pedrosa may have had the worst part of the four-rider group by finishing at last, however the Spanish ace still in the fight in his season debut in MotoGP.
Loris Capirossi came home in fifth place with the Marlboro Ducati, with Shinya Nakano on his tail in sixth.
Aussie rookie rider Chris Vermeulen put the Rizla Suzuki seventh ahead of both Spanish racers, Sete Gibernau and Carlos Checa, and his teammate John Hopkins.
Next week the MotoGP speed and show will move to America heading to the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in the always beautiful and exciting circuit of Laguna Seca, in Monterey, CA.