Pedrosa wins thrilling German Grand Prix
17 July 2011 – Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa claimed victory in a race full of overtaking manoeuvres at the Sachsenring this afternoon, maintaining the gap to his rivals after a late pass for the lead. Jorge Lorenzo stole second at the final corner of the last lap with a brave and well executed move on Casey Stoner, cutting the latter's championship lead by four points.
The race got off to a frantic start, with Pedrosa jumping to the head of the field at the first corner, while Lorenzo went around the outside of Stoner and forced the Australian down to third. As the riders successfully made it through the challenging Turn 12, Lorenzo was lining up Pedrosa for the lead, slipping past at the Sachsen Kurve.
Stoner’s first lap troubles got worse when team-mate Andrea Dovizioso jumped ahead to take third place, before the Italian rider went on to set the fastest lap of the race and find a way past Pedrosa for second. The fighting continued further down the order, with Valentino Rossi up to tenth from his 16th place grid slot by the end of the third lap.
After taking few laps to find his rhythm, Stoner finally clawed back some positions, disposing of team-mates Dovizioso and Pedrosa with relative ease. The 2007 Champion then applied significant pressure on leader Lorenzo, lunging up the inside of his chief title rival at Turn 13. As the race approached its halfway mark, Lorenzo found another burst of pace and grabbed the lead back from Stoner.
Just one lap later it was Pedrosa’s turn to move to the fore once again, setting fastest lap times en route to a pair of brilliant moves for second and first respectively. The 2010 runner-up never looked like relinquishing his position from that point onwards, riding to the chequered flag with a relatively comfortable gap back to team-mate Stoner.
As the race entered its final tour Lorenzo failed to give up on second place, pushing hard and narrowly missing out on a trip over the grass due to a mistake at Turn 11. However, a superb exit from the Sachsen Kurve put him right on the tail of Stoner on the run up to the final corner, before he forced his way through onto the start/finish straight.
The thrilling finish up front seemingly transferred itself to the battles behind, with Dovizioso narrowly holding off Ben Spies and Marco Simoncelli at the line. Gresini’s Simoncelli had been looking at a fourth place finish until being passed by his fellow countryman, with a final corner error then opening the door for Spies.
Álvaro Bautista surged past Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi at the end of the race to claim seventh, while Colin Edwards completed the top ten behind both Ducati riders. Stoner now has a rather slender lead of 15 points in the overall championship standings, holding a total of 168 points ahead of back-to-back winner Lorenzo.
Round 10 of the championship takes place at Laguna Seca next weekend