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.”
Edwards and Crutchlow collect valuable points in Germany
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow collected valuable points after both were engaged in exciting battles throughout today’s German MotoGP race at the Sachsenring.
Edwards delivered a determined ride throughout the 30-lap encounter, the American shrugging off the lingering affects of a nasty sore throat to finish in a hard fought 10th place.
Edwards was locked in a captivating four-rider battle for seventh that included Alvaro Bautista, Valentino Rossi and compatriot Nicky Hayden, who are all riding full factory machinery.
But with four laps remaining he had to abandon his pursuit of the trio in front when he enco untered a rear grip problem in the left-hand corners. Edwards though was still satisfied having set a personal best race time at the Sachsenring, which has traditionally been a bogey track for the 37-year-old. He is now confident and looking forward to competing for a top six finish in his crucial home round at the Laguna Seca in California next weekend.
Crutchlow meanwhile rode with typical aggression and he produced a fantastic ride under intense pressure to keep Randy de Puniet, Hector Barbera and fellow MotoGP rookie Karel Abraham at bay in 11th position.
Battling a lack of front-end feel that Crutchlow had worked tirelessly to improve over the course of the weekend, the British rider was unable to keep his line entering Turn 3 on lap 26 and he dropped back to 14th place. The 25-year-old quickly got back into his rhythm, but despite launching a concerted effort to reclaim the lost places, he finished less th an 0.5s away from 11th.
Position 10th – Time +33.491
“That was a difficult race because it was one of those where you can see a few places up for grabs in front of you but you can’t do anything to try move forward. I was with Valentino, Nicky and Alvaro for pretty much the whole race but it didn’t matter what I did or tried, I couldn’t get close enough to try and pass them. One tenth round this track feels like a million because it is so short but it felt like I was on a bungee rope the whole time. Each time we started going through the series of lefts from Turn 4 onwards, they just seem to have more traction than me. They’d pull a few bike lengths on me but then I’d gain it all back in the hard braking for Turn 12 at the bottom of the hill and hard braking for the last corner. My bike was really stable on the brakes but the bike lengths I’d c atch up I’d lose again on the next lap and the process would start all over again. With a few laps to go I was in Turn 2, off throttle and the rear came round. From that point on I had less grip and a bit of vibration and I couldn’t stay with them and I was making more mistakes trying to keep their pace. So I just took 10th place, which is not where I want to finish, but I’ve never gone great at this track and I’ve gone faster than I’ve ever run here. Usually it’s a disaster here, so I’m actually happy with my race and going to Laguna Seca now to race in front of my home fans, I feel really good and confident.”
Position 14th – Time +39.477
“Obviously I can’t be happy to have finished 14th because I believe I should be fighting inside the top ten. But taking the positives out of a difficult race, I was able to fight for the whole race with riders that are a lot more experienced than me, and who have much more knowledge of this track. I really wanted to finish 11th but when I ran wide with a few laps remaining, it was always going to be an uphill battle to get back three places on a track like this that is tight and twisty. But I didn’t give up and I pushed as hard as I could right to the end and nearly recovered a couple of places. I just didn’t have enough grip from the front or the rear and it was difficult. I didn’t feel I could push any harder and it strange because we made a lot of big changes to the bike this weekend without ever really finding an improvement. We’ve learned a few things that will help in the future and now I’m looking forward to getting to Laguna Seca where I’ll be aiming to get back inside the top ten.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager
“The feeling is better than the result looks because Colin had a strong race. He had a good start and he rode most of the race together with the factory Ducati and factory Suzuki. The pace was good and I think there was not a lot more we could do. This is a tough track for Colin but his pace was pretty strong and consistent and I am happy. Cal finished 14th and he is not happy with that. I think he has learned a lot today and after a tough period it means something to finally see the chequered flag. I don’t want to say that we are happy to finish 14th, but I think together with Randy and the other Ducatis he has been learning a few things. Cal has done some really good performances in the beginning of the season, but we should never forget that it is a learning year and he has to understand that if he has to finish 14th like today, it is all about learning from that experience. The target we are working on this season is that he becomes a better MotoGP rider, even if sometimes he doesn’t get the result he expects. Now we can focus on L aguna Seca, which is a massive race for Colin and Monster, so everybody at Tech 3 Yamaha will be giving maximum effort as usual to deliver a top result in America.”
2011 MotoGP Germany
Sachsenring 17/07/2011 30 Laps
1 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 41’12.482
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 0’01.477
3 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 0’01.568
4 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 0’10.513
5 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0’10.719
6 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 0’10.923
7 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 0’27.451
8 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’27.510
9 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 0’27.576
10 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 0’33.491
11 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 0’38.944
12 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 0’39.148
13 Randy De Puniet Ducati FRA 0’39.415
14 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 0’39.477
15 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 0’54.516
MotoGP World Standing
Rider Standings After Race 9 of 18
1. Casey Stoner Honda AUS 168
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 153
3. Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 132
4. Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 98
5. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 94
6. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 85
7. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 85
8. Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 60
9. Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 59
10. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 57
11. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 49
12. Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 41
13. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 39
14. Toni Elias Honda ESP 35
15. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 34
16. Loris Capirossi Ducati ITA 22
(Daniel Pedrosa, 1/1/2009)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Casey Stoner, 7/13/2008)
Last Years Winner:
1 Honda 210
2 Yamaha 184
3 Ducati 107
4 Suzuki 45
1. Repsol Honda Team 265
2. Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team 238
3. Ducati Marlboro Team 183
4. San Carlo Honda Gresini 112
5. Monster Yamaha Tech3 93
6. Mapfre Aspar Team MotoGP 49
7. Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 45
8. Cardion AB Motoracing 41
9. Pramac Racing Team 37
10. LCR Honda MotoGP 35