The German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring today provided a thrilling afternoon’s racing, with Jorge Lorenzo finishing second and his resurgent Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi rounding off a remarkable return from injury to finish fourth by a mere whisker. A red flag after nine laps meant the race was restarted, with Dani Pedrosa eventually taking the win after a 21-lap ‘second’ race.
Starting from pole for the fourth race in a row, Lorenzo lost ground to Pedrosa at the start but retook the lead on the first lap and led the way by a couple of tenths for the first nine laps. Rossi meanwhile, back racing just six weeks after breaking his leg, had dropped two places on his grid position to seventh. On the second lap he passed Hector Barbera and then loomed up behind Marco Simoncelli, passing his fellow Italian to take fifth on lap four. The World Champion had more than a second’s gap to Andrea Dovizioso but he quickly started to close down on him and was in range on the ninth lap, passing him on the tenth. By then however an incident involving three riders had caused the race to be red-flagged and, with positions then taken from the end of the ninth lap, that left the top five in almost their original grid order of Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Stoner, Dovizioso and Rossi.
Thirteen riders restarted the race and it was the same story all over again, with Pedrosa passing Lorenzo into turn one but the championship-leader getting back through before the end of the first lap. The next few laps saw the two Spanish riders in some superb wheel-to-wheel action as Lorenzo tried and failed to shake Pedrosa off, the pair maintaining a nail-biting distance of about a tenth for several laps. After three wins in a row however Lorenzo finally succumbed today and on lap nine he was unable to hold his compatriot off any longer, sensibly deciding to bring his M1 home in second place for 20 points. The 23-year-old has now finished in first or second place at every one of the eight rounds this season.
Lorenzo’s championship lead now stands at 47 points from Pedrosa, whilst Rossi moves up one place to sixth. The paddock now heads directly to Laguna Seca in California for the US Grand Prix in one weeks time.
Jorge Lorenzo – Position: 2nd Time: +3.355
“It’s always difficult when a race is split like this and I think I didn’t ride quite as well in the second race as I felt I had been doing in the first. Dani was very, very strong and I was on the limit trying to stay ahead. When he passed me I tried briefly to stay with him but he was much faster than me today and I was going to have to take a lot of risks to stay with him; the safest thing for me to do was finish second and take 20 points for the championship. I am happy because I never really liked this track and now I’ve been second here two years in a row. Now we go to Laguna and I am very excited about racing there again.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“I said before this weekend that we can’t win them all and today Jorge rode another very sensible race to finish second and bring home 20 valuable points for the championship. It’s a pity about the restart because the final third of the race is generally Jorge’s strongest and with the shortened race he didn’t have that bonus, but he rode a great race nonetheless and tried his best to stay with Pedrosa, who was a bit faster than us today. This hasn’t been one of his best tracks in the past and he had some problems the first day so this is a good result for us all.”
Source: Yamaha Racing
- Introducing… MotoGP™ Fantasy!
- This is MotoGP™: speed, rivalry and innovation
- Final stop Qatar: Moto2™, Moto3™ back on track for testing
- Everything we know ahead of the 2020 season opener
- New custom typeface for MotoGP™
- Yamaha take 2020 preseason testing clean sweep
- Photo gallery: 2020 MotoGP™ Qatar Test
- Qatar Test race simulations: who impressed?