News 20 Jul 2009

MotoGP: Honda's Pedrosa scores podium result at Sachsenring


Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) rode to a determined third-place finish in today’s German GP, finishing the 30 lap race just 2.8 seconds behind race winner and series leader Valentino Rossi (Yamaha). Along the way the Spaniard set a new lap record, bettering his own record established during his runaway victory here in 2007.

Satellite Honda team riders Alex De Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Toni Elias (San Carlo Honda Gresini) gave team owner and former 125 World Champion Fausto Gresini something to celebrate by finishing in fifth and sixth positions, the Italian squad’s best day of the year so far.

Two weeks after his brilliant US GP victory, Pedrosa was in the leading group throughout the race which took place on a dry track under threatening clouds after drizzle had forced the 250 race to be stopped and restarted. The Spaniard rode his record lap in the final stages as he chased down Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), who finished second, just 0.099 seconds down. Pedrosa may have had a better shot at winning if he hadn’t had a few front-end scares in the early stages which forced him to ease his pace during the middle of the race.

De Angelis rode a strong but mostly lonely race for his best result of the year following a storming ride to fifth in yesterday’s rain-lashed qualifier. The San Marino rider got away well, making contact with Casey Stoner (Ducati) at the busy first corner, and went with the leading group in the early stages. As the race wore on he lost contact with the first four but nevertheless maintained his impressive pace all the way to the chequered flag.

Elias had a very different race. A crash during yesterday’s rain-lashed qualifying session left the Spaniard last on the grid, so he had to fight with all his might to make rapid forward progress during the early laps. Elias went from 14th to eighth in the space of 11 laps and made his last pass of the race on Marco Melandri (Kawasaki) with four laps remaining. It was an impressive ride in difficult circumstances.

Gabor Talmacsi (Scot Honda) netted his first premier-class World Championship score in only his fourth MotoGP ride, taking the final point in 15th place.

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) withdrew from the race with five laps to go due to an electrical issue. The Italian ran strongly in the early stages, charging through from a fourth-row start to take fourth place from Lorenzo. But then he gradually began to lose positions as he lost front-tyre performance.

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) walked away from a high-speed crash on the very first lap. The Frenchman, who had qualified a promising sixth fastest, lost the rear as he tipped into the 210km/h turn 11, the first right-hander after a long sequence of left-handers.


Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), third finisher, said: “I’m pleased to be on the podium, and finishing this close to the leaders proves that our win at the last race wasn’t by chance. I made a very good start and in the first few laps I was comfortable behind Valentino. On about lap six or seven though I had a big moment in the last corner and almost crashed, so after that I slowed down a little and dropped back to fourth. With a slightly slower pace I felt the feedback coming back and towards the end of the race I was able to push hard again. I got past Casey and tried to catch the leaders but by this time I was a bit too far behind. Third place is a good result, but we were ready to fight for the win at this circuit so it looks like we still have a little bit of work to do. The team is in good shape though and we’re making progress all the time, so I’m confident we can continue to challenge for better results and preferably for wins. Donington is next and I’m looking forward to it. Let’s hope we can have an even better race there.”

Alex De Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini), fifth finisher, said: “After showing my pace in the wet during qualifying yesterday I knew I could go fast in the dry as well and that proved to be the case. Obviously this is a circuit I like a lot but I was also fast in practice at Laguna Seca – unfortunately we had a technical problem there and I wasn’t able to back it up with a good result. This time it was nice to carry my form through to Sunday and to stay close to the guys at the front for the first time this season. I really enjoyed attacking and passing (Andrea) Dovizioso, it was a great feeling. This is the result we have been looking for – we have made some important technical progress and I think that at Donington, a circuit I like with its fast corners, I can produce a similar result.”

Toni Elias (San Carlo Honda Gresini), sixth finisher, said: “To be honest I was expecting a battle just to finish in the top ten today but it ended up being much better than I could have imagined! It was a tough race and physically I still wasn’t feeling very strong but I managed to get into my rhythm and start passing riders. Once I caught up with Marco I found it difficult to get past him and my stomach pains started. I thought, ‘please no, not now!’ I fought through the pain and over the last few laps we had a great battle, which I was able to win. I want to thank the team because they’ve been doing a great job and we are starting to see the fruit of our hard work. If we hadn’t started from the back of the grid the result today could have been much better so that is something for us to think about for Donington, where we can go in high spirits.”

Gabor Talmacsi (Scot Honda), 15th finisher, said: “I got my first point in MotoGP today and I’m happy about that. It is something that will stay in my record. Nevertheless, we want to progress more. Maybe I overrode today because I had some problems with the front tyre and from a certain moment on I could not keep in contact with my group. So I tried to find a good rhythm and go as fast as I could. But I’m confident: we all have the same target: to fight for good positions. We have simply to work hard.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), DNF, said: “We needed a strong result here and at the start of the race I was able to ride at a really good pace. I made a quick start from the fourth row and got past six riders on the first lap – then I was able to get past Lorenzo for fourth on the third lap. On that lap I did a 1m 22.7s but then, during the fourth lap, the front folded at turn eight and I ran wide. Within a few laps after this the performance from the front had dropped dramatically. It meant I couldn’t lean the bike or brake as normal so it was very difficult to control the bike. From then on my target was to finish the race but with five laps to go I had an electrical issue with the machine and I had to pull in. Obviously I’m really disappointed with the result because I was feeling fast here and I had a very good feeling from the bike. We really had the potential for a good result, which is what we need at this moment. Still, now we’ll go to Donington next weekend and aim for the level of result we’re capable of.”

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), DNF, said: “I am very disappointed because I took a good start and was in third position behind Pedrosa. After that I made a mistake in the fast right corner because I opened the throttle too early and suffered a big highside. Anyway, I feel lucky as I escaped injury from the crash but a DNF is bad for me and the team, especially for the championship. Today we could have finished in the top five because we had the speed to make an amazing race. However, I am still tenth overall and we will start again from zero at Donington on Friday.”Valentine on dvd

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