Dani Pedrosa’s love affair with Germany’s Sachsenring track continued today after the Spaniard survived intense pressure from Repsol Honda team-mate Casey Stoner to win for the first time since last October.
There was late drama in the 30-lap race as reigning world champion Stoner crashed out of second at the penultimate corner.
But take nothing away from Pedrosa, who set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap to secure a third straight win on German soil.
Pedrosa got the holeshot but Stoner surged by on lap two. Pedrosa regained the initiative on lap 19 with a move on the brakes at the first corner and he then survived intense pressure from Stoner to win his first race since the Japanese Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi last October.
Stoner’s last lap mistake when he lost the front at the bottom of the fast downhill section was a gift for title rival Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard was riding in a lonely third but with Stoner unable to re-join the race, he now leads the championship by 20-points.
And Lorenzo has immediately recovered almost all the points he lost when Alvaro Bautista wiped him out at the first in Assen eight days ago.
Stoner’s error also put Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Andrea Dovizioso on the podium for the third time in four races after the Italian held off factory Yamaha rival Ben Spies.
Cal Crutchlow looked certain to claim yet another top five finish while he was engaged in a close battle with Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso and Spies for fourth spot.
The British rider was lying in fifth place when he ran off the track at the first corner on lap 26.
He managed to keep his YZR-M1 machine upright in the gravel but he lost seven seconds and dropped back to 11th behind a group involving Stefan Bradl, Nicky Hayden, Hector Barbera, Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista.
Crutchlow fought his way back by Ducati duo Barbera and Hayden to finish eighth and he maintained his impressive record of finishing inside the top 10 in all eight races so far in 2012.
Valentino Rossi scored his best dry race result of the season with sixth behind impressive German rookie Stefan Bradl, who got a rapturous reception after equalling his best ever MotoGP result with fifth.
Paul Bird Motorsport rider James Ellison was in the points for the third race in succession with 15th.