Repsol Honda announced they are back to the MotoGP paddock in style today as Dani Pedrosa took his first win of the season and Nicky Hayden claimed a second third place.
Dani Pedrosa won the battle of the tyres at the Sachsenring as Bridgestone struggled to keep up with their Michelin rivals on the German circuit.
The Spaniard led from the start of the race as he got the advantage over pole man Casey Stoner.
Gresini Honda’s Marco Melandri was a surprise front runner getting in to third place. The three of these kept together at the front creating a small gap from the rest of the field with Loris Capirossi then joining the party.
A fever-hit Valentino Rossi will want to forget today fairly soon. He slipped down from his starting place of sixth on the grid and despite setting an early fastest lap of 1:23.539 was struggling.
His fate was sealed on lap six as he slid off in an overtaking manoeuvre past Randy de Puniet which left the race completely open with no Valentino comeback on the cards.
As riders on the Bridgestone’s started to struggle with their tyres, Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda) and Colin Edwards (Fiat Yamaha) began to make a break from their low starting positions finding themselves fighting it out for seventh and eighth.
The American pair were on a mission and set about passing Randy de Puniet. Nicky Hayden passed de Puniet to move up to sixth and was closing fast on John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki), Casey Stoner (Marlborough Ducati), Marco Melandri and Loris Capirossi (Marlborough Ducati) infront.
Closer to the front, on lap 20 Marco Melandri passed Casey Stoner but outbraked himself to run wide allowing Stoner and his teammate, Loris Capirossi to take advantage. But Stoner’s tyres were struggling and Melandri got through once again.
Nicky Hayden passed John Hopkins on lap 24 for fifth taking Colin Edwards with him again and they were soon past Marco Melandri and Casey Stoner for Nicky Hayden’s second podium of the season.
Hayden’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa had the win well and truly sealed as he had created a 13sec lead from Loris Capirsossi in second place. On the road to victory Dani Pedrosa also beat his lap record form last year with a new fastest lap of 1:23.082.
MotoGP race results:
1. Dani PEDROSA SPA HONDA 41:53.196
2. Loris CAPIROSSI ITA DUCATI + 13.166
3. Nicky HAYDEN USA HONDA + 16.771
4. Colin EDWARDS USA YAMAHA + 18.299
5. Casey STONER AUS DUCATI + 31.426
6. Marco MELANDRI ITA HONDA + 31.917
7. John HOPKINS USA SUZUKI + 33.395
8. Anthony WEST AUS KAWASAKI + 41.194
9. Alex HOFMANN GER DUCATI + 43.214
10. Michel FABRIZIO ITA HONDA + 44.459
11. Chris VERMEULEN AUS SUZUKI + 1:01.894
12. Kurtis ROBERTS USA KR212V + 1:10.721
13. Makoto TAMADA JPN YAMAHA 2 laps
14. Carlos CHECA SPA HONDA 3 laps