Sachsenring MotoGP: Casey Stoner cruises to victory at the German GP
Casey Stoner claimed a comfortable victory at the Sachsenring in Germany after early leader Dani Pedroda crashed out of the race. Valentino Rossi took second and Rizla Suzuki rider Chris Vermeulen took third place on the podium, making it a good day for Australian MotoGP fans everywhere.
The rain had really started to come down by the time the MotoGP boys took their places on the grid at the Sachsenring. Casey Stoner was in pole position on the start line, followed by Dani Pedrosa in second and Colin Edwards in third on the Tech 3 Yamaha.
When the lights went out Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda typically shot out ahead to take an early lead, no doubt helped by his weight advantage. Shortly after Casey Stoner passed Andrea Dovizioso and settled into second place in the field.
With 29 laps still to go Pedrosa had already opened up a 2.1 second gap on the rest of the pack. Meanwhile James Toseland, who had taken advantage of a good start to move up into fifth place, dropped back drastically to 11th as a few faster riders made their way through the pack.
Less than a lap later Jorge Lorenzo crashed out on a corner exit while up at the front, Pedrosa was busy stretching his lead over Casey Stoner out to 6 seconds.
With 25 laps still to go in the German GP, front runner Dani Pedrosa locked the front on his Repsol Honda under braking, putting him out of the race after a very promising start and leaving Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner in first place.
Valentino Rossi had worked his way up the pack by this point and found himself in second place behind Casey Stoner, pushing Edwards back to third and Dovizioso back to fourth. With 21 laps to go, Stoner was already way out in front with a 3 sec advantage and Marco Melandri had crashed out due to the tricky conditions on the wet track.
2 laps later Stoner had opened up a 2.9 second gap over second place Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi. With 15 laps left, Vermeulen (ever the good wet rider) was up into third place but there was still over a second between him and Rossi. Only 3 laps later, this gap had increased to over 4 seconds as Stoner and Rossi pulled out ahead on their own.
With 10 laps still to go, the heavy rain at the Sachsenring caught out Colin Edwards and he uncharacteristically crashed out of the German GP. As the conditions spread out the remaining pack, Stoner settled comfortably into first, with Rossi in second, Vermeulen in third and Alex De Angelis in fourth.
With the front of the pack spread out across the track, the top two riders Stoner and Rossi settled into a comfortable rhythm. Third position rider Chris Vermeulen had to fend off Alex De Angelis, but managed to hold his position and claim third place on the podium.
1 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 47'30.057
2 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 47'33.765
3 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 47'44.059
4 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 47'44.181
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP Honda 48'12.079
6 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team Ducati 48'16.705
7 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 48'34.540
8 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 48'34.645
9 Shinya NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 48'46.830
10 Anthony WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki 48'59.332
11 James TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha Yamaha 47'41.757
12 Toni ELIAS SPA Alice Team Ducati 47'43.954
13 Nicky HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team Honda 48'13.749
Colin EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha Yamaha
Marco MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati
Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda
Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha