Pedrosa makes it 3, Stoner crashes out

Sachsenring specialist Dani Pedrosa won his third successive German MotoGP to open his account for the year on Sunday.

While the Spaniard took the honours, his Honda teammate Casey Stoner, destined to take second, crashed out with two bends of the final lap remaining to dent his hopes of defending his world title before he heads into retirement.

The main beneficiary of Stoner's spill was Yamaha's former champion Jorge Lorenzo who was gifted the runner up spot to move clear at the top of the riders standings on 160 points.

Pedrosa climbed into second on 146 with Stoner, pointless here, on 140.

First corner carnage in Assen last weekend had checked Lorenzo's title charge with Stoner arriving at Sachsenring level on points with the Spaniard.

Alvaro Bautista was found guilty for that spill and as a punishment the Honda rider was consigned to the back of the grid here.

In contrast to Saturday's wet weather qualifying, a dry track greeted the grid headed by Stoner on pole but the Australian was beaten to the first corner by Pedrosa, who started in third.

Stoner though reclaimed the lead from his teammate on turn nine of the opening lap, with Yamaha duo Ben Spies and Lorenzo racing in third and fourth.

The Hondas quickly opened up acres of daylight around the sinuous Sachsenring track, with a near three second gap between Pedrosa and Spies by lap six.

With ten laps gone Lorenzo was up to third as in front Pedrosa stalked Stoner.

The Spaniard duly pounced and passed his Honda colleague with a dozen laps remaining, but was unable to pull clear, setting up a thrilling last third of the race with Lorenzo out of the picture, eight seconds adrift.

Stoner was all set to take second and add another valuable 20 points to his push for the championship until his front wheel went from under him on the last lap, the Australian sliding off, thankfully ending up unharmed in the gravel.

Pedrosa cut a happy figure afterwards, saying: "At the start I wasn't comfortable because of changes to my bike.

"As I became used to all the changes I passed Casey, and was feeling good.

"Towards the end I had to fight for the win, on the last lap I was racing at my maximum."

Lorenzo, reflecting on a dramatic turnaround in fortune after his Dutch disaster, told BBC Sport: "Things can change completely in two races.

"At Assen we have zero points and were very disappointed but then we have luck from Casey's crash today. I would have been happy to finish third as the bike was not so good but we were lucky."

The Moto2 race was won by Marc Marquez while Germany's Sandro Cortese gave the home fans something to cheer about when taking the Moto3 division.
 

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