LEADER DANI FALLS AS DE ANGELIS FIGHTS TO FOURTH

2008-07-13 02:10
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) was leading this soaking wet race by more than seven seconds after just four laps when he fell braking for turn one. Casey Stoner (Ducati) eventually won from Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) with Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) just hanging onto third from a flying Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V).

As rain sheeted down the lights went out and Dani hit the front from second on the grid. Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) snatched second from row two, Colin Edwards (Yamaha) was an early front-runner too and Stoner lay fourth having started from pole.

At the end of lap one Dani had pulled out a staggering two second lead over Dovi. With a clear track in front of him Pedrosa was simply pulverising the rest of the grid. On a sodden track he set an early fastest lap of 1m 36.65s and the Spanish star was riding two seconds a lap faster than anyone.

As he crossed the line for the start of lap six in this 30-lap encounter he enjoyed a seven second advantage over Stoner who had mover up to second past Dovizioso. Braking for the tricky right-hand turn one, Dani fell, his bike smashed beyond resumption of the race and Dani, fortunately, walking away, albeit carrying injuries.

Now it was Stoner's turn to enjoy a spray-less run at the front and the Aussie employed the same remorseless measures, hauling away from Dovi by more than two seconds in two laps. As the rain eased off slightly Rossi passed Dovi for second at turn one and Edwards moved past him for third shortly after.

The order after one third race distance was Stoner by 2.9 seconds from Rossi with another 1.3 seconds back to Edwards, then Dovi, Vermeulen, De Angelis and Marco Melandri (Ducati) who would set a fastest lap before crashing out on lap 11.

By mid-race distance the track was marginally less wet but still drenched in water and the order was Stoner by 4.4 seconds from Rossi, then a similar gap back to Vermeulen and De Angelis. Stoner by now had set a fastest lap of 1m 33.452s.

De Angelis was working hard on Vermeulen, but try as he might the San Marinese rookie on his customer RCV couldn't find a way past the acknowledged wet-weather expert Vermeulen on the factory Suzuki. It made for the most exciting duel of the race though. Edwards was to crash at two thirds race distance leaving Dovi in a safe fifth place.

Stoner eased up in the final laps, Rossi taking a safe second then Vermeulen and De Angelis breasting the line just feet apart having lapped Toni Elias (Ducati) as they finished this cold, wet race. Dovi finished fifth, Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) eighth.

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) pitted early on with electrical difficulties and grip problems. He rejoined the race to finish 13th while Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) finished ninth to continue his record of having scored points at all ten races so far this season.

Dani, now nursing fracture to the index finger of his left hand and a suspected fracture to his right ankle, said: "It was a little strange. I had only just touched the brake and I crashed. It was a real pity because I'd got a great start and was going well. I had a good feeling. The front felt perfect, the rear was sliding just a little, but the general feeling was good considering the track conditions. It is a real pity."

De Angelis said: "Considering the dreadful weather, the last thing I expected was to be fighting for the podium. Of course, I thought I could have a good race but for me that meant fighting for eighth or ninth place, so to finish fourth is very satisfying — even if a podium wouldn't have been bad either! I went for it but I was held up at the end by Elias — both Vermeulen and myself were forced to change our line to get around him."

Fifth-placed Dovi, this his third fifth-place in a row, said: "This fifth place is our third consecutive fifth-placed finish, so we have to be happy. We started 'in the dark', as everyone saw that the practice sessions were dry and we chose a hard rear tyre, which didn't let me to lean to the limit and be fully-fast with my corner speed. When Edwards caught me I didn't let him go, and maintained contact with him until he made a mistake and fell I was expecting a little more though."

The unfortunate Nicky said: "Today was a bit of a disaster, really. All weekend in the dry we had been going OK but conditions changed a lot for the race. I was actually glad it was raining because the bike has been working good in the rain recently, but the race turned into a disaster. The tyre choice wasn't good and something also didn't look right on the electronics, seems like it was a combination of problems. We came in and changed the rear tyre to a slightly different compound. Things were a lot better when I went out but I was right in the middle of everybody but I didn't want to get in the way of people racing."

De Puniet in eighth said: "Basically I never had enough grip on the right side of the bike throughout the race. I went into the gravel in the first corner on lap seven and after that I tried to set a rhythm battling with Capirossi. With two laps to go the rain got worse and then Capirossi passed me in the last corner before the straight. Honestly, I'm not very happy, but with these conditions eighth place is not so bad."

Ninth-placed Nakano said: "I'm really disappointed with this result; unfortunately I didn't manage to find a good feeling with the bike at the start of the race. I lost grip on the front for a couple of laps and just wasn't comfortable in those conditions generally. I tried to keep my pace up but the amount of water on the track made it really difficult for me. I'm disappointed for the team but looking ahead to the next race at Laguna Seca with optimism."

The World Championship points table now shows Rossi on 187, Pedrosa with 171 and Stoner third with 167 points. The next round is at Laguna Seca in the United States next weekend.


250cc Grand Prix

The rain that threatened to mar the 125cc race fell before this race and continued to fall heavily throughout. With the 29-lapper declared 'wet' riders took to the grid with full wet rubber as rain pelted down. Julian Simon (KTM) led into turn one but it was pole-man Marco Simoncelli (Gilera) who would shortly take charge of this 29-lap race.

The Italian established a seven second lead before the halfway point and it was up to a five-rider group that assembled in the closing laps to dispute the podium places and the points haul in his wake in this intriguing 250cc World Championship struggle.

Simoncelli coasted over the line to take the lead in the World Championship while Hector Barbera fended off his Spanish rival Alvaro Bautista (all Aprilia) to take second. Championship contender Mika Kallio (KTM) was fourth to take vital points while another hopeful Alex Debon (Aprilia) fell and failed to score.

Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) finished 9th for his eighth top ten finish of the season so far while Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG RS250RW) was 16th. Simoncelli now leads the World Championship with 164 points to Kallio's 153. Bautista lies third with 118 points.

Takahashi said: "My start wasn't good. As always I tried to recover, but in the first laps I was slowed by other riders. I had to push more, but by then I felt grip at the rear was not so good, especially in the fast corners. I tried to give the same gas, but I was scared of falling and losing more points. I thank the team and as always we all gave the very maximum."

Wilairot said: "We didn't find a good setting for wet conditions in the warm-up, and I couldn't go fast. It's a bad result. I'm very disappointed to not score points and I apologise to the team and everybody who's supporting me. I have to score points again. I can do much better than this and I'll prove it in the first race after the summer break." (250cc Grand Prix resumes at Brno on August 17).


125cc Grand Prix

World Championship leader Mike Di Meglio (Derbi) won this 27-lap race from local hero Helmut Bradl with reigning World Champion Gabor Talmacsi third, just ahead of Bradley Smith in fourth (all Aprilia). This is Di Meglio's third win of the season so far.

Bradl led off the line with Smith in close contention, Talmacsi from pole suffering a dreadful start and having to work hard to get himself back in contention. By lap three a four-rider breakaway had been established with Bradl, Simone Corsi (Aprilia) Joan Olive (Derbi) and Smith.

As Corsi and Olive faded Di Meglio and Talmacsi showed their class, carving their way through a congested field on a tight track to get back into podium contention. On the final lap this new foursome battled for the podium with the verdict going to the Frenchman Di Meglio.

Louis Rossi (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) finished an encouraging 22nd after starting from way back in 39th on the grid. He said: "I'm starting to have fun riding my Honda now. I followed my team's advice about braking and leaning the bike over, and it paid off. I felt confident despite the difficult weather. There's still a lot of work to be done but this race is encouraging."

Of some note was the performance of German wild-card entry Marcel Schrotter who finished 14th on his RS125R. The Bavarian rider is under the tutelage of multiple World Champion Toni Mang, with tuning legend Sepp Schlogel preparing his machine.

Schrotter said: "I'm very happy with my race. I was racing with Gadea, Webb and Rabat. I felt I could go away from them. I was tenth at one point in the race. But they pushed harder and I stayed with them. But near the end some people
were crashing and I decided to take the place I was in. I have to thank my team for this result."

The World Championship table now looks like this: Di Meglio 166, Corsi (who finished 5th today) with 136, Talmacsi on 109 and Bradl with 101. The next 125cc round is at Brno on August 17.


Honda rider quotes. GP Germany, Sachsenring Race. July 13, 2008.

MotoGP:

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 4th.
"Considering the dreadful weather today, the last thing I expected was to be fighting for the podium. Of course, I thought I could have a good race but for me that meant fighting for eighth or ninth place, so to finish fourth is very satisfying and even if a podium wouldn't have been bad either! I went for it but I was held up at the end by Elias both Vermeulen and myself were forced to change our line to get around him. It's a shame because I was really strong in T3 and I could have tried something at the top of the hill. Anyway, I'm happy with my race because I didn't have any bad moments, I got a good feeling straight away and feel I rode really well."

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 5th.
"This fifth place is our third consecutive fifth-place finish, so we have to be happy. I was also the first rider on Michelin tyres, but I do not know if we made the best choice of what was available or if the competition was better than us with the wet track, but overall I am happy with the quality of work we put in this weekend. We started 'in the dark', as everyone saw that the practice sessions were conducted in dry conditions and we chose a hard rear tyre, which did not allow me to lean to the limit and be fully-fast with my corner speed. When Edwards caught me I didn't let him go, and maintained contact with him until he made a mistake and fell. I want to say after this good qualifying session and good start I was I was expecting a little more. Now we go straight to Laguna Seca in the United States, which is a very 'particular' and unique track, one which I'm very curious about as I've never raced there before."

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 8th.
"It was a very hard race because we did not test in the wet in the last two days and the warm up session was held on damp track. So we decided to start with hard compound tyres in the front and in the rear but probably we made a mistake because the rear one was too hard. Basically I never had enough grip in the right side of the bike throughout the whole race. Then I went out in the gravel in the first corner in the seventh lap because I lost the control of the front in the wet part of the track. After that I tried to set my rhythm battling with Capirossi for the 7th position. With 2 laps to go the rain became stronger and was more difficult for me to keep the position so Capirossi passed me in the last corner before the straight. Honestly I am not very happy but with these conditions the 8th place is not so bad."

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 9th.
"I'm really disappointed with this result; unfortunately I didn't manage to find a good feeling with the bike at the start of the race. I lost grip on the front for a couple of laps and just wasn't comfortable in those conditions generally. I tried to keep my pace up but the amount of water on the track made it really difficult for me. I'm disappointed for the team but looking ahead to the next race at Laguna Seca with optimism."

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 13th.
"Today was a bit of a disaster, really. All weekend in the dry we had been going okay but conditions changed a lot for the race. I was actually glad it was raining because the bike has been working good in the rain recently, but the race turned into a disaster. The tyre choice wasn't good and something also didn't look right on the electronics, seems like it was a combination of problems. We came in and changed the rear tyre to a slightly different compound. Things were a lot better when I went out but I was right in the middle of everybody and I didn't want to get in the way of people racing. We got a few points. Now it's Laguna next weekend, so we'll just keep pushing and hope to catch a break somewhere along the way."

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: dnf — crash.
"It was a little strange. I had only just touched the brake and I crashed. It was a real pity because I'd got a great start and was going well. I had a good feeling. The front felt perfect, the rear was sliding just a little, but the general feeling was good considering the track conditions. It is a real pity."


250cc:

Yukio Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 9th.
"All weekend I've never been able to find the confidence with the front that I wanted to give me a good lap time, but after this morning's warm-up the situation had improved and I feel we could have had a good race. The rain which began to fall before the race certainly could have helped. My start was not so good, but as always I tried to recover but in the first laps I was slowed by other riders. I had to push more, but by then I felt the grip on the rear wheel was not so good, especially in the fast corners. I tried to give the same gas, but I was scared of falling and losing more points. I thank the team and as always we all gave the very maximum."

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG:
"The beginning of the race was quite good, I started with the second group but I went back quickly because I had no confidence on the wet track. Wedidn't find a good setting for wet conditions in the warm up, and I couldn't go fast. It is a bad result, I'm very disappointed to not score points, and I apologize to the team and everybody who is supporting me. I have to score points again, I can do much better than this and I'll prove it in the first race after the summer break."


125cc:

Marcel Schrotter, Toni Mang Team Honda: 14th.
"I am very happy with my race. I was racing with Gadea, Webb and Rabat and I felt I could go away from them. I was tenth at one point in the race. But they pushed harder and I stayed with them. But near the end some people were crashing and I decided to take the place I was in. I have to thank my team for this result."

Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 22nd.
" I feel more at ease aboard my Honda since this morning's damp warm up and I am starting to have fun riding it. I got mentally prepared for the race and was able to keep my concentration. I had a good start but unfortunately made a few mistakes in the first two laps, with several riders passing me. I was nevertheless able to close on the group ahead of me and overtake some of my opponents, until I was just behind fellow countryman Alexis Masbou. I put into application my team's advice regarding braking and leaning the bike over, and it paid off. I felt confident despite the difficult weather conditions, with the outburst of rain. There's still a lot of work to be done but this race is encouraging."


Results

MotoGP
Race Classification MotoGP : (30 laps = 110.13 km)
Pos/ Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time/ KM/H / Gap
1 / Casey STONER / AUS / Ducati Marlboro Team / DUCATI / 47'30.057 / 139.108 /
2 / Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Fiat Yamaha Team / YAMAHA / 47'33.765 / 138.928 / 3.708
3 / Chris VERMEULEN / AUS / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 47'44.059 / 138.428 / 14.002
4 / Alex DE ANGELIS / RSM / San Carlo Honda Gresini / HONDA / 47'44.181 / 138.422 / 14.124
5 / Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / JiR Team Scot MotoGP / HONDA / 48'12.079 / 137.087 / 42.022
6 / Sylvain GUINTOLI / FRA / Alice Team / DUCATI / 48'16.705 / 136.868 / 46.648
7 / Loris CAPIROSSI / ITA / Rizla Suzuki MotoGP / SUZUKI / 48'34.540 / 136.031 / 1'04.483
8 / Randy DE PUNIET / FRA / LCR Honda MotoGP / HONDA / 48'34.645 / 136.026 / 1'04.588
9 / Shinya NAKANO / JPN / San Carlo Honda Gresini / HONDA / 48'46.830 / 135.459 / 1'16.773
10 / Anthony WEST / AUS / Kawasaki Racing Team / KAWASAKI / 48'59.332 / 134.883 / 1'29.275
11 / James TOSELAND / GBR / Tech 3 Yamaha / YAMAHA / 47'41.757 / 133.922 / 1 lap
12 / Toni ELIAS / SPA / Alice Team / DUCATI / 47'43.954 / 133.819 / 1 lap
13 / Nicky HAYDEN / USA / Repsol Honda Team / HONDA / 48'13.749 / 127.874 / 2 laps




Pole Position: Casey STONER 1'21.067 163.020 Km/h
Fastest Lap: Casey STONER 1'32.749 142.487 Km/h Lap 23
Circuit Record Lap: Dani PEDROSA 1'23.082 159.066 Km/h 2007
Circuit Best Lap: Casey STONER 1'21.067 163.020 Km/h 2008

World Championship Positions:
1 ROSSI 187, 2 PEDROSA 171, 3 STONER 167, 4 LORENZO 114, 5 EDWARDS 98,
6 DOVIZIOSO 90, 7 VERMEULEN 73, 8 HAYDEN 73, 9 TOSELAND 65, 10 NAKANO 64,
11 CAPIROSSI 60, 12 DE ANGELIS 38, 13 ELIAS 37, 14 GUINTOLI 34, 15 HOPKINS 32.


250cc

Race Classification 250cc: (29 laps = 106.459 km)
Pos / Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time / KM/H / Gap
1 / Marco SIMONCELLI / ITA / Metis Gilera / GILERA / 45'36.703 / 140.041 /
2 / Hector BARBERA / SPA / Team Toth Aprilia / APRILIA / 45'38.960 / 139.926 / 2.257
3 / Alvaro BAUTISTA / SPA / Mapfre Aspar Team / APRILIA / 45'39.126 / 139.917 / 2.423
4 / Mika KALLIO / FIN / Red Bull KTM 250 / KTM / 45'40.853 / 139.829 / 4.150
5 / Julian SIMON / SPA / Repsol KTM 250cc / KTM / 45'41.549 / 139.794 / 4.846
6 / Mattia PASINI / ITA / Polaris World / APRILIA / 45'44.835 / 139.626 / 8.132
7 / Thomas LUTHI / SWI / Emmi - Caffe Latte / APRILIA / 46'15.005 / 138.108 / 38.302
8 / Hiroshi AOYAMA / JPN / Red Bull KTM 250 / KTM / 46'25.629 / 137.581 / 48.926
9 / Yuki TAKAHASHI / JPN / JiR Team Scot 250 / HONDA / 46'26.765 / 137.525 / 50.062
10 / Roberto LOCATELLI / ITA / Metis Gilera / GILERA / 46'28.373 / 137.446 / 51.670
11 / Alex BALDOLINI / ITA / Matteoni Racing / APRILIA / 46'45.499 / 136.607 / 1'08.796
12 / Fabrizio LAI / ITA / Campetella Racing / GILERA / 46'45.665 / 136.599 / 1'08.962
13 / Aleix ESPARGARO / SPA / Lotus Aprilia / APRILIA / 46'48.054 / 136.483 / 1'11.351
14 / Hector FAUBEL / SPA / Mapfre Aspar Team / APRILIA / 46'48.357 / 136.468 / 1'11.654
15 / Eugene LAVERTY / IRL / Blusens Aprilia / APRILIA / 46'50.559 / 136.361 / 1'13.856

Pole Position: Marco SIMONCELLI 1'23.399 158.462 Km/h
Fastest Lap: Hector BARBERA 1'32.551 142.792 Km/h Lap 29
Circuit Record Lap: Mika KALLIO 1'24.762 155.914 Km/h 2007
Circuit Best Lap: Marco SIMONCELLI 1'23.399 158.462 Km/h 2008

World Championship Positions:
1 SIMONCELLI 164, 2 KALLIO 153, 3 BAUTISTA 118, 4 DEBON 114, 5 BARBERA 113,
6 PASINI 108, 7 AOYAMA 98, 8 LUTHI Thomas 86, 9 TAKAHASHI 85, 10 SIMON 68,
11 LOCATELLI 52, 12 ESPARGARO 49, 13 FAUBEL 41, 14 WILAIROT 34, 15 ABRAHAM 25.


125cc:

Race Classification 125cc (27 laps = 99.117 km)
Pos / Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time / KM/H / Gap
1 / Mike DI MEGLIO / FRA / Ajo Motorsport / DERBI / 40'03.710 / 148.446 /
2 / Stefan BRADL / GER / Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing / APRILIA / 40'05.720 / 148.321 / 2.010
3 / Gabor TALMACSI / HUN / Bancaja Aspar Team / APRILIA / 40'06.443 / 148.277 / 2.733
4 / Bradley SMITH / GBR / Polaris World / APRILIA / 40'06.557 / 148.270 / 2.847
5 / Simone CORSI / ITA / Jack & Jones WRB / APRILIA / 40'12.827 / 147.885 / 9.117
6 / Sandro CORTESE / GER / Emmi - Caffe Latte / APRILIA / 40'12.959 / 147.877 / 9.249
7 / Nicolas TEROL / SPA / Jack & Jones WRB / APRILIA / 40'12.967 / 147.876 / 9.257
8 / Scott REDDING / GBR / Blusens Aprilia Junior / APRILIA / 40'34.488 / 146.569 / 30.778
9 / Esteve RABAT / SPA / Repsol KTM 125cc / KTM / 40'36.021 / 146.477 / 32.311
10 / Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Repsol KTM 125cc / KTM / 40'36.744 / 146.433 / 33.034
11 / Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Ajo Motorsport / DERBI / 40'36.831 / 146.428 / 33.121
12 / Andrea IANNONE / ITA / I.C. Team / APRILIA / 40'36.844 / 146.427 / 33.134
13 / Pere TUTUSAUS / SPA / Bancaja Aspar Team / APRILIA / 40'36.881 / 146.425 / 33.171
14 / Marcel SCHROTTER / GER / Toni Mang Team / HONDA / 40'36.918 / 146.423 / 33.208
15 / Pablo NIETO / SPA / Onde 2000 KTM / KTM / 40'37.465 / 146.390 / 33.755

Pole Position: Gabor TALMACSI 1'27.552 150.945 Km/h
Fastest Lap: Mike DI MEGLIO 1'27.584 150.890 Km/h Lap 16
Circuit Record Lap: Gabor TALMACSI 1'26.909 152.062 Km/h 2007
Circuit Best Lap: Gabor TALMACSI 1'26.839 152.185 Km/h 2007

World Championship Positions:
1 DI MEGLIO 166, 2 CORSI 136, 3 TALMACSI 109, 4 BRADL 101, 5 OLIVE 94, 6 TEROL 91,
7 SMITH 79, 8 ESPARGARO 75, 9 CORTESE 68, 10 REDDING 65, 11 GADEA 62,
12 IANNONE 59, 13 BONSEY 39, 14 MARQUEZ 32, 15 RABAT 31.

Source: Honda Pro Image

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