Pedrosa wins in Germany

Pedrosa wins, Rossi fourth on return
By Eurosport

18/07/2010 at 15:25Updated 18/07/2010 at 19:32

Dani Pedrosa won the German MotoGP at the Sachsenring while Valentino Rossi just lost out on a podium finish on his return from injury.

Honda rider Pedrosa finished 3.355 seconds ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, cutting his fellow Spaniard's championship lead to 47 points following a 30-lap race that was effectively reduced to 21 laps after Randy de Puniet's crash brought out the red flag.

Reigning champion Rossi, making his return to action just six weeks and four races after breaking his leg in his home race at Mugello, started fifth on the grid - and maintained beforehand that he would be satisfied to finish in the same position.

However he almost ended his comeback race on the podium before losing his thrilling duel with Casey Stoner on the final corner.

Lorenzo got a good start and regained his lead from pole after being briefly overtaken by Pedrosa.

On lap nine De Puniet, who had his leg X-rayed following his nasty crash in qualifying on Saturday, came off and his bike was hit by Aleix Espargaro. Alvaro Bautista also failed to avoid the melee. De Puniet's bike had caught fire, causing the red flag to be waved and a 30-minute break in the race.

All three riders were ruled out of it as they failed to get their bikes back to the pits within the designated five-minute window after the red flag was shown. On-site medics reported that De Puniet had fractured his left tibia and fibula.

The main beneficiary of the halt in proceedings was Nicky Hayden, who began the race 15th on the grid but surged his way up to sixth at the time of De Puniet's crash - and restarted from there.

Once more Pedrosa surged ahead of Lorenzo at the green light, but this time he made his lead stick.

While the issue of first and second was settled long before the end, the battle for third place was an enthralling one. Rossi and Stoner traded places over a dozen times before the chequered flag, and the Australian picked his approach path and moment perfectly going into the final corner to overtake the six-times world champion and move up to fourth in the championship standings.

Andrea Dovizioso, Marco Simoncelli and Hayden finished their own battle in fifth, sixth and seventh respectively, with the former heading into next week's USA Grand Prix at Laguna Seca still third in the table.

Following victories for Marc Marquez in the 125s and Toni Elias in Moto2, Pedrosa's victory made it a clean sweep for Spain exactly a week after the nation's football team lifted the World Cu -, and he celebrated on the podium by wearing the jersey of the team.