Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa took his second win of the season Sunday at Sachsenring, Round 8 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.
The race was red flagged after LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet went down, causing two other riders (Espargaro and Bautista) to also crash. De Puniet was flown to the hospital, where it was confirmed the French rider broke his left tibia and fibula.
Arriving on the podium with Pedrosa was Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo and Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner.
Danny Pedrosa says: “I’m very happy because we are back winning races and it’s a great feeling. It wasn’t easy today because when the race is stopped and restarted like that, sometimes you don’t have the same feeling on the machine in the second part. Also you get nervous again on the grid and it’s possible you won’t have the same pace after the restart. But it went very well for us in both races.”
“In the first one I was very close to Lorenzo and the pace was good, but then they stopped the race and we looked at each other saying, Why? It was even better in the second part. We just made one small change with the rear suspension to get a bit more traction, but we didn’t change the tire because we didn’t have any new tires left – we went with the same ones. I made another good start and in the first laps after Lorenzo had passed me I was pushing very to try to take him back.”
“I couldn’t do it with my first attempt, but when I got a second chance I just went for it. Then it was a great feeling to stretch ahead and get the victory – the team deserve it. This victory is even better than the one in Italy because at Mugello I just went away in front and there was no battle with anybody, but here I was battling with Lorenzo in the first and second race, and finally beat him, so this is even more important. Also before the race we were not 100 per cent sure about what the weather would do, but it stayed clear and finally the weekend has ended perfectly.”
“I was really looking forward to wear the Spain shirt on the podium. It was difficult to get it because it wasn’t in the shops and I really wanted to celebrate a win like that. I also want to thank the team because they worked really well this weekend, the bike was very good from Friday onwards and this is the form we need so we can to keep this consistency going from now on.”
Casey Stoner says: “In the first part of the race I didn’t have such a good feeling and I was doing everything I could to stay with Dani and Jorge but tenth by tenth they were pulling away from me. So, for the second part of the race we changed to a tire we’d already used yesterday and I immediately found more grip and was able to run faster lap times.”
“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get past Dovi at the start so the front two opened a gap and by the time I got up to third place they were gone. We saw in the first race that Valentino’s pace was a little better than ours and that proved to be the case again in the second race. He was taking big chunks of time out of me and to be honest once he got past I didn’t think I’d be able to follow.”
“I tried really hard to stay in there and we had a good battle with a lot of nice passes. I tried one last time at the bottom of the hill, where he tried to close the line on me but I was already there. We touched but it was a good, clean fight and I’m just pleased to come away with a podium. We had hoped to be a little closer to the front here but we’re happy with this.”
Nicky Hayden says: ”On paper seventh place doesn’t look like a great result but after qualifying fifteenth yesterday actually it’s not so bad. I was running fifth but with a few laps to go I lost the front coming through the Waterfall and went back to seventh, after which I couldn’t really get back to them. Also on the last lap the bike jumped out a gear and I almost crashed so I’m happy to have picked up points. Of course fifth would have been a lot better but I’m proud of my team because yesterday was probably the worst day of our season so far but they worked so hard to change almost everything with the set-up, from the forks to the pivot and the shock.”
“We tested it in the wet morning and it felt okay – I was fifth fastest and comfortable so we rolled the dice and went for it in the race. At the start I was able to recover a lot of positions and got up to sixth when the red flag came out, which did me a favor because it closed the gap back up. ”
“I had not the best feeling with the bike for a couple of laps, I was running wide in a lot of places and it was difficult. From there I got into a very aggressive race with Dovi and Simoncelli – I got rubber on both sides of my leathers but you expect that in MotoGP when start fifteenth. It was a good battle with those guys and overall this is a much more positive result than it looks ahead of my home race at Laguna.”
Jorge Lorenzo says: “It’s always difficult when a race is split like this and I think I didn’t ride quite as well in the second race as I felt I had been doing in the first. Dani was very, very strong and I was on passed me I tried briefly to stay with him but he was much faster than me today and I was going to have to take a lot of risks to stay with him; the safest thing for me to do was finish second and take 20 points for the championship. I am happy because I never really liked this track and now I’ve been second here two years in a row. Now we go to Laguna and I am very excited about racing there again.”
Valentino Rossi says: “I didn’t expect this! I thought it was maybe possible to make fourth or fifth place but I thought it would be very difficult. In the end I was fourth but I had a great battle with Casey and I was so close to the podium, so this is a fantastic result after missing four races.”
“I need some more kilometres to really recover the feeling and feel completely okay with the bike again, but I think I did a great job and this was a very good comeback, better than we could wish for. I felt a bit of pain in my shoulder but more in the leg when changing direction, but at the end the battle with Casey was such fun that I didn’t think about it. Unfortunately though he just got the better of me on the last corner! Thanks to all my team for helping me come back and be competitive like this, we will try to do even better in Laguna.”
Ben Spies says: “Eighth place does not reflect what happened on track today and it was quite clear that I the limit trying to stay ahead. When he could have been much higher. I had the misfortune in qualifying yesterday that was nobody’s fault, but starting that far back h urt me today. It wasn’t easy to pass Melandri because his bike accelerates really well but once I got by and could run my own race, I was really happy with how I performed.”
“Dovizioso, Simoncelli and Nicky were five seconds clear at that point but I got to just over a second away from them. I was pretty much the fifth fastest guy on the track and I definitely had a fifth place result in me today, but I just had bad luck with the qualifying crash. But I leave with a top eight result and I’m not that far away from fourth in the championship now. Now I’m really looking forward to going home and racing at Laguna Seca. I love the circuit and I will have a lot of support and I genuinely believe I can run in the top five.”
Colin Edwards says: “I got pushed around a bit at the start and lost a bit of time and I was just pushing because what I would lose on acceleration I wo uld try and catch it all up on the brakes. It was my mistake. I ran into the last corner wide and was probably a metre off line and when I tried to pull it back I lost the front.”
“This wasn’t the result I wanted going into my home race next week at Laguna Seca but I’m more motivated than ever to get back on track and recover from a pretty difficult period in the season for me. I love Laguna and the atmosphere created by the fans and rest assured I’ll be aiming to get myself much closer to the front where I know I belong in front of my home crowd.”
Marco Simoncelli says: “That was the most fun I´ve had in a MotoGP race since the start of my debut season. Obviously sixth place is an important result but the thing that gives me most pleasure is the incredible battle I was in for the entire race. I had so much fun over the last few laps in the fight with Dovizioso and Hayden – it was like a minibike race! We were passing each other a couple of times on each lap and I enjoyed myself so much that I don´t even care that I missed out on fifth place.”
“I tried one last pass on Dovizioso in the final corner and I got inside him but I braked too late and ran wide. I am still really happy though and I have to say I got a little lucky because at the restart I was able to fit a different tyre that we´d already used in practice and that allowed me to set a faster pace over the first few races. I´m really pleased and I would like to thank Honda, San Carlo, Team Gresini, all the crew and my chief mechanic Aligi.”
Marco Melandri says: “That was a particularly difficult race and I didn´t have a good feeling from the start. After around ten laps I had no more strength in my arm and I started to feel a lot of pain. There are so many left corners here and I totally lost my rhythm – all I could think of was making it to the end.”
Randy De Puniet says: “It can’t be worse than this! I took a bad start from the third row but I was back to ninth and my race pace was pretty good. I could push for the sixth place despite my painful ankle after yesterday’s crash in the qualifying. Suddenly I crashed at exit of turn 4 and one bike hit my left leg. I immediately realized that it was something serious and after the X-ray we discovered the truth”.
Andrea Dovizioso says: “I really gave it everything today so of course I cannot be happy to finish fifth, especially after qualifying in fourth. Simply I was not fast enough to stay with the top riders today and in fact I was riding very aggressively and maybe even overriding a little to try and stay with them. When you do this you use up the tyre more quickly and also use more energy so I knew it wasn’t the right way, but I had to try to stay with the frontrunners.”
“This weekend we didn’t quite find the right electronics set-up and machine settings, and between the first and second parts of the race we tried to change some electronics settings because the set-up was not 100 per cent in the first part. I was losing a lot in turn seven, turn 12 and on the straight because I didn’t have the perfect set-up to use all the potential of the bike. Now I’m just looking forward to Laguna Seca next week and to getting right up front and being fully competitive again. My compliments go to Dani today. He rode at an incredible pace and the win is good for the team.”
Mika Kallio says: “This is not the right way! Cold tyres have betrayed me just few meters from the second start. With the second start I wanted to immediately comeback some positions, but unfortunately as soon as I entered the first turn, I lost the rear tyre and my bike slipped away. Too bad because I had a good pace during the first 9 laps, despite a bad start, I had recovered three positions and I was very close to the riders ahead of me and that were fighting for the eighth position. Luckily I avoided the bikes that were on the track after the accident, but unfortunately my race ended at the first corner of the second start. I very regret not being able to give a good result to my technicians. I hope to be competitive throughout next weekend during the U.S. Grand Prix. ”
Aleix Espargarò says: “What a unlucky race for me today. I was reducing the gap from the riders ahead of me and I could easily fight with them for the eighth position. Unfortunately I found De Puniet’s bike that was lying on the track in front of me and I could not avoid it. My bike has brought too much damage in the accident and I was not able to bring it back to the box again. I had a big pain in my right wrist and in my neck, I wanted to make the warm up lap of the second round to see my physical condition and if I was able to ride for the second race. Too bad because I could gain a good position. I just made X-rays in the mobile clinic and fortunately nothing is broken, while in Chemnitz’s hospital, where I was took to have further checks, they have found that my vertebra C7 is broken. Tonight we will send the x-ray to Spain so that my doctor can see them and check if it is new or old fracture. I am confident and I hope to attend the upcoming U.S. Grand Prix.”
Álvaro Bautista says: “It has been a bit of a disaster today. I didn’t start that well and I couldn’t get enough warmth in the right-side of the tire early on. After the first few laps I managed to get a good rhythm and was able to stay with the group for top-10 positions. After nine laps Randy crashed and I had some riders in front of me and I couldn’t see where his bike was on the track, but when the other riders disappeared I saw the bike in front of me and I couldn’t do anything to avoid it, so I crashed.”
“I then couldn’t get to the box with my bike, so I couldn’t start again. The regulation is the regulation, but in this case maybe there could’ve been an exception because I crashed because of Randy not for something I had done. We must continue learning, like we have done this weekend, because at the moment this is the most important thing.”
Loris Capirossi says: “Overall we worked quite hard this weekend to find the best setting and we wanted to make a modification today for the race in warm-up, but unfortunately it was wet so we couldn’t try it. We decided to try a different setting in the race and some electronic modifications and in the first part of the race it worked really well. It was the best the bike had been all weekend and I had a good feeling and was sure I could get past some of the guys in front of me..”
“After the red flag we decided to change to a used tyre from yesterday because there were no new ones left, and it just didn’t work and I had no feeling at all from the beginning until the end – zero grip! I ended up fighting with de Angelis to keep my place. This result is a bad position for us, but overall we have learned a lot of things today. I think without the stop in the race our result today would’ve been much better.”