It was as if Dani Pedrosa was completely forgotten about throughout the ninth round of the MotoGP season but the Spaniard earned himself a brilliant podium at the Sachsenring after the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.
Front row start for Pedrosa
After a wet Qualifying where he gained third on the grid, completing the front row, he lined up alongside his teammate, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing). The lights went out and everyone bar Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) got a clean start.
The Repsol Honda riders both got a fantastic start and Pedrosa settled in to the second spot in the pack behind leader, Marquez. But Pedrosa started to come under attack from local rookie, Jonas Folger (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) who was completing his home round.
Folger forces Pedrosa down to third
Folger overtook Pedrosa on the fifth lap of the 31 lap race. He then carried on to take the lead from Marquez and remained there until he unfortunately ran wide at turn one of lap 11, and Marquez was able to pass back through.
Despite being passed, Folger remained in touch with Marquez and caused him to push on and therefore maintain a strong, competitive pace at the front; Pedrosa gradually dropped off the back of them.
Behind Pedrosa, there was a lot of shuffling, chopping, changing, overtaking and retaliation. Riders ran or were forced wide, missed turns and made testing or perfect manoeuvres on each other. It was a fantastic race. A battle broke out for fourth position between Movistar Yamaha teammates Valentino Rossi, Maverick Vinales and Ducati Team rider, Andrea Dovizioso.
Attention was drawn to them as they tripped each other up and spoiled each other’s momentum. It was intense, and eventually when Vinales got to the front he began to continue on in pursuit of the final podium spot bringing Rossi along with him.
Perfect riding from Pedrosa
Yes, Pedrosa was there, doing what he does best, consistently lapping at a strong, competitive, and podium winning pace in the German GP. It was a shame that he experienced the race out on track on his own, but I am sure that Pedrosa surely isn’t complaining.
Pedrosa was focused on points, as he worked to remain in touch with the four Championship leaders that are covered by just 10 as they reach the midway point of the season. Marquez’s win, Folger’s second and Pedrosa’s third means that the three that were previously in charge, Dovizioso, Rossi and Vinales had a spanner thrown in the works.
Pedrosa closes in on championship leaders
Marquez leap-frogged the three with the help of Folger and Pedrosa who claimed vital points. Marquez now leads with 129 points, five points ahead of Vinales on 124, who is one point ahead of Dovizioso on 123, and who is four points ahead of Rossi on 119 points.
Pedrosa is fifth in the championship, and his podium means he is on 103 points; which leaves him 16 points behind Rossi, and 26 behind his teammate, Marquez who is leading.
Pedrosa happy enough with Sachsenring podium
Pedrosa was “happy enough” with his German podium as he felt they “worked very well” during the weekend in Sachsenring when “trying to manage every situation.” He described that during the race he “felt really strong in the first laps” and found that he was “able to stay close to Marc.” However, then he “started to lose grip I the rear tyre.”
Trying to reassure himself that it wasn’t going to be a problem he thought, “It’s going to be a long race and it’s normal to lose some grip.” However this is when Folger passed and despite trying to follow he “couldn’t keep contact.” He said, “I tried to manage but when I felt the tyre was spinning too much I settled for a podium.”
Pedrosa hoping to improve with tyres
Pedrosa admitted that he “expected to be a little bit stronger” but still felt that “all in all it was a positive result” as they went and “gathered some good points for the championship.” He was left feeling “positive” and speaking about the “two days to test during the summer” that will take place in Brno, he plans to “work on the areas [they] know [they] must improve.”
These areas especially included figuring out how to “make the tyres work well no matter the conditions,” and in doing so he hopes to “be more consistent in the second part of the Championship.”