Dani Pedrosa rode brilliantly to win the German Grand Prix after a race long battle with Casey Stoner who crashed out at the penultimate corner as he tried to fight for the win with the Spaniard. The two Red Bull athletes had the race to themselves but Stoner's fall hands the World Championship lead back to Jorge Lorenzo who was a distant 2nd ahead of Andrea Dovizioso
It was a great duel from the start and Pedrosa led off the line into the 1st corner and pole man Stoner shadowed him, keeping out Ben Spies and Lorenzo on the factory Yamahas.
Stoner then took the lead through the ultra fast climbing left half way round lap 2 while Lorenzo was desperately looking for a way past Spies as he realised that Stoner might make his escape.
Once in front Stoner set a blinding pace and quickly opened up a lead of almost half a second over Pedrosa as both pulled away from the factory Yamahas. Pedrosa then responded and cut that gap. Behind, Lorenzo got ahead of Spies as the American ran wide.
With 5 laps gone Pedrosa continued to match Stoner's pace and Lorenzo had a clear track in front of him but almost 3 seconds to make up on the leading Hondas.
Lorenzo had no answer as the Red Bull men increased their advantage steadily, he did see his advantage grow over the 4th place battle though and that became an intense all Yamaha struggle with Spies trying to fight off Tech 3 riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow.
Behind them Red Bull athlete Stefan Bradl on his Honda was holding 7th but under great pressure from the factory Ducatis of Niki Hayden and Valentino Rossi and the private Ducati of Hector Barbera.
The Tech 3 riders got ahead and raced away from Spies who was obviously struggling and had to check behind to see that Bradl and co were the next threat.
With Pedrosa and Stoner trading fastest laps between them it was unclear if either had a fraction in hand as they continued to open up their advantage of the lonely Lorenzo. With 16 laps remaining there was just half a second between the leading Hondas, over 5 seconds back to Lorenzo who was 4 seconds clear of Dovizioso.
Into the 2nd half of the 30 lap race Pedrosa closed right up on Stoner and took the lead with 12 laps remaining. Immediately Stoner had a big slide-and-shake as he changed direction and Pedrosa was handed a breathing space.
It didn't last long, Stoner settled and was back on the Spaniard's tail. The gap to Lorenzo had stretched to 7 seconds with 9 laps remaining and Dovizioso still held sway over Crutchlow and Spies. Bradl had done a great job of seeing off the Ducati challenge for 7th.
Crutchlow then ran off the track out of that battle for 4th and rejoined the race in 11th. Bradl still held onto 6th but with 2 laps to go came under great pressure again from Rossi and the pack behind.
Pedrosa set a new fastest lap on the penultimate round. Stoner then responded only to crash with 2 corners to go. The rain came down as Dovizioso took 3rd, fractionally ahead of Spies. Bradl did a fantastic job of taking 5th ahead of Rossi and Alvaro Bautista who had ridden a great race off the back of the grid after a penalty for his first corner Assen crash.
Pedrosa: "We changed so many things on the bike for the race that I wasn't really sure what to expect and at first the bike felt a bit strange so I wasn't able to push quite as hard as I would like. Then in the 2nd half I felt more confident and was able to lead Casey but I knew he was right behind me. I kept getting the plus zero and knew he was right there. Then in the last laps I just pushed as hard as I could I was pretty condfident on the brakes for the last lap but you never know. It is great to win after 2nds and 3rds and I have to say thanks to the team and those around me."
Championship points: Lorenzo 160, Pedrosa 146, Stoner 140