Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi did a perfect job to extend his championship lead, scoring a strong third place at today’s Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo also gave the German race fans their money’s worth with some thrilling racing action and ended the day in fourth.
Rossi started the German GP from sixth and quickly moved up to fifth. The Italian needed a little time to overtake Andrea Iannone, but succeeded as he completed the first lap and then set his sights on Dani Pedrosa. Rossi picked up his pace by temporarily signing a new lap record to his name, but received a stern warning when his rear wheel snaked.
The Italian did well to hold on to the bike but didn’t let it slow him down. Instead he set another fastest time on lap four and slipped past Dani Pedrosa one lap later. Rossi slotted in behind teammate Lorenzo and briefly took second in turn 12, but he had to give back the position at the next corner. It took the championship leader another lap to overtake his teammate and make it stick, before he could focus on reeling in Marquez, but the Spaniard had already pulled away too much. Meanwhile Pedrosa started closing in. Rossi kept him at bay for six laps before he was pushed back to third on lap 17. Rossi did all he could to stay in contention for second place, but with four laps to go the distance between himself and Pedrosa had become too big to bridge. Rossi realized his ninth podium finish of the season in third place, 5.608s from first place.
Teammate Lorenzo rocketed off the grid and surprised both fans and his competitors with his trademark ‘Por Fuera’ (on the outside) overtaking move to take over the lead. He pushed hard at the start of the race to extend his advantage, but was closely followed by Marquez. Four laps into the race the order shifted, Marquez moved ahead with 26 laps to go, forcing Lorenzo to endure pressure off teammate Rossi, who was on the back of his rear wheel.
He held off an attack from Rossi in turn 12 two laps later, taking him back in the very next corner, but by lap seven he had to return the position. Lorenzo kept his head down, in an effort to hold off Pedrosa, but he had to relinquish his podium hopes on lap 14 when he dropped back to fourth, which he held over the line after a lonely ride, 9.928s from the front.
Rossi’s third place keeps him in first position in the world standings with 179 points, 13 points ahead of teammate Lorenzo, with 166 points, who stays in second place with a 48 points gap to his closest rival.
MotoGP will be taking a four week summer break before continuing the season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the 9th of August.