Dani Pedrosa

Sachsenring Race Photos From The Lens Of Scott Jones

The first of Scott Jones' fantastic images from race day are here. There will be more to come during the week, but here's a few to tide you over. Unsurprisingly, the photos contain race spoilers.


Nicky Hayden, getting friendlier with the Ducati all the time

 


The "aliens" as Randy de Puniet calls them, dominated the race, barely letting each other out of their sights.


Valentino Rossi crests the hill

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Scott Jones' Photos From Thursday And Friday At The Sachsenring

The first batch of images are in from Scott Jones, here at the Sachsenring, and once again, they are real gems. There'll be plenty more to come over the next few days.


Valentino Rossi, not looking through the corner


Nicky Hayden and Chris Vermeulen on damp German asphalt


In case Marco forgets what number he runs

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Lorenzo: "I'm Worth More Than Yamaha Are Offering"

The biggest blockage in the MotoGP rider market right now is Jorge Lorenzo. After a strong debut season, followed by an astounding start to 2009, the Spaniard is in great demand, and is carefully considering his choices. According to the Spanish sports paper AS.com, Lorenzo has offers from all four manufacturers in MotoGP, but his main focus continues to be signing for either Yamaha or Honda.

Despite being happy with Yamaha, he is keen to get what he believes is his market value from any deal. "I'm very happy with Yamaha, it's still a dream to be here, but we know what our value is, and that's what they will have to pay. At the moment, our value is more than what Yamaha is offering, so the negotiations are stalled," Lorenzo said.

Jorge Lorenzo at the Sachsenring MotoGP

Lorenzo's other option is believed to be Honda, and the prospect of Lorenzo sharing a garage with his arch rival Dani Pedrosa continues to occupy the Spanish press. So far, Pedrosa is displaying a distinct lack of concern, telling AS.com "For me, nothing will change. If Repsol and Honda want Lorenzo, they should sign him; I don't own the team and I don't make those sort of decisions. If they think that [signing Lorenzo] would be good for the team, I will look for the best option for me, independent of what anyone else does."

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Pedrosa To Use New Engine At Sachsenring

Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso will have a new engine to test at the Sachsenring. The Spaniard told the press conference at the German track that Honda had built a new engine to tame the power delivery of the RC212V. "We have one new engine. It is to improve the delivery of the power, because our engine is always very peaky and we have a lot of spinning in low gears. We want to try and avoid this and get better drive out of the corners," Pedrosa said. Both Pedrosa and especially team mate Andrea Dovizioso have complained all year that the Honda was too peaky, with Dovizioso being most vocal of the power delivery, labeling it as "too aggressive."

Dani Pedrosa at the Sachsenring

The new engine comes in addition to the revised chassis the Repsol Honda riders and Toni Elias have been using recently, Pedrosa and Dovizioso since Barcelona, Elias since Assen. All three of them have lauded the greatly improved corner entry of the new chassis, Dovizioso doing so despite having crashed out of the last two races. Dani Pedrosa demonstrating how successful the improvements had been by using the new chassis to win the previous Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.

Pedrosa also revealed that more parts are in the pipeline, but he felt it was too early to tell whether the changes would pan out in the long term. "It's not easy to say if we are going in a good direction or not," Pedrosa said. "You cannot base all of your comments on one race or one track. You have to keep on trying to see if it's good."

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Pedrosa: "No Wall Needed With Lorenzo As A Team Mate"

The rivalry between Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa is both bitter and well-known. The rivalry, which started in 2005 after incidents in the German and Japanese Grand Prix, first came to the attention of the English-speaking world when it took the King of Spain to force the two Spaniards to shake hands, after both men ended up on the podium at Jerez in 2008. Since then, the two men have kept a careful if respectful distance between each other.

That may not be possible next year, though. The Spanish press is full of the prospect that Jorge Lorenzo could make the switch to Honda next year, and though the rumors so far suggest a return of Telefonica to sponsor a one-bike factory-supported team for Lorenzo, the Mallorcan could also join Repsol Honda, as a team mate to his rival Dani Pedrosa.

The Spanish radio channel Onda Cero spoke to Dani Pedrosa about this prospect, and the diminutive Spaniard was remarkably sanguine about the whole affair. Asked about the necessity of placing a wall down the middle of the garage if Lorenzo were to join Pedrosa as a Repsol Honda team mate, Pedrosa said it wouldn't be necessary. "The wall at Yamaha was put there because Rossi wanted it," he told Onda Cero. "I don't think Lorenzo thought it was a problem. But anyway, the policies at Honda are different. I don't know whether they work more as a team at Yamaha, but that's not the impression that Honda want to give."

However, there is no certainty that Pedrosa will even be at Repsol Honda next year. Though the Spaniard was keen to emphasize the excellent relations he has with HRC, he refused to be pushed on the subject of signing a new contract with the Repsol team. "We didn't renew the last contract until October. This year, we've started to talk very early, and it's a subject which is very distracting for riders."

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Lorenzo Rumors Increasing: Telefonica Honda In 2010?

The summer break is traditionally the moment that MotoGP's silly season is unleashed in all its fury, and with two more races to go, it is already starting to build up some momentum. At the center of the whirlwind is Jorge Lorenzo, the young Spaniard who has made an astonishing impact in his second season of MotoGP, winning two races and missing out on a podium only once so far this year, when he crashed out at Jerez.

Jorge Lorenzo

Lorenzo's contract with Yamaha runs out at the end of the season, and the Mallorcan seems not to be in too much of a hurry to renew it. In all of his pronouncements so far, Lorenzo has reiterated that Yamaha is his primary option, but that this does not mean that staying with Yamaha is an automatic choice, for either Lorenzo or Yamaha. Rumors about Honda's offer to Lorenzo are growing, and both Yamaha and Lorenzo are engaged in a complex bout of contractual wrestling in a bid for the upper hand in negotiations.

Yamaha boss Masao Furusawa made the factory's position clear in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport recently: Yamaha are keen to hold on to the Spanish prodigy, but not at any price: "We know about Honda's offer," Furusawa told La Gazzetta, "If he wants to go with them, we won't be raising our stakes in order to retain him."

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2009 Catalunya MotoGP Qualifying Report

Qualifying for Sunday's Catalunya Grand Prix took place in intense heat, making the conditions difficult for both riders and bikes. The riders were thankful that this was the first outing for Bridgestone's asymmetric dual compound tires, for the combination of very high track temperatures and the Barcelona track's endless right handers made a very hard compound necessary on the right-hand side of the tire, but a relatively softer compound on the left-hand side.

The heat meant that the early running was made by the riders on the hardest of the tires available, the extra-hard rear and the hard front, the compounds the teams are almost certain to be using in the race tomorrow. It was Jorge Lorenzo who took practice for the race to the greatest extreme, the Spaniard starting out the session with a monster run of 17 laps, over two thirds of race distance.

It wasn't just a long run, however, Lorenzo also demonstrated he was on race pace, taking the top spot after just a couple of laps, briefly ceding it to Andrea Dovizioso, then snatching it back, the first rider to lap under 1'43, with a time of 1'42.990. A lap later, Lorenzo took another two tenths off his time, setting out a marker of where race pace will be, and following it up with a long string of laps in the high 1'42s and low 1'43s.

The only person capable of following was Lorenzo's Fiat Yamaha team mate, Valentino Rossi. Rossi too ran low 1'43s, taking a provisional 2nd place on the grid with a quarter of the session gone. The other candidates for victory tomorrow were all running mid-1'43s, a couple of tenths off Rossi's pace.

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Dani Pedrosa To Race At Catalunya

After Dani Pedrosa fractured the greater trochanter of his right thigh during practice at Mugello, his chances of racing at his home Grand Prix at Barcelona looked to be slim. But after a week of complete rest, things have turned around for the Spaniard, and he announced today that he will be racing at Barcelona after all.

Pedrosa was examined by Dr. Mir and Dr. Ribas at the Dexeus Institut in Barcelona today, and after a trial with painkilling injections, was given the all clear to race in the Catalunya Grand Prix. In a press release issued by the Repsol Honda team, he said "I'm really looking forward to my home Grand Prix even though the build-up has hardly been perfect. For the past week I've just been resting and that's pretty boring. But today I went to see the doctor and the results of the new scan have been quite positive. They decided to give me a trial pain-killing injection so that I can judge how it will feel ahead of the weekend. And today's scan really helped them pinpoint the best location for the injection so it can have the maximum effect, which was something they weren't able to do in Mugello. The feeling was good, so it looks like I'll have an injection before riding each day."

"Obviously it's still not going to be comfortable riding the bike but I'm feeling positive that we can go into the weekend and aim for the best possible result. In spite of the problems, my motivation for my home race is still the same. I've been waiting for this race for a long time and I want to get the best possible result for all the fans who will be there to support me. I hope I can give them a good weekend," Pedrosa said.

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Scans Reveal Pedrosa's Femur Fractured In Practice Incident - Updated

Dani Pedrosa's annus horribilis continues unabated. Just as the Spaniard was returning to full strength after surgery on his knee, Pedrosa suffered a bizarre hip injury during an incident during practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. Pedrosa was nearly flicked off his Repsol Honda early in the Saturday morning FP2 session, landing badly and tearing a tendon at the top of his thigh. Pedrosa later crashed out of the race at Mugello, though fortunately without further aggravating his injury.

Back in Barcelona on Monday, scans revealed that Pedrosa's injury is worse than had been feared. The Spaniard also fractured the greater trocanther, a structure near the top of the femur which the hip is connected to with a supporting ligament. Pedrosa must now spend the next 10 days immobilized, after which point he will evaluate whether he will be able to race at his home Grand Prix at Barcelona.

The injury comes as another huge setback to the Spanish rider's championship hopes, and will leave his fitness suffering even further. Pedrosa was just starting to get back to training from his knee injury, suffered during preseason testing, and will be unable to train for some time to come. The only small comfort for the Spaniard is that he will have a further 13 days' rest after the Catalunya Grand Prix at Barcelona before the Dutch TT at Assen. But then, Pedrosa faces four MotoGP races in five weeks, as the season hots up before the summer break. If Pedrosa isn't back to reasonable fitness by then, he's in for a tough summer.

~~~ UPDATED ~~~

The Repsol Honda team have just issued a press release on Pedrosa's condition. The release is shown below:

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