Dani Pedrosa dominated the 30 lap German Grand Prix and obtained Honda’s first ever 800cc with advantage of over 13 seconds, this being the biggest official dry victory margin.
Dani, who had qualified second fastest, powered into the lead from Stoner at the start and simply outclassed all-comers at a sun-baked Sachsenring in front of 101,000 fans here on race day. Equally encouraging was the strong showing from Marco Melandri (Gresini Honda RC212V) who finished fifth after running as high as second early on and then third for a large part of this 30-lap race.
In 33-degree heat the luckless Carlos Checa (LCR Honda RC212V) crashed, fortunately without injury, as Dani began to get into a faster rhythm at the front. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), who set an early fastest lap of the race at 1m 23.529s, lay seventh on lap four, then crashed out of the race on the next lap while trying do dispose of sixth-placed Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki) who retired on the final lap with a machine problem.
This set the stage for a dogged ride from Stoner to hold onto second place from the attentions of Melandri, then Hayden and latterly Colin Edwards (Yamaha ) who took fourth place at the flag. As Dani got into the groove of riding this twisty 3.671km track he set a new lap record on lap six of 1m 23.082s as he worked a 0.344 second lead over Stoner.
The order by lap eight was Dani, Casey, Marco and then Loris Capirossi. But by lap nine Dani had proved that no one could live the sheer speed of the 21-year-old Spanish maestro here. His lead that lap over Stoner was by now 1.743 seconds.
Nicky was on a charge from 14th on the grid and had really found a new direction in his set-up and riding to the extent that he picked off rider by rider throughout this race on his way to third to suggest that although he may have lost the first half of his season, he now has the means to recapture lost form again, if not lost points.
Dani was long gone on lap 19 as Melandri and Capirossi closed on Stoner who could not maintain his early pace and on lap 20 his pursuers pounced into and around turn one, Melandri trying to make it past Stoner under braking then Capirossi stealing second from them both with an opportunist move from precisely the right track position to capitalize.
Dani was now more than ten seconds ahead of Capirossi as Melandri now began to suffer a lack of grip succumbed to the advances of first Nicky, then Edwards and finally Stoner to finish sixth ahead of John Hopkins (Suzuki) who was seventh. At the flag Dani cruised to what was a comfortable win – but it was hard won.