Sachsenring–MotoGP Traffic Report Saturday 7/18/09.

It was after Mugello, which Stoner won in late May to lead the standings that some of us began to suspect it might be his year again.  At round five, he looked very tough.  But then he was a wreck after Catalunya, having given up the lead, and he faded noticeably at Assen and again at Laguna.  Going into this mid-season weekend, he was thought by many, including moi-même, to have his work cut out for him at Sachsenring.  So, on a wet track he has the top practice lap on Friday.  Perhaps he’s feeling better?  A little too soon to say.

Notice how on Fridays (Thursdays in the Netherlands) guys like Toni Elias, de Puniet and de Angelis, de bums, always seem to have something going on.  Some weeks, it carries over to Saturday, and they end up in the second row on the grid, fully enjoying the sweeties with the umbrellas.  But it almost never carries over to Sunday.  De Puniet’s fourth in Jerez was a gift, de Angelis has finished as high as sixth—at Qatar—with Elias scoring a sixth at Laguna.  There’s a whole lot of difference between running one fast lap and running thirty fast laps.

And the sick part of this sport?  The hellers are doing laps in eighty-three seconds and the “bums” are taking all of eighty-five seconds.  Like they’re going slow.

Last year in Germany, Lorenzo and Pedrosa went out early.  Stoner beat Rossi (the last race Rossi would lose until October 5th at Philip Island), with Vermeulen on the podium and the aforementioned de Angelis in 4th place.  In the background, on the jukebox, you’d swear you could hear bits and pieces of Patsy Cline’s haunting, “Crazy…”               Yes, that’s right, Alex de Angelis finished in 4th place.

Will it be Germany where Stoner reasserts his claim to the top spot?  I think not.  But all that needs to happen is for, say, Stoner to win, Pedrosa to finish 2nd, Lorenzo 3rd, and Rossi, uh, 7th, whence the championship standings would look like this– 🙂 —

Stoner                160

Rossi                   160

Lorenzo              158

Pedrosa               112

At roughly the same time pigs fly. 

Bummer for our boy Casey, who hasn’t been sandbagging.  He’s probably not winning this race, nor is Signor Rossi going to loaf his way to seventh.  I expect Rossi and Pedrosa to slug it out, with Lorenzo injured, lurking and dangerous, Stoner fading, Dovizioso threatening, Hayden being heard from, and even a Marco Melandri around if it rains. 

And I hear your boys Dani and Dovi got themselves brand new engines for the Sachsenring Rennen.

My question–who’s gonna LOSE it this year at Sachsenring? 

Probably not Signor Rossi.

 *  *  *

The forecast: rain for qualifications; cloudy and cool on race day.

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