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Rossi back in thick of the action; MOTORCYCLING.

VALENTINO Rossi just missed out on the podium on his return from a broken leg as Dani Pedrosa breathed life back into the MotoGP title race with victory in the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.

A fourth-placed finish capped an amazing comeback weekend from Rossi exactly six weeks after suffering a compound fracture of his right shin in an horrific highside in Italian Grand Prix practice at Mugello.

The 31-year-old Italian, who has only been able to walk around the paddock with the aid of a crutch, could not quite match the pace of title conten ders Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, but the Fiat Yamaha rider was more than a match for the rest of the field, enjoying a superb battle with old foe Casey Stoner during the closing laps.

For Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa the win ends Lorenzo's run of three straight victories and sees him close his Spanish compatriot's lead at the top of the standings to 47 points.

The race was red flagged after a huge accident involving the Honda of Randy de Puniet.

The Frenchman fell and his bike was hit by Aleix Espargaro and the Suzuki of Alvaro Bautista. With pieces of the three bikes scattered across the track officials had no option but to stop the race.

De Puniet was taken to the medical centre and was diagnosed as having broken the tibia and fibula in his left leg.

But Pedrosa again took the lead from pole man Lorenzo at the restart, and once again the Yamaha man quickly reclaimed the advantage at the end of the opening lap.

Rossi had worked his way onto the back wheel of 2007 world champion Stoner, and the two old rivals enjoyed a wonderful battle during the final nine laps as the Yamaha and Ducati swapped places on several occasions.

The battle was eventually settled when Stoner forced Rossi widwe at the final corner to give himself an easy run to the finish line.

Hayden and Dovizioso finished fifth and sixth with Simoncelli, Ben Spies, Hector Barbera and Marco Melandri rounding out the top 10.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 19, 2010
Words:349
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