Rossi takes home win, Elias on the podium Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has taken his third consecutive victory in this afternoon's San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix, his sixth of the season, to extend his lead of the world ...
Rossi takes home win, Elias on the podium
Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has taken his third consecutive victory in this afternoon's San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix, his sixth of the season, to extend his lead of the world championship to 75 points. The win marks Bridgestone's 30th victory in the premier class since its entry back in 2002.
Toni Elias made it two Bridgestone-shod riders on the podium with an excellent ride to third place, scoring his second podium result in a row after another impressive performance. Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo took second place.
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP duo Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi were embroiled in close battles throughout the race and eventually crossed the line in fifth and seventh positions respectively. Vermeulen's 11 points elevate him into sixth in the championship while Capirossi, participating in his record-breaking 277th Grand Prix event, also sees himself jump up a place in the classification to ninth.
Ducati's Marco Melandri was the other Bridgestone rider in the top ten in ninth, having made strong progress through the field from his 15th-placed starting position.
In keeping with the competitive state of the free practice and qualifying sessions, the race result showed a good mix of teams, manufacturers and tyre makers. However there was disappointment for some Bridgestone riders with Casey Stoner and Alex De Angelis not finishing the race. Stoner still retains his second place in the championship with five rounds of the season remaining.
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Sport Unit
"Congratulations to Valentino and the Yamaha team for their win today. We are very sorry for Casey, crashing at the beginning of the race even though he had a big advantage over the second position. All our teams have worked very hard all weekend and there were some great results once again, particularly with Toni getting his second podium finish in a row and Suzuki showing another good performance. It was a very competitive race so I am pleased we have been able to get five riders finishing in the top 10, which is a very good balance among the tyre manufacturers. Next time we go to Indianapolis which is the first time for everyone so we will try our best to get a good result even though it will be a new challenge."
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"We have had a reasonable weekend from the tyre performance point of view, in spite of the very hot track conditions on all three days. Many riders were able to demonstrate a good pace with the race tyres. Casey had been very strong all weekend and was quick from the start of the race so it was especially unfortunate that he crashed out. He mentioned that his feeling with the front tyre was not as good as it was with the same specification tyre in practice, so we will naturally look into this. Basically, though, our tyre performance and consistency was good. However, our competitors were very strong so our rate of development must not stop for the final five races of the season."
Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha Team - Race Winner and Championship Leader
"Today is a truly fantastic day and I can't believe that I have matched Agostini's record! He was one of my heroes so it's quite incredible to have made it to 68 wins. This was quite a difficult weekend for us from the start and there has been the added pressure of a home race, which makes it harder to concentrate because there is so much distraction! Once again today however my team gave me a very competitive bike and I felt very confident. We have a 75 point lead in the championship, which is a lot, but there are still five races and I will ride to win at every one, as I always have done throughout my career. Thanks to my fantastic Yamaha team, to Bridgestone and of course congratulations to Jorge as well, he kept pushing me today and I wasn't able to relax even for one minute! It is a great day for us all."
Weather: Dry - Air 34C, Track 49C (Bridgestone measurement)