LORENZO PUSHES ROSSI HARD AT MISANO Michelin man Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) was the only rider who could run with race winner Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1) at Misano this afternoon, the Spaniard finishing a...
LORENZO PUSHES ROSSI HARD AT MISANO
Michelin man Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) was the only rider who could run with race winner Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1) at Misano this afternoon, the Spaniard finishing a superb second, just three seconds down after 28 laps. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) also had a good ride, coming in fourth, while James Toseland (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) made it three Michelin riders in the top six with a strong ride to sixth, just 1.4 seconds ahead of eight-placed Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda RC212V-Michelin). Conditions were swelteringly hot, with ambient temperature at 35 degrees and track temperature close to 50 degrees.
Lorenzo, who had qualified on the front row, finished the first lap in fourth place and then came back brilliantly. He overtook Pedrosa on lap five and then set about hunting down team-mate Rossi, who was chasing race leader Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici). When Stoner slid off, Lorenzo believed he had a real chance of victory. He twice ate into Rossi's advantage, getting the gap down to 2.4 seconds with three laps to go.
"That was a good race, the tyres worked well and we are especially happy with Jorge's performance," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "The conditions were very tough, hotter than yesterday, which made our riders choose hard rear tyres for the race. Using hard tyres makes the early stages of a race quite difficult but Jorge managed the situation very well and his pace was very fast all the way to the end. Dani also did a good job to finish fourth. There were some big fights out there today, James and Andrea had a great battle for sixth place. Despite the high temperatures the lap times were fast throughout, so I think our riders had quite a good tyre balance. It was a real shame that Randy de Puniet (Honda LCR RC212V-Michelin) crashed on the first lap, He had qualified on the second row after working very hard in practice, so he had a good chance of a good result."
Lorenzo was delighted be back in the top three for the first time since his brilliant second-place finish at May's French GP. "It's great to be back on the podium after more than three months," he said. "After Stoner crashed I wanted to win. But of course following Valentino was very difficult and I had to take a lot of risks to catch him, so in the end I preferred to finish second and regain the confidence I had lost during the last few months. I'm very happy with this result and very happy for Yamaha, for Fiat and for Michelin."