San Marino GP: Repsol Honda race report

Nicky Hayden did not race today because of his injury. Marc Marquez almost finishes on the podium in 125cc and Julian Simon was fifth in 250cc. The San Marino GP is where Dani Pedrosa returned to top form. After his fall in the German GP where...

Nicky Hayden did not race today because of his injury. Marc Marquez almost finishes on the podium in 125cc and Julian Simon was fifth in 250cc.

The San Marino GP is where Dani Pedrosa returned to top form. After his fall in the German GP where he picked up an injury, his absence from the race in the USA and his disappointing result in the Czech Republic -- 15th -- the Repsol Honda Team rider was competitive again, fighting for a place on the podium but in the end it got away from him.

Dani Pedrosa moved up to fourth when Stoner fell, and so the Repsol rider is now closer to the Australian in the overall standings where he occupies second position. Only two points separate them in the classification after today's race. Nicky Hayden, in spite of having participated in the two practice sessions yesterday preferred not to race today due to the swollen right foot he has had for the last month.

The MotoGP race began with another fantastic start from Pedrosa who was on the second row but the Spaniard moved up to second place on the first curve, overtaking four rivals on the short home straight at Misano. At the front Casey Stoner as usual attempted to get away, and he opened up a small gap over the rest of the riders. On the second lap Valentino Rossi overtook the Repsol Honda Team rider and he hung on to third place until the fifth lap. First Jorge Lorenzo, and then Toni Elias relegated him to fifth place, although two laps later Casey Stoner" fall handed him what would be his final position. This means that the Repsol rider is just two points behind the Australian Ducati rider in the overall rider classification and that Valentino Rossi has extended his lead to 75 points.

His teammate, Nicky Hayden, in the end decided not to start the race. The Repsol rider who fractured two bones in his right ankle at the beginning of August did not appear in the morning warm-up session due to the swollen ankle that had got worse after two days of practice. Hayden preferred not to take any risks that could have set his recovery back because within two weeks he has the second GP to be held in his home country, on September 14th in Indianapolis

JULIAN SIMON AND MARC MARQUEZ ALMOST FINISH ON THE PODIUM

A good race in 250cc for Julian Simon, who in spite of making a slow start was able to keep up with the pace set by the fastest riders until the chequered flag, finishing in fifth position. The Repsol rider was 8th at the end of first lap, but he took advantage of the mistakes made by his rivals and was able to climb little by little on the leaderboard. He was the only KTM rider to finish since Mika Kallio and Hiroshi Aoyama, both with Repsol technical support, fell on the fourth lap when the Finn hit his teammate, they were in fifth and sixth position respectively.

In 125cc, a splendid performance by Marc Marquez who finished in fourth position and battled continuously from the off. The Repsol rider was fifth at the first corner, and as the race went on he stayed 7th for some laps in a third group that was fighting for fifth position. At the end and after riding behind Nico Terol on the last nine laps, he overtook his compatriot three curves from the end. This meant he was fifth, but Joan Olive" fall entering the home straight allowed him to get his second best result of the whole season.

Esteve Rabat also had an excellent race, fighting back from 19th position on the starting grid to finish 9th. The Repsol rider overtook five rivals on the first lap and found himself in a group that little by little caught the leaders up. When there were seven laps left he reached Marquez" group that was fighting for fifth position, and although he finished 7th tiredness and tyre wear forced him to settle for 9th position.

Quotes MotoGP

Dani Pedrosa >> 4th at 17.470 secs.

"That was a definitely a very physically tough race for everyone. It was very hot, much hotter than yesterday. Anyway, I can say I'm quite happy with the result.

I didn't expect to finish fourth at the end. We had some trouble during the second half. We had two different rear tyres to choose from and I only made the choice on the grid. I went for the softer of the two tyres, thinking to gain some advantage during the early stages of the race. Obviously it wasn't the best option. But we had a much better race than we had at Brno and I did my best, so I am quite happy."

Nicky Hayden

"This wasn't an easy decision. I love to race and the racer in me wanted to race, but in this kind of situation it's better to listen to the experts. The heel got worse as the weekend went on.

I was sixth on Friday morning but I kept working my way backward after that, the more I rode, the more strength I lost in the foot. When I woke up this morning I had a lot of swelling and bruising, there wasn't any way the foot was going to fit in a boot. The team and I took the decision to try and be smart, to try to let it heal as best it can to get it ready for Indy, which is a huge race for me. I felt I could have salvaged a little something out of today's race but that was just going to make things worse for Indy and for the rest of the season."

250cc

Julian Simon >> 5th at 10.862 secs.

"The result is positive, but I would have liked to have done a little better. I wanted to be on the podium, but what you have to do is to take each curve very well if you want to keep up with the pace set by the Aprilias.

I am happy because I gave it my all on every lap. I lasted to the end of the race, others fell and I want to thank the team and dedicate this result to them because they have been cheering me on all through the race. Now, I am hoping that the bike will go better on a new circuit like Indianapolis."

125cc

Esteve Rabat >> 9th at 19.148 secs.

"This was a very tight race. I knew that I would have to make a good start so as not to get left behind, and that is what I did. The first few laps were very intense and I overtook quite a few riders. Then I setttled down in a group, fighting all the time, and suffering a lot to make headway.

Then I was able to catch the leading group, and even move up to 7th, but from then on the bike began to slide about. The rear wheel was sliding around a lot, and what is more without slipstream the bike could not go very fast. At some points perhaps it was quicker, but when the others accelerated on the home straight they got away from me. At top speed, with their slipstream I caught them up again, since the aspiration attracts you, but accelerating they got away. I ended the race very tired since I was fighting all the time; on the last few laps I even began to feel a little dizzy and I had to slow my pace down."

Marc Marquez >> 4th at 17.058 secs.

"The race was quite tough, I was in a very big chasing group and it was very hot.

We have done some great work over the whole weekend, I gave it my best shot and on the last lap I was a bit smarter than Nico Terol; I had been studying him and I was able to to overtake him. The race was a slow one, but later on the pace picked up. The group was stretched out, I was able to keep up with the faster riders and on the last lap I gave it everything".

-credit: repsol

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Toni Elias , Casey Stoner , Julian Simon , Mika Kallio , Hiroshi Aoyama , Dani Pedrosa , Marc Marquez
Teams Repsol Honda Team