Fantastic battle sees Marquez crash while Lorenzo and Pedrosa seal podium finishes
Valentino Rossi sealed his first victory in since Assen 2013 with the seven times MotoGP Champion thrilling the home fans in today’s dramatic GP TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini that saw championship leader Marc Marquez finally cracking under the pressure and crashing out while trying to catch the Movistar Yamaha rider leaving Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo to take another podium finish while Dani Pedrosa took third place.
It’s very special to win here in Misano in front of all the crowd and my family and friends.
Lorenzo was the rider who got the holeshot at the beginning of the 28-lap race under glorious sunshine at the Misano World Circuit Marc Simoncelli with Rossi leaping right onto the rear wheel of his teammate while Marquez barged his way into third past Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and within the first few turns the three front riders pulled away a little setting up a thrilling battle for the lead. Pedrosa had the worst start of all with the Spaniard dropping to 7th in the opening laps.
While Rossi pushed hard to stay with Lorenzo who was pursuing the race in his typical fashion of creating a gap at the beginning, Marquez had other ideas and immediately put a pass on Rossi but the Italian had the pace to stay with his 21-year-old rival and traded blows with Marquez in the 2 laps before Rossi moved past Lorenzo as Marquez followed suit leaving Lorenzo to try his hardest to stay with the leaders. There was bad luck at the start of the race for Mike Di Meglio (Avintia Racing) and Danilo Petrucci Octo IodaRacing Project) both crashing out.
Marquez cracks under the pressure
While the fight for third was materializing into what would become a race-long battle between Pedrosa and Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso, the front runners had settled into a rhythm with Rossi leading the way before the race was turned on its head on the 10th lap with Marquez losing the front of his RC213V machine leaving Rossi out in front on his own with the Italian fans going wild while Lorenzo moved into second and in pursuit of his teammate.
Marquez managed to rejoin the race in 20th position and had a mountainous challenge ahead to salvage any race points following his misfortune while Rossi continued to stretch his lead at the front. The battle for third place continued between Pedrosa and Dovizioso while Iannone was having a strong race in 5th place ahead of Monster Yamaha Teach 3 teammates Pol Espargaro who was leading Bradley Smith and Alvaro Bautista (GO&Fun Honda Gresini) and Cal Crutchlow battling for 8th and 9th while Yonny Hernandez was having a great race in 10th for the Energy TI Pramac Racing team.
The final third of the race saw Marquez pushing hard at the rear of the field and in true champion form he managed to salvage a single point in finishing in 15th place while there was late misfortune for NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro who crashed out near the end. Rossi continued to circulate at just over 2.5s ahead of Lorenzo and his first win on Italian soil since winning here in 2009 puts him over the magical 5000 career points barrier, the first rider in the history of the sport to do so.
The Doctor thrilled with first win in over 12 months
Speaking afterwards Rossi was beaming from ear to ear when saying, “I’m very happy for sure because it’s very special to win here in Misano in front of all the crowd and my family and friends. I’m very proud. I made it five years after the last time here, in the same way, fighting with Jorge. During the practice it looked like our Yamaha worked very well so we had a small advantage. I tried to the maximum and so I knew we could fight for victory, I knew for sure I would have to battle with Dani and Jorge and Marc.
I tried to push from the start and at the end it was great to have the win more than one year later from my last. I always work hard and never give up and trust that days like this can happen. I have to say thank you to Yamaha, to all my team, to all my friends and all the crowd who support me, especially here in Misano,” Rossi added.
Lorenzo was happy to gain another podium finish but rued a las minute decision to change his from the medium compound front tire to a harder one. “It’s been a tough race for me because we finally took a risk with the harder tire,” said Lorenzo who continued, “I’m happy with another podium but a bit disappointed because we thought we could fight for the victory. Right at the beginning, despite a good start I felt the front tire didn’t give me the confidence to lean and also on braking. In Brno we risked also changing the tire and the result was good but here we struggled much more. For me it was impossible to get the victory. Even if I tried to push at the maximum, when I saw Marc crash, I knew Valentino had a better pace today.
Valentino had a perfect weekend at home and he deserved the win, it’s unbelievable at the age of 35! I’m also happy for the team because it’s been a long time without a 1-2. All the Yamaha guys are working really well and the bike is more competitive race by race. I would like to win too but we will have to wait,” Lorenzo added.
Taking third place was the best Dani Pedrosa could have hope for after a les than perfect start. Speaking afterwards he said, ““Today’s race was a very difficult one, and it was hard to do any more. Marc attempted to keep up with Valentino and Jorge but eventually he crashed trying - they were very strong here. This race also saw many problems for us with the front and rear, so there was little that we could do. From the opening laps I lost a lot of time in traffic, and that affected my entire race.
I tried to do the best I could and still had difficulty sticking with Dovizioso, because he also lapped very quickly; eventually we were going as fast as the Valentino and Jorge. Now we have to take the positives from this weekend and hope that for the next race at Aragon, which is a track that I like, we have a better feeling and have a better race,” Pedrosa added.
MotoGP now moves to Motorland Aragon in Spain for round 14 from 26th - 28th September with Marquez leading the championship with 289 points to Pedrosa’s 215 and Rossi’s 214.