ROSSI MATCHES AGOSTINI'S RECORD WITH WIN NUMBER SIXTY-EIGHT Valentino Rossi reached another milestone in his outstanding career today by matching the all-time premier-class win record. His 68th premier-class victory brings him level with his...
ROSSI MATCHES AGOSTINI'S RECORD WITH WIN NUMBER SIXTY-EIGHT
Valentino Rossi reached another milestone in his outstanding career today by matching the all-time premier-class win record. His 68th premier-class victory brings him level with his great countryman Giacomo Agostini and the fact that he was able to do it at his home track of Misano made it all the more special for the flamboyant Italian. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo put the icing on the cake for Yamaha with an impressive return to the podium to make it the second one-two finish for the team this season.
Rossi had a good start but Dani Pedrosa had an even better one and the seven-time world champion was forced to ride at his maximum to pass the Spaniard back, which he did on the second lap. Casey Stoner was by then some three seconds clear but Rossi's M1 was working well and he was gradually able to start making up some ground, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap six. One lap eight of 28 Stoner sensationally slid out into the gravel in a carbon copy of the last race in Brno and Rossi was left in the lead. There was no opportunity to rest however as the twisty nature of the circuit was a very different task to face alone than the flowing curves of Brno and Lorenzo, another three seconds behind, was giving Rossi no chance of a let-up. The local hero was able to bring his M1 home safely however to the rapturous cheers of his home fans, who flooded onto the track in typical Italian fashion.
The sixth win of the season for Rossi and another non-finish for Stoner means he is now 75 points clear at the top of the championship, with a maximum of 125 points remaining from five races. Lorenzo stays in fourth and Yamaha remain on course for a treble of Teams' and Manufacturers' championships as well.
Position: 1 Time: 44'41.884
"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! Mugello has always been 'my' track, even though it's further away from Tavullia, but here, after the bad time last year, we haven't found it so easy. Once again today however my team gave me a very competitive bike and I felt very confident. I got a good start but then Dani came past me very fast and I then lost a lot of time getting past him and had to take some big risks -- I had a big slide! Once I was past him I could see Casey, although I have to admit that today I wasn't as confident as I was in Brno that I could win. Anyway I kept pushing because it's not in my nature to ride for second place and I think it still could have been a battle; I was very fast once I found my rhythm. Then I saw Casey slide out. I'm sorry for him once again but this is very good for our championship so I am happy for our team. We have 75 points, 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."
"What a day! It's very positive for our championship and to come out with 75 points after three wins in a row is amazing. Once again the team and engineers did an excellent job to fix some problems in time for the race to give Valentino a competitive bike, so well done to them. Despite losing a bit of time at the start Valentino was able to come back and set the fastest lap and keep pushing. Of course the championship isn't done but our advantage is very big and all the team are concentrated and motivated for the final five races. It's great to see Jorge back on the podium as well -- a great race and a great team!"
LORENZO RETURNS TO PODIUM WITH STUNNING SECOND IN MISANO
Jorge Lorenzo made it a fantastic home-race double podium for the Fiat Yamaha Team today, finishing second behind his team-mate Valentino Rossi at Misano. It was the rookie's first podium since the team's last one-two finish in Le Mans and it was a deserved one following the injuries that have plagued him since.
Lorenzo lost some time at the start when Dani Pedrosa passed him and then had to wait for Rossi to pass his Spanish compatriot before he could make his move, which he did on lap five. When Casey Stoner crashed out of the lead on lap eight, leaving Rossi in front, Lorenzo was elevated to second and he rode a strong race from then on, exerting constant pressure on his team-mate, who was unable to relax and had to keep pushing to keep the gap at about three seconds. Lorenzo was followed home by another Spaniard, Toni Elias, who crossed the line 8.54 seconds off in third.
The 21-year-old Mallorcan's fifth podium of the season sees him consolidate his fourth place in the championship and his leading rookie status, whilst Rossi is now 75 points clear of Stoner at the top. There are five rounds remaining with the next one coming at Indianapolis in the USA in two week's time.
Posistion: 2 Time: +3.163
"Seeing the party Valentino's fans were making for him around the track today reminded me how much I want to start winning again, but as a start this second place is fantastic for us! I lost some ground at the early on but then I took my rhythm, passed Dani and started to push, and then I kept pushing until the end. To be one and two on the podium again, like in Le Mans, is wonderful and after four months of problems I am enjoying this moment very much -- it's perfect. Since the Brno test and with the improvements that Michelin have made here my confidence has being going up all the time and my riding style has improved as well, so I want to say thank you to them. I hope the situation is the same at the next races, then we can continue to be strong like this. Thanks to all of my team and congratulations to Valentino and Toni."
"It's really great to be back on the podium after a long time and we are very happy for Jorge. We never lost confidence that he would come back to this level even though it has been very hard for him at times, but everyone has kept focused and here we are, so well done to all involved. Our Michelin tyres have worked much better here and this has made everything easier to achieve, it seems that the Brno test was a turning point and the improvement in the tyres has helped us to find a new set-up. Now we're looking forward with confidence to the next races. Congratulations to Valentino and the other side of the garage for a great victory."