Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo won his second consecutive Grand Prix, winning the GP Aperol di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini at Misano on Sunday afternoon. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) rode a thrilling ride to second place while Dani Pedrosa finished third, just behind his team-mate.
Starting from second on the grid, Lorenzo out dragged championship rival and pole sitter Marc Marquez to the first corner, taking the hole shot into turn one from second on the grid. Lorenzo shot into the lead as pole-sitter Marquez dropped to third on the opening lap.
The latter would put on a spurt in the second half of the race, but by this point had fallen to fourth place due to an unforced error; Marquez recovered from his Turn 8 mistake to catch and pass both Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi and his Repsol Honda Team colleague Pedrosa. However, as the two Honda riders engaged in a battle, Lorenzo’s already comfortable lead only grew.
“Luckily we improved the bike a lot in warm up, especially in braking so we improved the lap time and the pace quite a bit. I was convinced to follow my strategy of the last couple of races which was to try to break away and finally I could do it. The first two laps I had a big advantage so I had to keep pushing to maintain a distance because they never gave up and wanted to catch me. I’m happy, we recovered five points and we are closer to Marc. I need to be constant and try to win races and stay focused.”
Marc Marquez: “We’ve taken another 20 World Championship points today and, considering how the race went, I think that is a good reward! At the start of the race I knew that I had to be careful, but I made two mistakes and lost a lot of time with the second of those. Maybe I was lacking a little experience – it’s my rookie season and it is normal to make a few errors. I also didn’t feel completely comfortable with a full fuel tank. From the midway point onwards I felt a lot better. To finish second is a great result, even though Lorenzo has gained five points on us, we are an extra four ahead of Dani. We are happy and have a lot of motivation to keep fighting hard at Aragon!”
Dani Pedrosa: “I gave my all in the race today. I rode as well as I can ride, putting everything into every lap and trying to take every corner perfectly. Overall, this hasn’t been our weekend, generally speaking, because I had a lot of grip problems with the rear tyre on every day of the GP. In the race today it was even more noticeable, so I couldn’t have done things any better.”
Marquez’s championship lead is now 34 points with five races remaining, while Lorenzo has drawn level with Pedrosa for second overall. Rossi and Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow are the only other two riders who can mathematically still clinch the title; the Italian ended Sunday’s race fourth, while the Englishman fell to sixth on the final lap behind LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl.
Valentino Rossi: “All the weekend our performance was quite good, I stayed with the top three and I raised my level, especially in qualifying, I could push stronger with the new tyres and make the first row. The expectation for the race was very high, after the start the top guys were very fast but my fastest lap was close to theirs. Unfortunately after some laps I was in trouble in braking and entering corners. I was struggling in hard braking and made some mistakes going wide and step-by-step they pulled away. I made a small mistake on turn seven and lost two seconds and by then already I had too much disadvantage.”
Stefan Bradl: “Definitely it was the best day of the weekend for us. We improved the bike from Friday to Saturday and today the team made a great job. I suffered a big crash on Friday and they had to work even harder to give me a competitive bike for the race. In the beginning of the race I was not so confident because, on the warm-up lap, I was not sure about rear tyre performance. But after a few laps I could set my pace easily and I followed Cal for the whole race. He was a good reference for me and I was able to see where I was stronger than him so in the last lap I made my manoeuvre in turn seven. I had fun and I am happy now because I made a strong race after such a tough weekend.”
Cal Crutchlow: “It is a shame that I lost fifth place on the last lap but it has been a very difficult weekend and I am happy to come away with this result. The top six is not what I am aiming for right now but I had no confidence with the bike all weekend, and it was important to get a strong finish. It was a very hard race because Stefan just sat on my back wheel from the first lap to the end and unfortunately he managed to find a way to pass me in the lasts corners.”
Alvaro Bautista was seventh for GO&FUN Honda Gresini, having claimed his maiden MotoGP podium at Misano in 2012, while Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso beat teammate Nicky Hayden and Ignite Pramac Racing’s Michele Pirro to eighth spot.
In 11th place was Tech3’s Bradley Smith, while Colin Edwards (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) was the leading CRT rider in 12th; the American finishing one position ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar) who, from an impressive sixth on the grid, ran fourth on Lap 1 but was handed a ride-through penalty for jumping the start.
Six riders failed to make the finish, including Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone who was one of six Italians racing in front of a passionate crowd.
Yonny Hernandez will represent Ignite Pramac Racing in place of injured Ben Spies who remains on the sidelines. Since being injured again at Indianapolis, Spies has been covered for by Michele Pirro. However, the Italian will not be able to compete in the Aragon race at the end of the month due to his workload with the Ducati Test Team. Hernandez will therefore step into action, then remaining with Pramac until Spies is able to return.
The MotoGP World Championship continues with Round 14, the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón, at MotorLand Aragon in north-eastern Spain on 29th September.
1 Jorge Lorenzo 44’05.522 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
2 Marc Marquez +3.379 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Dani Pedrosa +7.368 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Valentino Rossi +15.062 ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
5 Stefan Bradl +22.355 GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
6 Cal Crutchlow +22.599 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Alvaro Bautista +31.059 SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
8 Andrea Dovizioso +42.702 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Nicky Hayden +44.858 USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Michele Pirro +47.818 ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
11 Bradley Smith +48.011 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
12 Colin Edwards +1’03.154 USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
13 Aleix Espargaro +1’07.600 SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
14 Hiroshi Aoyama +1’15.528 JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
15 Danilo Petrucci +1’17.907 ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
16 Claudio Corti +1’29.655 ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
17 Randy De Puniet +1’33.990 FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
18 Michael Laverty +1’36.860 GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
19 Bryan Staring DNF AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
20 Hector Barbera DNF SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
21 Yonny Hernandez DNF COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
22 Karel Abraham DNF CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
23 Andrea Iannone DNF ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
24 Lukas Pesek DNF CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
1 Marc Marquez 253 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Dani Pedrosa 219 pts SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Jorge Lorenzo 219 pts SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
4 Valentino Rossi 169 pts ITA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing
5 Cal Crutchlow 146 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
6 Stefan Bradl 124 pts GER HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
7 Alvaro Bautista 112 pts SPA HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
8 Andrea Dovizioso 104 pts ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
9 Nicky Hayden 95 pts USA DUCATI Ducati Team
10 Bradley Smith 71 pts GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
11 Aleix Espargaro 71 pts SPA ART Power Electronics Aspar
12 Michele Pirro 50 pts ITA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
13 Andrea Iannone 41 pts ITA DUCATI Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
14 Colin Edwards 31 pts USA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
15 Hector Barbera 27 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
16 Danilo Petrucci 23 pts ITA IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
17 Randy De Puniet 20 pts FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Test Team
18 Ben Spies 9 pts USA DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
19 Claudio Corti 7 pts ITA FTR-KAWASAKI NGM Mobile Forward Racing
20 Yonny Hernandez 7 pts COL PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
21 Hiroshi Aoyama 6 pts JAP FTR Avintia Blusens
22 Alex De Angelis 5 pts RSM DUCATI Ignite Pramac Racing Team
23 Karel Abraham 5 pts CZE ART Cardion AB Motoracing
24 Michael Laverty 3 pts GBR PBM Paul Bird Motorsport
25 Bryan Staring 2 pts AUS FTR-HONDA Go & Fun Honda Gresini
26 Javier Del Amor 1 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
27 Martin Bauer 0 pts AUT S&B SUTER Remus Racing Team
28 Ivan Silva 0 pts SPA FTR Avintia Blusens
29 Lukas Pesek 0 pts CZE IODA-SUTER Came IodaRacing Project
30 Blake Young 0 pts USA APR CRT Attack Performance