MotoGP barely paused for breath after a captivating British Grand Prix at Silverstone before making the slingshot to the east coast of Italy and for round thirteen of eighteen at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the [catch a breath] ‘GP TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini’. It was a stage for the brilliance of Dani Pedrosa to shine as the Spanish veteran set several new lap-records on his way to a first victory of 2016. The gripping nature of MotoGP this year was enforced further by the fact that the Honda man was the eighth different winner in the thirteen fixtures held so far. There was an element of satisfaction for the Movistar Yamaha crew with Valentino Rossi taking the second step of the box ahead of teammate Jorge Lorenzo in third. Rossi was chasing spoils in front of his vast legion of fans at an event that is a true ‘home’ Grand Prix for the motorcycle racing icon but had no answer to Pedrosa’s feeling and speed around the San Marino layout.
For the tenth year in a row MotoGP haunted Misano and a site frequently used by stars of the series for training. Signs were promising for the factory Yamaha duo as Lorenzo set off from Pole Position (the 64th of his career) after clocking the fastest time on a motorcycle around the flat Italian asphalt on Saturday. Hunting Yamaha’s seventh triumph at the site Lorenzo eventually had play second fiddle to Rossi; with the boom of the grandstands helping to power ‘46’ to lead from the second circulation. The winner of Grands Prix in Spain and Catalunya held the advantage until lap 22 of 28 and when Pedrosa’s charge proved unstoppable.
“When I saw that my rhythm was enough to win I was very happy but later Pedrosa arrived and he was too fast. I tried the maximum but there was no way; he had a better pace. Anyway, it‘s second place,” said Rossi, after his seventh podium appearance of the year and third in a row, the result of which means he is 43 points behind Marc Marquez in the championship standings. “It‘s a shame here in Misano, it‘s a race I especially tried to win, but today it wasn‘t possible. Thank you to all the fans that were at the track, it was great.”
“I can‘t be very happy because I expected a bit more from the race,” admitted Lorenzo who picked up his seventh trophy of the season and sits 18 points behind Rossi. “I tried hard for the victory but today I simply didn‘t have the best pace. Little by little they were going away, so I tried my best to stay there but they went ahead. Honestly they were faster.”
Czech Grand Prix winner Crutchlow – who was making his 100th MotoGP start – could only ride to eighth place and couldn't scoop a third visit to the podium in a row. The Brit was one slot ahead of Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider Pol Espargaro who had set the pace on Friday and recovered from a recent blip of poor form to become the top satellite team rider on the day. Stand-in teammate Alex Lowes sadly crashed out of the race.
Moto2 was owned by Forward Team’s Lorenzo Baldassarri from Paginas Amarillas HP 40’s Alex Rins. ‘Balda’ showed previous good form on Italian tarmac in his titantic tussle with world champion Johann Zarco at Mugello earlier this year and was again a strong attacking force at Misano. Decked-out with a 9/11 commemorative scheme, a brave and calculated move on the last lap gave the nineteen year old his very first win in front of an appreciative partisan crowd. "It was really an amazing thing to have won here the first time, at the circuit dedicated to Marco Simoncelli,” the VR46 Academy recruit said. “It's really a special day with my fan club coming here on a special date that we commemorated with our livery. It was a fantastic race, I still cannot believe it.”
Federal Oil Gresini’s Sam Lowes apparently suffered a technical problem that caused a crash while pushing for third position.
As ever Moto3 kicked off the racing programme and there were hopes for another piece of silverware for Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda’s Jorge Navarro but the Spaniard fell out of proceedings as Brad Binder won for the fifth time. Sky Racing Team VR46’s Nicolo Bulega was fourth for his best classification since the Grand Prix of Spain at Jerez.
MotoGP can regroup this week before heading to the splendid confines of the MotorLand Aragon circuit in Spain. The award-winning facility is one of the newest on the slate and will be the last stop in Europe before the continent hopping trio of races during October taking in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.