MotoGP 2012 – Round 13 – Misano
— Lorenzo stretches gap with Misano win
At this weekend’s Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera de Rimini in Misano it was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo who charged to a dominant victory in a dramatic race ahead of Valentino Rossi and Álvaro Bautista.
It was a problematic start as a partially aborted race-start due to issues with Karel Abraham’s Cardion AB Racing Ducati prompted a re-start. The race was then shortened to 27 laps due to the additional sighting lap, yet in another twist, pole-sitter Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa then also had to start from the back of the grid after wheeling his bike into pit-lane to re-start it, after his team could not resolve a locked front-wheel in the given time.
The story unfolded further and the championship battle took yet another blow, as Pedrosa was taken out in the first few bends by the front wheel of Pramac Racings’ Héctor Barberá, as the Repsol rider was making his way up the field. Afterwards, an apologetic Barberá cited missing his braking marker as the reason he locked up his front wheel, causing him to slide into Pedrosa. At the front it was Lorenzo who had made the best start, followed by a valiant Valentino Rossi on board his Ducati, and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl.
It was a crash-strewn affair from the beginning as Abraham, Speed Master’s Mattia Pasini and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow all tumbled out in the opening laps. Crutchlow’s teammate Dovizioso was sticking to Bradl, as San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista took Yamaha’s Ben Spies for fifth. With 19 laps remaining Lorenzo had pulled out a lead over Rossi, who was working tirelessly to keep Bradl at bay.
With 12 laps to go Bautista had caught up to the rear wheel of Dovizioso and was looking for a way through. After stalking him for over half the lap he made his way through into fourth to chase Bradl, whom he caught up with two laps later. Bautista looked like a man possessed as he then pushed his way past the German into the final podium spot. Behind the Spaniard, Bradl, Dovizioso and Spies were all closing in with seven laps to go to battle it out for third spot.
With three laps to go Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró was forced to retire from the race, as Dovizioso and Spies had made their was past Bradl. And it was Dovizioso who provided the nail-bighting finish, tussling with Bautista until the bitter end. Yet it was Lorenzo who finally took the chequered flag with an ecstatic Rossi in second and Bautista recording his first ever MotoGP podium in third after a photo finish with Dovizioso. Lorenzo’s sixth victory leaves him 38-points clear at the top of the championship, while Rossi’s podium was his best finish on a Ducati in the dry. Behind Dovizioso in fifth was Spies, ahead of Bradl and Ducati’s Nicky Hayden. Repsol Honda’s Rea did well to finish eighth in his first GP race, ahead of Espargaró’s teammate Randy De Puniet and San Carlo’s Michele Pirro.
2012 MotoGP San Marino
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 42’49.836
2 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 0’04.398
3 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 0’06.055
4 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 0’06.058
5 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0’07.543
6 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 0’13.272
7 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 0’40.907
8 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 0’43.162
9 Randy De Puniet ART FRA 1’09.627
10 Michele Pirro FTR ITA 1’13.605
11 Colin Edwards Suter USA 1’16.695
12 Yonny Hernandez BQR-FTR COL 1’19.073
13 James Ellison ART GBR 1’19.408
14 Danilo Petrucci Ioda ITA -1Laps
15 David Salom BQR ESP -1Laps
MotoGP World Standing
1. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 270
2. Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 232
3. Casey Stoner Honda AUS 186
4. Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha ITA 163
5. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 122
6. Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 120
7. Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 118
8. Stefan Bradl Honda GER 115
9. Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 93
10. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 77
11. Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 60
12. Randy De Puniet ART FRA 48
13. Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 45
14. Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 25
15. Yonny Hernandez BQR-FTR COL 25
16. Michele Pirro FTR ITA 24
It was Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez who recorded an emphatic win in a shortened re-started race at the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera de Rimini in Misano in front of Pol Espargaró and Andrea Iannone.
Following a restart due to an oil-spill by Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Gino Rea, the Moto2™ grid set off for 14 laps with Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone on pole ahead of Márquez and Pons 40 HP Tuenti’s Pol Espargaró, the order in which the race initially stopped after three laps. With fresh tyres on this shortened stint riders were able to push hard from the start.
Iannone made good use of his pole as he led into the first bend ahead of Márquez, and Espargaró’s teammate Esteve Rabat. Two laps in Márquez had a wobble coming on the home straight, letting Rabat and Espargaró through. Espargaró soon took advantage to nip into second and pursue the Italian leader, who was pulling out a gap. In the meantime, Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi and Marc VDS Racing Team duo of Mika Kallio and Scott Redding were closing in on Márquez.
However, the championship leader fought back, and took Rabat for third to pursue his main rivals. Further back, JiR Moto2’s Johann Zarco muscled his way past Redding, who had overtaken the Frenchman shortly before. On the same lap, QMMF Racing’s Elena Rosell crashed out of the race, as did Tech 3 Racing’s Xavier Siméon. Within a further lap, Came IodaRacing Project’s Simone Corsi and NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Yuki Takahashi also put their bikes into the gravel.
With four laps remaining Espargaró and Márquez had caught up to the rear wheel of Iannone, as the three commenced an enthralling fight for the lead. And it was Espargaró who pounced first to lead the trio, with Márquez also squeezing past the Italian into second. In an edge-of-your-seat last lap it was Márquez who prevailed after some tough passing between the Spanish pair, ultimately holding his nerve to cross the finish line first, with Espargaró and Iannone completing the podium. Márquez’s seventh win of the season puts him 53 points clear at the top of the championship. Fourth place went to Kallio, followed by Rabat, Technomag-CIP’s Dominique Aegerter, Redding, Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, Lüthi and Zarco.
In a nail-bighting Moto3™ race at the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera de Rimini it was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Sandro Cortese who stormed to a thrilling victory ahead of Luis Salom and Romano Fenati.
Cortese got the holeshot into turn one as drama unfolded at the back of the grid, as Mahindra Racing’s Danny Webb, Elle 2-Ciati’s Kevin Calia, Technomag-CIP-TSR’s Alan Techer and Ambrogio Next Racing’s Giulian Pedone all crashed out. Moto FGR’s Jasper Iwema suffered a similar fate on the next lap as the Dutchman also slid out of the race.
Back on track, Team Italia FMI’s Romano Fenati was valiantly pushing his way up the field, taking the lead off Cortese. The frantic start to the race however continued further afield as IodaRacing Project’s Luigi Morciano, Team Imperiali Racing’s Stefano Valtulini and Pedone’s teammate Alex Márquez also crashed out.
A few laps on and the race had not settled down with Cortese and Fenati swapping the lead frequently up front, pursued by RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom, San Carlo Gresini Moto3’s Niccolò Antonelli and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Miguel Oliveira. With 13 laps remaining Fenati and Cortese had pulled out a small gap over the pursuing group, with Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales making his way through the pack.
A few laps later the situation changed with Salom and the followers closing right up to the battling duo up front, with Fenati and Cortese looking to be slowing. With three laps left Cortese made his move on Fenati as the Italian was pushed back to fifth by Oliveira’s teammate Alex Rins, Salom and Viñales. The final laps were the usual battling Moto3 affair as Cortese tried to pull away at the front in the five-man fight. Viñales tried with a last stab up the inside to take the lead but ran wide, with Salom and Fenati taking advantage.
It was ultimately Cortese who took the chequered flag in front of Salom and Fenati. His third victory of the season now gives the German a 46 point lead at the top of the championship table over Viñales. Rins finished fourth after aggressively pushing Viñales wide in the last turn, with the Blusens rider finishing fifth. Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger was sixth, ahead of JHK t-shirt Laglisse’s Efrén Vázquez, Antonelli, Oliveira and Red Bull’s Arthur Sissis.
— Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo brought his 2012 race win tally to six today, leading from the start grid to take victory in the Grand Prix of San Marino. The victory was doubly special for Yamaha as it was achieved running a special Yamaha ‘Race- Blu’ livery. The race itself started in dramatic fashion after Karel Abraham stalled on the grid causing yellow flags to come out and the start lights to remain on. Confusion followed with some riders false starting. In the chaos arch rival Dani Pedrosa suffered some technical issues and was then relegated to the back of the grid. The Spaniard was soon to crash out of the race, giving Championship leader Lorenzo the opportunity to wrap up Misano having secured a 38 point advantage and a total of 270 points from his six wins and six second place finishes.
Ben Spies was pleased to finally complete a race weekend without major incident, the Texan starting well from his third row start to jump to sixth on the first lap. A lack of feeling with the less than perfect set up resulted in a little loss of speed mid-race but Spies was soon to step up the pace again, eventually passing Stephan Bradl to take fifth at the line just seven seconds behind his team mate in first. The 11 points taken puts him on 77 and he remains in 10th place in the standings.
Jorge Lorenzo / Position 1st – Time: 42’49.836
“It’s been a very tough weekend because Dani and I have been very close in the qualifying and the warm up. Unfortunately today he had really bad luck, first with the lights at the beginning of the race and then Hector took him out. This was really unfortunate for him. In Holland we were unlucky and today he was unlucky, anything can happen in these races. We have to be happy with our result and the point advantage we now have, for sure we are much more calm now than before the race! The race was difficult for everyone, only having qualifying was not enough when you have to set up the chassis and electronics and everything for the race. It was hotter during the race so there was less grip too. I almost crashed in turn one but managed to save it too!”
Ben Spies / Position 5th – Time: +7.543
“I know we didn’t get on the podium but I’m glad we were able to finally just have a normal race. Some of the times weren’t quick enough for the podium but we put on a good charge in the end. We struggled with a few things, especially some feeling with the front tyre. It’s been a difficult weekend and we didn’t start the race with the perfect set up but luckily could still put together an ok race. After what’s happened in the last eight weeks it almost feels like a podium for me!”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“A very spectacular race and an important victory. Of course I feel sorry for Dani because he didn’t deserve what happened. At the end of the day you can’t have 18 races without incidents, it would be nice but impossible. We’re leading now with 38 points with five races to go so we need to keep up the pressure to the end.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“A great victory for Jorge, especially during a special event for Yamaha with the Race-Blu launch. A shame for Dani, suffering the same as we did in Assen. We’re in a great position now but from here to the end we need to stay consistent. Unfortunately Ben didn’t have a great feeing with the front tyre which compromised his results. A top five finish is good anyway after such a difficult weekend and definitely a step in the right direction.”
Andrea Dovizioso finished a dramatic MotoGP race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in fourth position, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider putting up a fantastic race long fight for the podium in hot and sunny conditions.
Dovizioso was in contention for his sixth podium of an impressive 2012 World Championship campaign throughout the race, which was shortened to 27-laps after an aborted first start.
When the action did finally get underway in front of his home crowd of 45,104 fans, Dovizioso kept himself in contention for the podium right until the final moments of the race.
His podium bid started on lap 24 when he swept by Stefan Bradl, and he then immediately launched a thrilling pursuit of Alvaro Bautista in third.
Dovizioso, who was looking for a second podium on home soil in 2012 after finishing third in Mugello back in early July, started the final lap 0.493s behind Bautista.
The Italian quickly slashed that deficit to set up an intriguing final few corners and it looked like he had timed his bid for the podium for perfection when he passed Bautista at the final corner.
Unfortunately he ran wide on the exit and after a photo finish he was awarded fourth position, with Bautista taking third by just 0.003s.
British rider Cal Crutchlow was also in the hunt for a second successive podium after he made a solid start from the front row of the grid.
The 26-year-old was running a comfortable and consistent pace when he crashed at the first corner on lap five. He walked away unhurt but he was unable to continue after his YZR-M1 suffered a bent right handlebar in the spill.
Andrea Dovizioso / Position 4th – Time: +6.058
“It is a pity to finish so close to the podium in my home race because I really wanted to make the top three for the first time in Misano. It was a difficult race right from the start because I had a problem with the front and could not brake hard and enter the corners like during the practice. That meant I had to change my lines and I was not as fast as I expected and I could not catch Valentino and I could not push. I just had to ride smooth and at the end my feeling improved a bit because I could at least fight for the podium. It is a pity I couldn’t take third from Alvaro but I ran wide exiting the final corner. I did my best and the good thing is that despite a difficult race I was still battling for the podium right to the very end. We still scored some very important points for the Championship and hopefully with a better feeling with the bike I can be back on the podium at the Motorland Aragon.”
Cal Crutchlow / “I got a really bad start from the front row and quickly lost a couple of places. Actually it was not that I missed the lights but I released the clutch and nothing happened because the clutch was already out and that was my mistake. Luckily I managed to stay in fifth position but then it was really difficult to pass Andrea. On lap four I could see I was catching him a little but he is a demon on the brakes and I was also having a problem stopping the bike with a full fuel load. I wanted to pass him at the first corner but as soon as I got in the middle of the corner I lost the front. I got a bang on my left leg and thought it might be injured but the feeling came back quickly and I could have got back in the race. But the right handlebar was badly bent so the throttle didn’t move. I am disappointed because looking at how the race unfolded I gave up a great chance to be back on the podium. Rossi and Bradl recovered quite a few points on me too today, so I need to get back on track in Aragon to make sure I keep fifth place in the World Championship.”
Hervé Poncharal – Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager
“It is a pity on two fronts today because Cal’s early crash I think definitely cost him the chance of another podium. He clearly had the pace to be in the top three and it is a shame that he fell so early. He had a really strong qualifying to be on the front row again and we were all confident he could repeat his podium from Brno. It is a shame for Andrea also to miss a podium by the narrowest margin. It was a tough race for Andrea with the bike not giving him the feeling he expected, so he did a great job to be in the podium battle right to the end. Unfortunately I think he lost too much time trying to pass Bradl and that didn’t give him the time to overtake Bautista. It is very difficult to overtake on a tight track like this but Andrea did his best to give the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team another podium. The photo finish showed a tiny advantage to Alvaro so maybe next time we will come out on top in that situation. I want to congratulate Yamaha and Jorge today also because they scored a very important win for the Championship.”
— Ducati Report
On an event-filled day at the GP di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini, Valentino Rossi had his best race so far aboard the Desmosedici. In sunny and warm conditions, the Italian made it to the second step of the podium, having ridden at a pace that was second only to that of the winner, Jorge Lorenzo. The first start was cancelled, but Rossi enjoyed a great getaway when the red lights went out for the second time, and he exited the first turn in second place. From there, he held off attacks from first Stefan Bradl and then Alvaro Bautista before taking the chequered flag.
His teammate Nicky Hayden rounded out the Ducati Team’s positive day, finishing seventh despite riding with a right hand that was still swollen and painful. Tomorrow he and the team will decide together whether he’ll take part in the Ducati Team test that will take place with Valentino Rossi on the same Misano circuit.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 2nd
“It was a really nice race, and I’m very happy. It’s a great result, which I’d like to dedicate to Sic and his family, Paolo, Rossella, and Martina. I’d also like to thank all the guys who work with me and everyone at Ducati Corse who are giving their best, like me: after two difficult years, we really needed that. I’m very pleased because we did a dry race at a high level, always with a fast pace, and with a limited gap to Lorenzo. We worked well. The new frame and swingarm allow us to make more changes to the geometry, and in fact here the feeling with the front was improved and the bike also seemed to be better balanced on acceleration. The setup that we found was also good, as I managed to be fast and consistent for the whole race. It will be important to continue working well and do our best to take the Ducati as high as possible in the next races as well.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th
“I felt bad enough this morning that we considered not racing, but being here in Italy, I wanted to at least try. This track seems to provide a lot of drama, and I thought if I could just stay clean and get to the finish, I might salvage somewhat of a result. I knew it was going to be extremely difficult. Unless you’ve ever used carbon brakes with a Bridgestone front tyre, you don’t realize how hard you can squeeze the lever on a MotoGP bike now, and a couple of laps, I had to slow down to try to let my hand recover. It wasn’t very strong, and it was really painful, but I was able to hang on and get a seventh today. Hopefully I can start building up for the rest of the season. It’s great to see Vale on the podium, and it’s a well-deserved reward for all the effort by Filippo, his staff, the team, and the factory.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“We’re very happy because we worked well, both two weeks ago in the test and with the bike’s setup over the race weekend, and we managed to put Valentino in a position where he could get a good result. Vale was able to perform to his potential in the dry, and to manage the race well to the finish. We needed confirmation on this new chassis in a confrontation with the other riders, and we got that today. Nicky did the best that he could in his condition. His hand certainly isn’t completely mended, and he had to receive pain-killing injections in order to race. Anyway, it was very important for him to return after four weeks off, and depending on how he feels tomorrow, we’ll see if he’ll be able to ride with Valentino in the test.”
— HRC Report
The World Championship hopes of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) received a huge blow at today’s Misano Grand Prix, where the Spaniard was taken out by another rider on the very first lap. But there was joy for Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) who scored his first-premier class podium with a stirring ride to third place behind local hero Valentino Rossi
(Ducati) and winner Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) enjoyed another impressive ride, the young German spending much of the race chasing Rossi before slipping back to sixth place with grip issues. Jonathan Rea (Repsol Honda RC213V) – substituting for injured champ Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) – had an excellent MotoGP debut, finishing in eighth spot.
Expectations of another great duel between title rivals Pedrosa and Lorenzo were high as Pedrosa lined up on pole position, with just 13 points between him and the championship leader. But the start was aborted when Karel Abraham (Ducati) stalled his machine on the grid. During the preparations for the delayed start, Pedrosa’s front wheel became locked, and when the one minute board was shown his mechanics had to move the machine to pit lane to fix the problem. He was then told he had to start the race from the back row of the grid.
Already charging through the pack after his usual strong getaway from the grid, Pedrosa was hit by Hector Barbera (Ducati) at the Quercia hairpin.
Neither rider was injured in the collision. However, Pedrosa’s title hopes sustained significant damage. With five rounds remaining he now sits 38 points behind Lorenzo.
Bautista’s first MotoGP podium – at his team’s home circuit – followed some crucial set-up tweaks to his RC213V, as well as a suspension upgrade from Showa. These changes allowed the Spaniard to get back to his usual all-attack riding style. Seventh at the end of the first lap, he picked off his rivals one by one, taking third place from Bradl on lap 19 of 27. On the last lap Bautista came under attack from Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) who dived inside at the final turn, then ran wide. The pair raced towards the finish line side by side, the difference just 0.003s.
MotoGP rookie Bradl rode another terrific race, riding in Rossi’s wheel tracks lap after lap, looking good for his first premier-class podium. In the closing stages he had Bautista and Dovizioso closing in on him and was unable to defend his position because he had run out of front-end grip.
Rea had a promising MotoGP debut, complicated by the miserable weather that dominated the three ‘free’ practice sessions. The Ten Kate World Superbike rider needed dry track time more than anyone, but on/off drizzle made sure that the circuit was not fully dry until yesterday’s qualifying session. In the difficult circumstances Rea kept his head and rode an intelligent race, learning plenty for his next MotoGP outing at Aragon in two weeks time.
Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) completed an excellent day for Fausto Gresini’s squad, finishing in tenth place. He was the second CRT machine to cross the line.
Magnificent Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) once again came out on top of another thrilling race in the Honda-powered Moto2 World Championship.
Marquez and rival Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) swapped the lead no less than five times during the last lap, Marquez finally making it stick at the turn 14 hairpin, with just two corners to go. The Spanish pair crossed the line separated by 0.359s. Italian Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) finished third, a further 1.2s down, after leading more than half of the race.
Marquez was brilliant as ever. He had been pushed back to fourth at one point during the early stages, but planned his race perfectly, working his way back towards the front and taking the lead from his compatriot as they attacked turn eight for the final time. Espargaro got back in front twice after that – briefly at turn ten and again at turn 13 – but whatever he did, Marquez always had the answer.
The shortened race – stopped and restarted after Gino Rea (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2-Suter) struck trouble and dropped oil on the track – gave Marquez his seventh victory of 2012 and his first hat-trick of the year. He now leads Espargaro by
53 points with five races remaining.
Iannone led the first ten laps, but in the closing stages he did not have the pace to hold off the Spaniards, so he had to be content with his fifth podium of the year.
As usual, the competition further back was just as intense, with the next six riders separated by less than 2.5 seconds. Finnish star Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex) led the battling group from Esteve Rabat (Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter), Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex), Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing – Tech 3) and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter).
Romano Fenati (Team Italian FMI – FTR- Honda) finished third in a breathtaking Moto3 race that ended with the first seven riders covered by just 1.3s. No one had the speed to escape from the leading pack, so the result was in doubt throughout. Only in the last half lap did Sandro Cortese (KTM) gain a gap when the riders right behind him slowed themselves up in their efforts to get to the front.
After leading much of the race, Fenati dropped a few positions, then grabbed third place at the very end, getting past Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda). The Italian teenager crossed the line right behind runner-up Luis Salom (KTM) and 0.037s ahead of Rins who rode superbly, bravely taking second place from Salom on several occasions and setting the fastest lap along the way.
Title-challenger Vinales rode a fantastic race, fighting through the pack after starting from the third row of the grid. On the final lap it looked like the Spaniard might even score his sixth victory of the season, but in the end Cortese had too much speed and then Vinales lost three places in the final few corners. The Spanish teenager still holds second place in the championship, but 46 points behind Cortese.
Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) was also in the lead group throughout, eventually finishing a close-run seventh. Niccolo Antonelli (San Carlo Gresini – FTR Honda) went with the front-runners in the early stages, but slipped back to take eighth place, a fraction ahead of Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda).
The MotoGP circus now travels back to Spain for the Aragon Grand Prix on September 30 before heading east for three flyaway races in Japan, Malaysia and Australia. The season ends at Valencia in Spain on November 11
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 3rd “It is always nice to finish on the podium, but especially for me today with this being my first in MotoGP. Above all this is a very special weekend for me and the team because our memories of Marco [Simoncelli] are so strong coming here to the circuit named in his honour. After a few tough races we have worked well here and managed to fight for the podium at last. I am so happy for the team and for Marco because I am sure that wherever he is right now he was pushing us along. I could feel his hand on my shoulder today and I realised at the end that my name had come loose from my leathers so you could say it was Marco that was with us today. It has been an extraordinary day and I almost crashed at the start – I picked myself up on my right elbow. I am happy for everybody who has believed in me and I want to dedicate this very special podium also to them.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 6th “First of all it was a strange beginning of the race with two starts… after that, since the beginning, I was not fully confident with my front tyre and throughout the race it became worse and worse. Then in the last laps I even felt something wrong in the front, but do not know what happened exactly and must check the data with the technicians. Once I arrived at the garage we noticed that I had very low front tyre pressure and we are going to investigate later. In those conditions I was not capable to stop the bike on braking so I was losing the position. It’s very frustrating because we were in a good shape and I could gain my first MotoGP podium, but I have to take the positive aspect of the weekend. We are capable to stay up in the pack and we will try our best in Aragon. I want to thank the whole team because this race was very busy for them and once again they made an excellent job.”
Jonathan Rea, Repsol Honda: 8th
“It was a tough race and I just wanted to get into a rhythm and maintain it. I’m still nowhere near the limit. I’m not really having any moments, just a few mistakes running wide. It’s a matter of trust and I’m still acclimatising to the machine. I’m really happy with the progress I made throughout the race and I learnt so much that you simply can’t pick up in testing – how the tyre wear goes down, the fuel load and how the bike behaves differently. In the beginning Nicky pulled a gap and then I was catching him, but in the end it wasn’t enough. To finish eighth is okay, but the gap to the front is a little frustrating. In general I’m really happy and I’m looking forward to the next challenge in Aragon. I want to thank all the Repsol Honda team for their hard work and support they’ve given me and to all the fans back home.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 10th “After a few difficult weekends we have had a good day here and a wonderful weekend where Marco’s presence could really be felt. I am so happy that at his home circuit we have been able to get back on the right track and I hope we can get more results like this between now and the end of the season. Unfortunately in the race I lost a little time behind Hernandez otherwise I could have been much closer to de Puniet. Anyway I am happy for me and the team, who have worked with so much determination. It has been a wonderful and emotional day.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: DNF
“It was total chaos and many things happened at the same time. It all began with the restart because the procedure was not at all clear. Nobody knew if it was one minute, three minutes, warmers on or off… We were also getting different information about the number of laps, 26, 27… Then suddenly we were told it was one minute to the start of the race, with no board signage, nothing. The mechanics were rushing to prepare and when they tried to take off the warmers my front wheel was somehow locked. They tried to unlock it, but they weren’t able to and due to the one minute warning – where they are not allowed to touch the bike anymore – they put me to the back of the grid. I tried to remain focused, not make any mistakes on the first lap, make clear moves to overtake riders and I was eighth or ninth when Barberá hit me from behind, and that was it. I’m very upset because even if it’s easy to say now, I think I could have had a chance to win this race, even starting from last place on the grid. Now the championship is obviously more uphill for me, but I will continue the same way. We have done everything we could so far, the bike is working well and I’m riding well, too. So it’s not over for me; there are still 5 races to go and we will do our best.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Marc Marquez, Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter: 1st “I liked winning like that, above all because of how I planned the race. I knew that I could be out in front, but in the warm-up I found it a little difficult to ride and I didn’t have the required pace. We didn’t know if the tyres would last the race. I came close to crashing, which lost me a little concentration. At that moment Pol and Tito [Rabat] got ahead of me and someone else almost came past as well. Being such a short race, it was difficult to think calmly. That led to such a tense finale. I tried to regain ground by riding on the limit every lap and when I finally caught Pol, I tried to overtake him at the first braking point where there was an opportunity. I think that it was a nice battle for the fans to watch. Every time under the brakes I tried to leave it as late as possible and so did he. I was able to get into the final corners and close the door each time. It was an important win, because Pol has always been fast here.”
Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex: 2nd “I’m a little disappointed because when you fight for the victory and you don’t get it, you don’t feel perfect. But we got a lot of points today and we are second in the championship. Now we have to work to try and beat Marc at the next race. The last lap today was fun for the fans but I’m disappointed with the way it ended for me – Marc was so good at braking and very aggressive.”
Andrea Iannone, Speed Master-Speed Up: 3rd “This was a very difficult race. I tried to get away from the beginning, because after the first start we realised that we hadn’t made the best choice for the gearbox and it was tough to stay with Espargaró and Marquez. In the second race I tried to create a gap, but it wasn’t easy. Marc and Pol came up behind me and I lost the advantage we had. We’re again on the podium and that’s always a positive result. Now we’ll see how Aragón goes and let’s hope for another good weekend.”
Moto3 Rider Quotes
Romano Fenati, Team Italian FMI – FTR- Honda: 3rd “I tried to bring home my second victory in the World Championship, but we are equally satisfied with the podium because at the end of the race my tyres were very worn. I stayed with the front runners and at the end I used a little ‘imagination’ and took advantage of the brawl between Rins and Vinales to ‘invent’ a third-place finish. This result satisfies me a lot and I want to dedicate this result to my team, Honda and RDF are all the people working for me. I would like to thank all the staff of the Medical Centre at Misano who supported me very well after a bad fall on a Friday. Now we go to Aragon where I have raced in the Spanish championship. I like the track a lot and I know I can do my best to consolidate fourth place in the championship.”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda: 4th “I am happy. It was a pretty tough race, because we started from low down on the grid, but gradually we got into the race and were able to join the leading group. I felt comfortable on the bike and moved up positions until I got to the top riders. We had a good pace for the entire race, but on the last five laps Cortese got away. That was mostly due to his engine, because he was leaving us behind on the straights. In general, I am satisfied. Regarding the incident with Maverick, I apologise to him and his team, despite the fact that I think I made a clean move.”
Maverick Vinales, Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda: 5th “I got a good start, but during the opening corners I got clipped by another rider and I lost places. From that moment on I refocused and made a steady comeback, moving up to second by the time the final lap came around. I had a shot at victory, I tried and thought that I could close the gap on the straight, but it wasn’t to be. I couldn’t do anything more, because on the back straight I was losing half a second. I am happy, because I gave my all and we regained a lot of places in the race. I can’t ask for more, because I gave 100 per cent.”
— Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 25-25°C; Track 35-35°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo scored a dominant victory in a dramatic San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix today ahead of Ducati’s Valentino Rossi and San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista.
The start of the race was interrupted, resulting in the race having to be restarted and reduced in distance by one lap. A technical problem for Dani Pedrosa meant he had to restart from the back of the grid and the Repsol Honda rider suffered further bad luck after being involved in an incident on the first lap that saw him crash out of the race. With his main rival out of the contest, Lorenzo took control at the front of the field and eventually won the race by 4.398 seconds from Rossi in second place, while Bautista claimed third by a meagre 0.003 seconds over the fast-finishing Andrea Dovizioso on the Monster Yamaha Tech3 M1. Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet was the top placed CRT rider in ninth place.
Weather conditions for the race were fine and warm with a peak track temperature of 35°C and as was the case in qualifying yesterday, the combination of the softer rear and harder front slicks was the preferred tyre choice for the race, with every rider on the grid utilising this arrangement.
Lorenzo’s sixth win of the season coupled with Pedrosa’s DNF sees his championship lead swell to thirty-eight points. Pedrosa remains in second place in the championship table ahead of teammate Casey Stoner who is still recovering from injury.
Kyota Futami – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to Jorge and Yamaha for their dominant win today, but all three riders that made the podium today put in brilliant performances. It was great for the Italian fans to see Valentino achieve his best result in dry conditions on the Ducati, and Alvaro’s first MotoGP podium was also a fitting tribute for the San Carlo Honda Gresini team at a circuit that was renamed to honour Marco Simoncelli. It was pleasing to have such a memorable race to commemorate Bridgestone sharing in its one-hundredth MotoGP victory and I’d like to thank the all the teams and riders, Dorna, IRTA and the FIM, and of course the legions of MotoGP fans, for all the support they’ve given Bridgestone since we joined the premier class of Grand Prix racing in 2002.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Track conditions today were at the best level of the entire race weekend as there was no overnight rain and the ambient temperatures were higher than yesterday. Every rider on the grid selected the same tyre combination of the softer rear slick paired with the harder front, which was not surprising as this was widely used in yesterday’s qualifying session which took place in similar weather conditions. Overall, tyre performance for the race was positive as the softer rear provided consistent grip levels over the race for both the works and CRT bikes and worked well in conjunction with the harder front option.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race winner
“Well to be honest we’ve been really lucky today as without the problem with the lights at the beginning of the race, maybe Dani wouldn’t have crashed. I almost crashed myself in the first corner on the third lap, but somehow I saved it and after that it was hard to keep concentration as I saw Valentino was quite fast in the middle of the race. This was an important race to win and it was a fantastic result for the championship.”