Valentino Rossi claims first win of 2014 as Marquez crashes

The home crowd went wild at Misano on Sunday as Valentino Rossi took his first victory since Assen last year, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa also on the podium, whilst Marc Marquez finished 15th after a crash.
The home crowd went wild at Misano on Sunday as Valentino Rossi took his first victory since Assen last year, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa also on the podium, whilst Marc Marquez finished 15th after a crash.

Nine time World Champion Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took the lead in the early laps after getting in front of pole man Lorenzo and then asserting his authority in an early battle with Marquez. On the 10th lap Marquez went down at Rio corner when in second place and whilst he restarted his RC213V he could not achieve more than a solitary point.

Rossi kept the hammer down at the front to eventually win by 1.578s and reach the milestone of 5000 Grand Prix points in style. It is the 107th victory of Rossi’s remarkable career.

Lorenzo rode with determination to take another podium result and finished in second place for the fourth successive race.

Coming from fifth on the grid, Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) took his ninth podium finish of the season in third place, crossing the line 1.234s ahead of the hard working Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).

It was another good ride for Dovizioso in front of the home crowd as he got the Ducati across the finish line 5.5s behind winner Rossi. Likewise, Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) impressed in fifth place with another solid result.

Rookie Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) rode well again to secure sixth place, 4.1s ahead of his teammate Bradley Smith.

Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) and Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) completed the top ten.

Mike Di Meglio (Avintia Racing) was an early crasher, as was Danilo Petrucci (Octo IodaRacing Team). Di Meglio suffered a displaced fracture of fourth and fifthth metacarpus of his left hand and will require surgery. Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) also fell out of the top ten. Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) crashed on the final lap. All the riders other than Di Meglio were uninjured.

MotoGP™ Race Classification

MotoGP™ Race Classification Misano 2014
MotoGP™ Race Classification Misano 2014
MotoGP™ Championship Standings Misano 2014
MotoGP™ Championship Standings Misano 2014
Valentino Rossi 1st / 44'14.586 / 28 laps “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.”
Valentino Rossi
1st / 44’14.586 / 28 laps
“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.”
Jorge Lorenzo 2nd / +1.578 / 28 laps “It’s been a tough race for me because we finally took a risk with the harder tyre. 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 tyre didn’t give me the confidence to lean and also on braking. In Brno we risked also changing the tyre 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.”
Jorge Lorenzo
2nd / +1.578 / 28 laps
“It’s been a tough race for me because we finally took a risk with the harder tyre. 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 tyre didn’t give me the confidence to lean and also on braking. In Brno we risked also changing the tyre 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.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd “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 passing 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 a better race.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd
“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 passing 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 a better race.”
Karel Abraham was the top  Open class machine and 11th outright
Karel Abraham was the top Open class machine and 11th outright
Broc Parkes 18th:  "We got a good start and in the first corner we were in the battle, then one guy crashed next to me and the bike went so high in the air, but luckily it didn't hit me. We were behind the Hondas and Michael and the next lap Petrucci crashed right in front of me and his bike nearly cleaned me up. Luckily I saw it coming and just missed it but I dropped a couple of seconds. My pace in the first half of the race wasn't too bad; I was running with a couple of the Hondas and Michael up to half race. In the last half I had no grip as I've been struggling with for the last couple of races. It's definitely improved, we're going forward and its more positive, I had a good battle with Barbera in the later part of the race, it was nice to battle with somebody but we still need to make another step up for Aragon."
Broc Parkes 18th: “We got a good start and in the first corner we were in the battle, then one guy crashed next to me and the bike went so high in the air, but luckily it didn’t hit me. We were behind the Hondas and Michael and the next lap Petrucci crashed right in front of me and his bike nearly cleaned me up. Luckily I saw it coming and just missed it but I dropped a couple of seconds. My pace in the first half of the race wasn’t too bad; I was running with a couple of the Hondas and Michael up to half race. In the last half I had no grip as I’ve been struggling with for the last couple of races. It’s definitely improved, we’re going forward and its more positive, I had a good battle with Barbera in the later part of the race, it was nice to battle with somebody but we still need to make another step up for Aragon.”

Moto2: Unstoppable Rabat takes the glory after catching Kallio

Tito Rabat extended his Moto2™ World Championship advantage to 22 points with victory over second placed teammate Mika Kallio at the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, with Johann Zarco in third place.
Tito Rabat extended his Moto2™ World Championship advantage to 22 points with victory over second placed teammate Mika Kallio at the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, with Johann Zarco in third place.

Pole man Kallio made a fantastic start and built up a 1.5s lead by the second lap but Rabat kept his Marc VDS Racing Team colleague in his sights, the Spaniard biding his time and overtaking the Finn with eight laps to go.

Rabat has now taken seven wins in 2014, three of those triumphs in successive races – and he is in a strong position at the head of the standings with five races remaining. For Kallio this is his ninth podium of the year, meanwhile, with his strong run of six consecutive rostrum results keeping him still within touching distance of Rabat.

Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) rode a lonely race to third, two seconds adrift of Kallio at the line and just under two seconds ahead of fourth placed Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40).

The top ten was completed by Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team), Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team), Axel Pons (AGR Team) and Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia).

Jonas Folger (AGR Team) was given a ride through penalty for failing to drop one position after exceeding track limits, finishing 19th after running in seventh position.

Miroslav Popov (Montaze Broz Racing Team) had an early off, but was able to rejoin until he suffered a second crash several laps later. Azlan Shah (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) also crashed and rejoined for 32nd place. Ricky Cardus (Tech 3) and Riccardo Russo (Tasca Racing Moto2) both crashed and could not rejoin. Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) was forced to retire with a technical problem on his return to racing.

Moto2 Race Classification

Moto2 Race Classification Misano 2014
Moto2 Race Classification Misano 2014
Moto2 Championship Standings Misano 2014
Moto2 Championship Standings Misano 2014
Tito Rabat has now taken seven wins in 2014, three of those triumphs in successive races – and he is in a strong position at the head of the standings with five races remaining. For Kallio this is his ninth podium of the year, meanwhile, with his strong run of six consecutive rostrum results keeping him still within touching distance of Rabat.
Tito Rabat has now taken seven wins in 2014, three of those triumphs in successive races – and he is in a strong position at the head of the standings with five races remaining. For Kallio this is his ninth podium of the year, meanwhile, with his strong run of six consecutive rostrum results keeping him still within touching distance of Rabat.

Moto3: Brave Rins overcomes Marquez in Misano battle

Alex Rins took victory in the Moto3™ race at the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, with Alex Marquez and Jack Miller joining him on the podium.
Alex Rins took victory in the Moto3™ race at the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, with Alex Marquez and Jack Miller joining him on the podium.

Despite requiring a medical check after sustaining heavy contusions on both legs in a Warm Up crash, Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) produced an excellent ride to win for the second round in succession and strengthen his title credentials.

Standings leader Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) returned to the podium, but saw his championship lead reduced to nine points – to Marquez – with five races to go. The Australian crossed the line just over 3.4s behind race winner Rins. Miller’s advantage over third placed Rins in the table is now 20 points.

Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) finished a second off the podium with Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3) close by in fifth.

Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing), Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold), Andrea Migno (Mahindra Racing), Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) and Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) rounded out the top ten.

Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia), Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Nilkas Ajo (Avant Techno Husqvarna Ajo), Gabriel Rodrigo RBA Racing Team) and Scott Deroue (RW Racing GP) all crashed out of the race. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) was up in third before a high side saw him crash and remount, finishing 22nd. Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia) were forced out with technical problems. All riders were not seriously hurt, though Hanika had a finger injury assessed in the medical centre.

Moto3 Race Classification

Moto3 Race Classification Misano 2014
Moto3 Race Classification Misano 2014
Moto3 Championship Standings Misano 2014
Moto3 Championship Standings Misano 2014
Despite requiring a medical check after sustaining heavy contusions on both legs in a Warm Up crash, Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) produced an excellent ride to win for the second round in succession and strengthen his title credentials.
Despite requiring a medical check after sustaining heavy contusions on both legs in a Warm Up crash, Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) produced an excellent ride to win for the second round in succession and strengthen his title credentials.

HRC Report

Honda’s defending World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) had his worst race of the season at Misano today, scoring only one point after crashing and remounting in a distant last place … but Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa preserved Honda’s perfect podium record, finishing third.

It was the 28-year-old Spaniard’s eighth top-three finish of the season, including a race win at Brno, and came after a steadfast ride from the second row of the grid.

Pedrosa lies second overall in the championship table behind Marquez, but his margin shrank to just one point over today’s winner Valentino Rossi, with Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo second. It sets the scene for a strong fight for second overall over the remaining five races.

The former 125cc and double 250cc World Champion’s campaign suffered a set-back earlier in the season when he had to undergo remedial surgery for arm-pump problems. But Pedrosa has come back strongly, and is more than ready to fight for the rest of the year.

Marquez’s stumble was a rare mistake for a rider who has won every race this year except for the Brno event, where he was fourth. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, who last year became the youngest premier-class champion in history, although the crash was at a slow corner, the engine stopped and by the time he got it restarted he was almost a full lap behind. Nothing daunted, he pressed on, finally claiming a single point when he gained 15th place on the final lap.

The former 125cc and Moto2 champion’s points lead over Pedrosa shrank by 15 points, but is still a massive 74 – almost a three-race margin, with five races left on the calendar.

The race took place in blazing sunshine in front of a highly partisan Italian crowd of more than 54,500 – a relief after the first of two days of practice was lost to heavy rain, belying the 4.226-km circuit’s location close to the Rimini holiday beaches.

Two more riders campaign the awesomely successful Honda RC213V in satellite teams, but while former Moto2 champion Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) crashed out in the early stages of the 28-lap race round the tortuous Misano World Circuit, former 125cc champion Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Gresini Honda RC213V) finished eighth after a long battle with two other riders. His last rival, Aleix Espargaro (Yamaha) crashed out on the final lap, leaving him unmolested.

The best of the close replicas of the factory V4 today was that of Czech racer Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R). Law graduate Abraham was 11th, after catching and passing the similarly mounted former 250cc champion Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R). He was the first Open-class bike home.

A third of the new-this-year machines took the next position, with Briton Scott Redding (GO&FUN Gresini Honda RCV1000R) placed 13th, after an unusually troubled weekend for the youngest-ever GP winner.

All four Honda production racers would have been in the points, had Leon Camier (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) not been overtaken for 15th place by Marquez on the final lap. The British former 125cc GP and World Superbike racer was taking the place of the recuperating Nicky Hayden for a fourth race.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd – “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 passing 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 a better race.”

Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 8th – “Today we were not able to solve the problems we had during the weekend and it was very difficult to stop the bike into the corners; in addition, I lacked contact feeling with the tyres. I got the best we could under these conditions, fighting with some riders, then with ten laps to go I also had a problem with my visor, which prevented me from seeing well and keeping my pace. For this reason, I couldn’t stay with Espargaro; Aleix then crashed on the last lap so I gained a position, closing eighth. I was not having a good feeling, but at least we finished the race and we collected some points. We must of course continue to work to better understand the reason for all these problems and try to find a solution, because at the moment the gap from the other riders remains high even if we push hard.”

Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing Honda: 11th – “I have finished in 11th once before this season, but this must be my best race this year. I not only achieved my goal of being top production Honda, but I was also top Open-class bike, going to the Parc Ferme after the race for the first time in four years. I was able to catch and pass Aoyama’s Honda, then get ahead of him. Now I want to do it again next time.”

Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 12th – “The race was pretty hard, but my team did a great job of making sure the bike was very stable today. That allowed me to ride really comfortably and push hard in the first part of the race and I could keep a good position. In the second half I lost front grip. It was unexpected: it hasn’t happened all weekend. I tried to ride around the problems, but I was losing half a second a lap. That meant Abraham could catch and pass me. I tried to get him back, but I was losing a lot in the fast corners so it was impossible. Anyway we must be optimistic, because this weekend we improved from Silverstone.”

Scott Redding, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 13th – “Disaster is the word for this weekend! Sometimes you have weekends like this and the race just proved to me that this was one of them… My start was not great, but I was not worried about it, because this time I knew that it was not possible to go with some of the Factory guys, I just wanted to be the top Open Class Honda and I was in a pretty good position for that. I was feeling good, but on the third lap I had a problem with the rear brake and I went off the track. After that it was difficult to ride, especially on the fast corners where we use the rear brake to keep the rear down to the floor. I thought to enter the pit, but then I decided not to give up: I passed Laverty, Camier and De Angelis, keeping a quite good rhythm even though I was always on the limit. I’m just happy to finish the weekend in one piece. Now we need to focus on the next races to come back a bit, because we had three crashes this weekend, but today we managed to get a good feeling with the bike despite the problem.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 15th – “I’m happy with how today went, despite the crash due to my first mistake of the season, because yesterday I did not think that I would be capable of sticking with Valentino and Jorge. They had a little bit more pace, but today we were able to get fairly close to them. I saw the possibility of fighting with Valentino for the victory, but that was not possible in the end because of the mistake; I was riding over the inside of the rumble strip and that meant that I lost the front. Luckily I was able to rejoin the race, continue with a good pace and score a point that could always come in handy in the future.”

Leon Camier, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 16th – “I’m happy because I managed to make a very good start, but there is something in my style that means I am punishing the front tyre. Perhaps I have too much weight too far forward, because I was almost losing the front wheel on every corner. It seems that the increase in temperature today and a full fuel tank were not a good combination. It is something that I have to keep working on to adapt to this bike, I must also learn to manage speed on corner entry. Clearly I am learning and have assimilated a lot in a short time, but I could be even faster.”

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: DNF – “I am very disappointed because we crashed in a very good situation. The race was good from the beginning because I took a good start from the fourth row. I saw that I was faster than Aleix Espargaro but it took a while to pass him. Finally I made it and managed to close the gap with the front group quickly but suddenly, in turn 13 in a left corner, I lost the front. I am very sorry, especially for Lucio, because the whole team made an excellent job this weekend. We could have done a good job finishing in fifth or sixth, because our lap time was quite fast.”

Yamaha Report

he many thousand Valentino Rossi fans gathered at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli had their dreams come true today as their Movistar Yamaha MotoGP hero delivered a perfect race to take victory for the ‘Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini’. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo came home in second to make it a perfect Yamaha one-two finish.

The Doctor made his intentions clear from the off with a flying start to move up from third to second into the first corner, tucked in behind teammate Lorenzo. An early attack by rival Marc Marquez was quickly dealt with and then with 25 laps to go he was able to pass Lorenzo to lead the race. Championship leader Marquez followed soon after and remained within half a second of Rossi until with 19 laps remaining he lost the front trying to keep up and crashed out, taking himself out of contention.

From that point the Doctor was unstoppable, building a gap of over two seconds to his chasing teammate, he held command of the race to the finish line to take his first race win since Assen last year, and Yamaha’s first MotoGP win of the season.

Teammate Lorenzo flew from his pole position on the grid to grab the holeshot into turn one, with Rossi following right behind. Having opted for the harder front tyre option he was unable to make a break and hold off Rossi in the early laps. Having seen rival Marquez crash out in front of him he then delivered a trademark Lorenzo race of consistency, holding his lap times a little over two seconds behind Rossi whilst gradually building a gap to Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso battling for third behind him. He crossed the finish line over four seconds ahead of them to take his seventh podium of the season and complete the Yamaha one-two finish.

Rossi’s 25 point score adds to his total to make him the first MotoGP rider ever to reach over 5,000 career championship points. He now sits on 214 in third position in the standings, just a single point behind Pedrosa in second. Lorenzo takes 20 points to bring him to a total of 177 in fourth position, 35 ahead of Dovizioso in fifth.

Valentino Rossi – 1st / 44’14.586 / 28 laps – “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.”

Jorge Lorenzo – 2nd / +1.578 / 28 laps – “It’s been a tough race for me because we finally took a risk with the harder tyre. 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 tyre didn’t give me the confidence to lean and also on braking. In Brno we risked also changing the tyre 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.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “I think we did an awesome job, we didn’t start the weekend properly on Friday and struggled a lot. When the sunshine came out, we immediately sensed that Sunday was possibly going to be our day. The pace we showed on Saturday and in this morning’s warm up were a good signal. For me Vale made an impressive race, he put a lot of pressure on Marc, he crashed as he was trying so hard, but I think today Vale was unbeatable. Jorge chose a hard front tyre as yesterday he had a really good feeling with it. The circumstances were ok for that tyre spec but it didn’t work as he hoped. In the end first and second is an amazing result, I need to thank everybody, from the first to the last team member, we worked hard all season, unfortunately we couldn’t win before but for sure we are going to taste this victory today as we deserve to.”

Espargaro and Smith blaze to strong finishes at Misano

Pol Espargaro produced a mature and inspired ride to finish in sixth position in his first encounter of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1. The young Spaniard started round 13 of the MotoGP World Championship in a highly impressive manner by surging to second position in the warm up, having just been beaten to the top spot in the dying seconds by Valentino Rossi. This left the rookie highly optimistic and ready for the 28 lap battle at the 4226 meter circuit which he began from seventh on the grid. As the lights flicked to green, Espargaro launched off the start line with promising speed and he completed the first lap in sixth position before setting his fastest time of the race on his second lap. Right from the beginning of the 28 lap race, the Spanish rookie was able to build up a gap over the pack and with the lap numbers falling, Espargaro managed to maintain this placement until the finish flag. His capture of more valuable championship points lifts him back up to sixth in the standings after another impressive ride in his debut season in MotoGP.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Bradley Smith battled in the highly competitive field to finish in seventh position after a gruelling yet rewarding race at Misano. The young British rider started the day by beginning the race from ninth on the grid in ideal weather conditions at the San Marino circuit. Smith completed the first lap in eighth place, as he aimed to ascend up the field and make ground on the factory bikes. Unfortunately, the British star made a slight mistake going into turn seven on lap two, which caused him to slip back two positions. Yet, the 23-year-old illustrated his determination to aggressively fight back to eigth only three laps later and proceeded to set his fastest time of the race on lap 8 whilst he intended to make ground on the rider in front. Smith’s consistency and seamless performance saw him catching up a further position before the fall of the finish flag. It was a positive result after the previous two rounds which gives him a boost of confidence before he heads to Aragon in two weeks time.

Pol Espargaro – 6th / +18.999 / 28 laps – “To be honest I can’t help but be slightly disappointed, although not about the result itself but about how the race went as I truly expected to be more competitive. With two dry sessions less than usual, we went into the unknown a bit and for sure the warmer temperatures were not ideal for the setup which we decided on. We chose to race the softer Bridgestone tyre and it would have probably been better to go for the harder compound considering the conditions this afternoon, but after the race it is easy to say so. However, we still managed to finish the race in sixth position and collect valuable points for the Championship which helped me to take sixth back from my brother and that is a really good feeling ahead of our next race in Aragon.”

Bradley Smith – 7th / +23.100 / 28 laps – “Even though seventh is not where I intend to be, it’s definitely positive after the challenging past two Grand Prix’s. Still, I am a little disappointed with the mistake I made on the second lap as I went into turn 7 where I just out braked myself and lost two places. Later on, I recovered these positions, but the group of Pedrosa, the two Ducati’s and Pol were out of my reach plus with the lap times so close here it was difficult to come back. I tried to catch Pol but then I realised I wasn’t going to be able to get on the back of him, so instead of risking my point scoring position, I played it safe so that I could learn as much as possible and gather important data which we will use in Aragon. Considering how tough the weekend was here last year, the performance this time is a significant improvement but I want to be fighting for fifth. Therefore, there’s some more work to be done, but the team did a great job after a tricky Friday and now we will push onwards to close in on the Ducati’s.”

Good 14th place for De Angelis in front of the home crowd. Unlucky race for Espargaro

It was a race two sides for the NGM Forward Racing Team at Misano with Alex De Angelis finishing 14th in front of his home crowd, while it was an unlucky race for Aleix Espargaro, who crashed on the very last lap when he was in eighth place.

Started from the third row, the Spaniard pushed hard from the beginning as he is used to do, but from the first laps on he realized that there was something wrong with the rear. The bike was moving a lot and he lost some positions. Despite struggling a lot with the rear, he was able to recover in the second part of the race. He was in eighth position on the last lap, when he suddenly lost the rear with no warning and crashed, fortunately without consequences.

It was a good race for Alex De Angelis, who finished 14th in front of the 55,000 spectators (over 88,000 in the weekend) who attended the San Marino and the Riviera of Rimini Grand Prix. Despite a painful wrist, he was able to manage the race and get some good points for the championship.

With today’s result, Espargaro leaves Misano in seventh position in the championship but he is confident to recover in Aragon in two weeks time.

Alex De Angelis – 14th / +1’13.546 / 28 laps – “I’m happy because I could manage my rhythm throughout the whole race. Despite a painful wrist and the issues we had under braking, I tried to stay with Redding and recover positions. I pushed but I didn’t want to take too many risks as the priority was to finish the race and get some points, so I’m satisfied. Now it’s important to recover with the wrist to arrive in Aragon in the best shape.”

Aleix Espargaro – DNF, 27 laps – “Since the beginning of the race I realized that there was something wrong with the rear. I had less grip than this morning in the warm up and I struggled a lot. I managed to stay in eighth position but on the very last lap I suddenly lost the rear without warning. I’m really sorry.”

Ducati Report

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) produced another fine performance today at Misano in the TIM San Marino and Rimini Riviera Grand Prix to finish fourth at the flag. The Italian rider, who started from row 2 of the grid after qualifying sixth yesterday, was fifth at the end of the opening lap behind fellow Ducati man Andrea Iannone and was then passed by Pedrosa on lap 4. Both riders moved ahead of the Pramac man on lap 8, and after Marquez’s crash, they found themselves in a battle for third. Constantly setting quick lap times, Dovizioso remained right on Pedrosa’s tail until the final lap, but he was unable to pass the Honda rider and had to settle for fourth ahead of Iannone, who was fifth at the flag.

Team-mate Cal Crutchlow, who started from row 5 with thirteenth-quickest time, finished the San Marino GP in ninth place after a good scrap with Bautista, Aleix Espargaro and Hernandez.

Dovizioso’s final gap from the winner Valentino Rossi was 5.510 seconds.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th – “I am so happy, I did a really great race! This weekend was actually quite a difficult one and I didn’t believe I could do such a race. I’d like to thank all the team because we are working so hard to try and make up the gap to the leaders, and slowly but surely we are succeeding. A gap of five seconds at the flag is like a dream, I didn’t think it was possible today. We’re not yet close enough to fight with the front runners and we still have to grit our teeth for the entire race. I tried to grab third place from Pedrosa until the very end but today I was really over the limit in certain parts, so fourth was OK!”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 9th – “Rather a disappointing result considering I felt we could have competed a bit better with some of the riders in front of us this weekend. I never had a good feeling at the start of the race with a full fuel tank and couldn’t stop the bike so well. Once the fuel load went down, we started to get a bit faster, but I made a lot of mistakes in the race, maybe ten seconds worth. Around lap 20 I felt I had a problem with the tyre so I had to slow down for two laps and check and then once I got going again I was doing my fastest laps in the race. Pity, hopefully we can have a better race weekend at Aragon.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) – “We are very satisfied with Dovizioso’s race! Today at Misano we managed to reduce the gap from the winner to five and a half seconds, and that is a very important result for us. Even Iannone finished the race in fifth place with a reasonable gap and both riders did a great race. Days like today fill us with more motivation and optimism, and we will continue to work hard all together to cut the gap to the frontrunners.”

PBM Report

Round 13 of the MotoGP World Championship saw Penrith-based PBM MotoGP team riders Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes  in action at Misano for the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini where once again they scored a double finish.

Despite inclement weather during Friday’s Free Practice, Ulsterman Laverty, on the Rapid Solicitors and Silkolene-backed Aprilia ART-powered PBM was 15th in session one and was also on the pace in the second session before continuing his form into Saturday’s drier conditions where he slotted onto row six of the grid.

Australian team-mate Parkes, on the Silkolene-backed PBM, could not find a good setting but did manage to improve and qualified in 20th place on row seven of the grid.

Former British Supersport Champion Laverty got a great start and held 19th for the opening laps before climbing the leaderboard to run in 17th for most of the race as Parkes, twice runner-up in the World Supersport Championship, chased him hard.

As the race progressed, Laverty suffered rear brake problems and Parkes’ rear tyre started to deteriorate although the pair crossed the line with Laverty gamely battling to 17th and Parkes just one place behind him at the flag.

The results see Parkes maintain his 20th position overall in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship table, seventh in the Open class standings and third in Rookie of the Year. Laverty still occupies 23rd place and 11th in the Open class. Importantly for the PBM team, they hold fifth place in the manufacturer’s table and 11th in the team’s standings.

The PBM MotoGP team is next in action at the Aragon in Spain next weekend for round 14 of the series.

Michael Laverty:  “It was a difficult race for me today, I expected to have more pace but I struggled to stop the bike in the early stages. I was working the rear brake really hard and it overheated before mid-distance and I struggled a lot once I lost the rear brake. It didn’t change the end result massively, I may have gained a position but like I’ve always said I can go home happy when I get the maximum out of myself and the bike and today I didn’t achieve that.”

Broc Parkes:  “We got a good start and in the first corner we were in the battle, then one guy crashed next to me and the bike went so high in the air, but luckily it didn’t hit me. We were behind the Hondas and Michael and the next lap Petrucci crashed right in front of me and his bike nearly cleaned me up. Luckily I saw it coming and just missed it but I dropped a couple of seconds. My pace in the first half of the race wasn’t too bad; I was running with a couple of the Hondas and Michael up to half race. In the last half I had no grip as I’ve been struggling with for the last couple of races. It’s definitely improved, we’re going forward and its more positive, I had a good battle with Barbera in the later part of the race, it was nice to battle with somebody but we still need to make another step up for Aragon.”

Phil Borley, Technical Director:  “We were hoping for a better race today after a positive qualifying, but the times were not quite as good as we were expecting, possibly due to the higher temperatures. Michael struggled with corner entry and had a rear brake problem mid race, and Broc also had problems with corner entry. However it was another double finish and we will analyse the data to improve our settings for the next race.”

Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather:    Dry. Ambient 24-24°C; Track 36-37°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Valentino Rossi had the Italian fans rejoicing at Misano after the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP star won his first race of the season in an intriguing San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix.

Starting from the front row, Rossi was engaged in a thrilling three-way battle for the lead in the early stages of the race with teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, with Rossi taking the race lead on the fourth lap. After fending off an attack from Marquez – who crashed at turn four while challenging for first place before re-joining the race – Rossi was able to build a gap over Lorenzo and ultimately crossed the finish line 1.578 seconds ahead of his teammate, with the pair ensuring a 1-2 finish for Yamaha. In third place at Misano was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, the Spaniard crossing the finish line another couple of seconds behind the leading pair.

Today was the warmest day of the race weekend, although the peak track temperature of 37°C recorded during the race was just 3°C higher than yesterday’s peak. As a result, the race tyre choice was similar to what the riders used during race simulations in yesterday’s Free Practice 4 session. Front tyre choice was quite consistent throughout the twenty-three riders on the grid for the race, with all riders except Jorge Lorenzo selecting the medium compound front slick, with the Spaniard instead selecting the hard compound front. Rear tyre choice was split evenly across the grid, with twelve riders selecting the medium compound rear slick, and the other eleven riders selecting the soft compound rear slick.

Although he only claimed a single point at Misano, Marquez still maintains a seventy-four point lead in the championship standings over teammate Pedrosa with five rounds remaining. Courtesy of his first win of the season Rossi closes the gap to Pedrosa to just two points as the battle for second place in the championship intensifies.

Kyota Futami – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department – “Congratulations to Valentino on an amazing victory in front of his home crowd today and also to Yamaha for such a dominant performance resulting in a well-deserved double podium. It was unfortunate to see Marquez crash out during the race, but credit to him for fighting back to claim a valuable championship point and I am sure he will be challenging back at the front at the next round in Aragon. Today was a real special moment for MotoGP and has added yet another fascinating chapter to what has been a thrilling season. ”

Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department -“As we expected the weather was warmer today, but the track temperatures weren’t high enough to influence a change in tyre strategy for the riders, with almost everyone selecting the same tyre combination that they used during their race simulations yesterday in FP4. I’m very happy with how our tyres performed today, with consistent pace over the twenty-eight laps and seven riders being able to set their quickest lap in the second half of the race.”

Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Race Winner – “I’m very happy to win today, especially here at Misano in front of my fans, family and friends. During the practice sessions, our Yamaha and my team were working very well and I felt that we had a small advantage at Misano. Yesterday and today I felt very strong and knew I could fight for the victory, but realised it would be a tough fight with the other riders. I gave my maximum at the beginning of the race and knew that if I could resist the other riders I had a chance as my pace was good, and in the end I couldn’t want for anything more from today.”

Remy Gardner Moto3 Report

Remy Gardner’s debut Moto 3 GP at Misano, Italy was as challenging as expected, but the sixteen year old rider walked away from the weekend with a solid finish in twenty-seventh, and a wealth of experience.

Qualifying in thirty-third was further back down the grid than he’d hoped to start from, but a lack of bike and track knowledge, coupled with rain and equipment failure in the free practice sessions put him on the back foot to start.

Remy was invited at the last minute to replace the injured Moto 3 rider Luca Grunwald at the San Marino GP in Italy this weekend. It was a snap decision, and a real gift after Remy’s horrific crash last weekend at Navarra in the FIM CEV Repsol. “I’m so appreciative that Kiefer Racing offered me this incredible opportunity to ride at my first GP. It’s been a dream come true for me, and even though things weren’t perfect, I know how lucky I am to have been given this chance to get more experience on another level,” said Remy.

All eyes were on former 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner’s son in his debut World Championship event, and considering the challenges he faced, with no testing, a completely new bike and chassis, and a circuit he’d never been to, he produced an admirable and considered result today.

A philosophical Remy said “it was a difficult start to the weekend with rain in the first practice session and a broken engine in the second practice session. I basically went into qualifying and the race completely unprepared, but that in itself is good experience. We made a dramatic set up change to the bike for the race, to try and get it a bit closer to the KTM I’m used to, and even though we made a small improvement there was more that was needed to get it right. After I crashed in the rain on Friday I was hesitant to push too much, but as the race progressed I felt more comfortable with the set-up changes we’d made and started to push the front and slide the rear more, and my lap times were improving toward the end of the race. It’s all about time and confidence. The team were great to work with but we all needed more time together to get it right. Anyone who understands racing will know what I mean. The circuit was difficult for me to learn because it was hard to get my reference points right when the bike wasn’t doing what I wanted, but I think if I had more time and my bike set up better I’d really like it.”

Remy’s impression of his first GP? “I’m so happy my good mate Dakota Mamola was with me all weekend. He kept me calm and grounded, and was my chauffer, psychologist, nutritionist, and room-mate [thanks Dako], and although there was a bit of media attention I didn’t feel too much pressure. It was great being a rider in the paddock instead of a spectator, and today we had lunch and dinner with Chad Reid, which was a great way to end a pretty incredible weekend!!!”

Remy Gardner
Remy Gardner