Rossi won his home GP for the second year running in Misano, Italy, this time around with the donkey from Shrek on his helmet. Got to love it.
With the home crowd at his back, the sweltering Italian sun in his eyes and a donkey on his helmet, Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi rode to a brilliant victory, topping teammate and championship rival Jorge Lorenzo to win the Cinzano San Marino Grand Prix in Misano, Italy for the second year running. He may have lost 25 of his previous 50-point lead with a surprising crash last weekend in Indianapolis, but this weekend he took five of them back with a popular hometown triumph. But it didn’t come easy…
“I try to make a better start and be at front but unfortunately Dani overtake me in the first corner and Jorge at the end of the first lap so I was in a bit of trouble,” Rossi said of the beginning of the race. “My bike was full of fuel and not 100% feeling so I decide to take my rhythm and to put the right temperature on the tires. Then I start to push. But was a great race, a great battle with Jorge and Toni (Elias) and also with Dani (Pedrosa) at the end. When I go in front I control always, and at one point I see Jorge overtake Dani, but I think I have three or four corners today where I am very fast so I try to use the maximum to my advantage.”
Rossi was extremely happy with the win due to his crash at the previous round. “This is more important for me than normal because it comes after a very big mistake last at Indianapolis just seven days ago,” he added. “This is a perfect weekend for me. And my team do an amazing job so I must say thank you.”
Lorenzo was smart to take second at the San Marino GP, only losing five championship points in the process.
Lorenzo tried his best to to keep pace with The Doctor but his pace was too strong. He played it smart and held on for second, crossing the line some 2.4 seconds adrift.
“I did not bad of a start, but I almost crashed in the second corner because Dani (Pedrosa) get so wide, but, anyway, I didn’t crash. I just wanted to be relaxed and recover,” said Jorge of the hectic start. “Today I have to go for second position and to be smart as Vale has extra pace. I didn’t have the bike set-up to go late on the brakes and it was difficult to pass Dani so to get second position is good.”
Third-place was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, another 10 seconds back, all by himself at the end. Hot on the heels of just announcing his official resigning with the factory Honda team, Pedrosa was happy with third position.
“I did my maximum in the race and I try my all to stay with them,” said the Spaniard of his effort to run at the front. “But in the middle of the race they are going faster and out-braking me and I am on my maximum. I couldn’t stay with them. I had from the beginning some misfiring with the bike in a couple corners and in the end I am very lucky because my bike just stopped coming into the pits. It is very strange and I don’t know if it’s the fuel or what but I’m very lucky to get third position.”
Following Pedrosa home in fourth was his Respol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who has also been officially resigned with the team for 2010, while Loris Capirossi put in an impressive ride to give Suzuki a very strong fifth-place finish.
In what was an instant heartbreak for American fans, Honda Gresini’s Alex de Angelis misjudged the second corner, crashing and taking out both of our U.S. countrymen, Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden, in the process. Luckily none of the riders were injured.
American Hayden was taken out in the second corner by Alex de Angelis, who put fellow American Colin Edwards on the ground in the same incident.
Hayden was devastated by the crash: “Turn one and two here is really tight and everybody was pushing hard, and out of the corner of my eye I see this fruity rainbow helmet coming and I thought ‘this isn’t going to work’,” he said. “I thought I cleared it but just as I entered the corner I felt something pull my bike down. It was a really frustrating day for us because we made some good progress this morning and I felt really good – I know it was going to be a tough race but I was really looking forward to it and a good result, I thought it was going to be fun. It was going to be a solid race and it’s unfortunate but I’m all okay and we just wait for Portugal.”
MOTOGP RACE RESULTS
1. Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha), 28 laps
2. Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha), -2.416 seconds
3. Dani PEDROSA (Honda)
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Honda)
5. Loris CAPIROSSI (Suzuki)
6. Toni ELIAS (Honda)
7. Mika KALLIO (Ducati)
8. Marco MELANDRI (Kawasaki)
9. Chris VERMEULEN (Suzuki)
10. James TOSELAND (Yamaha)
11. Aleix ESPARGARO (Ducati)
12. Randy DE PUNIET (Honda)
13. Niccolo CANEPA (Ducati)
14. Gabor TALMACSI (Honda)
15. Alex DE ANGELIS (Honda), DNF, crash
16. Colin EDWARDS (Yamaha), DNF, crash
17. Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati), DNF, crash