Rossi revels in Italian renaissance after remarkable Misano victory
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 tire choice was similar to what the riders used during race simulations in yesterday’s Free Practice 4 session. Front tire 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 tire 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 tire Development Department
“As we expected the weather was warmer today, but the track temperatures weren’t high enough to influence a change in tire strategy for the riders, with almost everyone selecting the same tire combination that they used during their race simulations yesterday in FP4. I’m very happy with how our tires 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 realized 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.”