Results and summary of an incident-packed MotoGP race at Misano:
Jorge Lorenzo has taken an otherwise easy victory in a bizarre and incident-packed race. Chaos at the start resulted in Dani Pedrosa being forced to start from the back of the grid, and with Pedrosa gone, there was no one left to challenge the Yamaha man. Lorenzo's win puts him in a very strong position for the championship, now leading Pedrosa by 38 points with five races left.
The events on the grid before the start would play a key role in the result. A problem with the bike of Karel Abraham saw the first start canceled with the red lights already holding the riders on the grid. The start was called off, though Jonathan Rea had already crept forward. The second attempt to start the race proved almost as troublesome; this time the victim was Dani Pedrosa, whose front wheel had locked on the grid, necessitating the bike being taken off the grid to have it checked. Removing the bike from the grid after the one minute board had been displayed means that the rider must start from the back of the grid, and so Pedrosa was directed to the rear of the grid once he finished the warm up lap. With Misano a crucial race for fuel consumption, race distance was reduced by one lap
When the lights finally went out at the second attempt, it was Jorge Lorenzo who got the drop. And with no competition, Lorenzo was gone. The Spaniard soon built up a gap, which he managed all the way home. It was a near-flawless display, the only error a big moment on lap 3, when he nearly completely lost the front. His lead was never in danger, and the win he secured extended his lead to 38 points over Pedrosa.
While Lorenzo was untouchable up front, behind him, things were not as clear cut. Valentino Rossi took advantage of the absence of Pedrosa and his second row grid position to get one of the best starts of his career, diving into 2nd in the first corner. He was followed by Stefan Bradl, the German rider putting in an outstanding display on the LCR Honda. Bradl hounded Rossi for two thirds of the race, before the LCR Honda man's pace started to flag. Rossi's, however, did not, an important step forward for the Italian, allowing him to score his second dry podium on the Ducati, this one much more in his own hands than the previous one at Le Mans. In front of his home crowd, many of whom had made the morning pilgrimage from Tavullia, and after such a long dry spell, it was gratefully celebrated, by both Rossi fans and Ducati fans alike.
Bradl's hopes of a podium faded after two this distance, the German falling back into the clutches of Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Dovizioso. Bautista, in particular, was impressive, making up for a slow start before charging through the field to battle for the podium. By lap 24 both Bautista and Dovizioso were past Bradl, and Dovizioso was closing on the San Carlo Gresini man. Dovizioso arrived just a fraction too late: in a last-minute do-or-die move, Dovizioso attempted to take Bautista in the final corner, running way wide on the exit but getting better drive. The two men crossed the line almost equal. Almost, but not quite, Bautista squeaking ahead of Dovizioso by just three thousandths of a second. It was an emotional podium for Bautista, his team and the crowd, seeing the San Carlo Gresini Honda on the podium at the home grand prix of their much lamented rider Marco Simoncelli, for whom the Misano circuit is named.
Dovizioso was disappointed in 4th, while Ben Spies came home in 5th, not what he had hoped for, but happy to have finished a race in one piece and recovered some of his confidence. Stefan Bradl eventually crossed the line in 6th, having lost a lot of ground in the last 8 laps. Nicky Hayden rode a brave race to come home in 7th, riding through the pain of a broken hand, while Jonathan Rea finshed his first ever MotoGP race just a few seconds behind Hayden, who he had set as his target for the race.
Dani Pedrosa's race was over before it even really got going. After picking his way carefully through the CRT riders, he passed Hector Barbera on the exit of Turn 6. On the entrance to Quercia, Barbera closed too hard on the brakes and touched Pedrosa's wheel, taking the Repsol Honda man out of contention entirely. Pedrosa's day ended in disaster, and the bad luck that seems to always keep Pedrosa from winning his first world title struck again. Now 38 points down to Lorenzo, Pedrosa will need help to take points from the Factory Yamaha man. In the absence of Casey Stoner, unlikely to return for at least two more races, it is hard to see who could do that for him. Lorenzo took a big step towards his second world championship at Misano.
|9||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||43'59.463||1'09.627|
|14||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||IODA-SUTER||43'22.121||1 lap|
|15||44||David SALOM||BQR||43'43.915||1 lap|
|41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ART||37'26.098||4 laps|
|35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||YAMAHA||6'25.782||23 laps|
|54||Mattia PASINI||ART||1'44.540||26 laps|