Sunny scenic Misano set the scene for the 900th intermediate class race and the landmark event was a win for the home team, with local favourite Luca Marini leading teammate Marco Bezzecchi across the finish line. The SKY Racing duo provided some solid entrainment but Marini repeatedly proved to be the fastest of the duo to climb the top step of the podium. With Marc Marquez stuck in front of the TV, Enea Bastianini did his best to provide material for the highlights reel and eventually made it an all-Italian podium in Misano.
With theoretical poleman Sam Lowes starting from pitlane and assigned poleman Remy Gardner ruled out of the race by a heavy crash in Warm Up, pole did not seem like a good omen but Marini accepted the challenge and headed an all Italian front row with Bezzecchi and Bastianini. Marini made a good start, while Bastianini immediately swept past Bezzecchi into turn one but the SKY rider retaliated soon after to chase down his teammate. A fast starting Marcel Schrotter tagged along to the leaders, the four men stretching a bit of a gap to the chasers, with Fabio Di Giannantonio leading a sizeable group seven tenths behind. However, the scrap between Bastianini and Schrotter dropped them into the clutches of the chasing pack and allowed the SKY duo to escape by over a second by lap four.
Marini was enjoying the clear air at the front and Bezzecchi kept close but not close enough to mount a serious attack. Bastianini had distanced his pursuers by lap six but could not match the pace of the two men ahead and the gap grew to almost two seconds. By lap nine, Bezzecchi’s charge seemed to be losing steam and it allowed Marini to escape at the front, while Bastianini was very slowly reducing the gap to Bezzecchi. Xavi Vierge and Schrotter were not within striking distance behind the podium positions, with the only real action coming from Augusto Fernandez and Tom Luthi in the fight for sixth place. Meanwhile, Lowes’ charge from pitlane saw him joining the top 20 by halfway race distance.
As the race entered its latter half, the gaps between the podium positions were suddenly coming down, Marini down to an eight tenths advantage and the same gap keeping Bezzecchi ahead of Bastianini. However, Bastianini lost the front at turn 8 and only a miraculous save kept him in the race but dropped him over two seconds back on the SKY duo with ten laps remaining. Without the worry of Bastianini, Bezzecchi was reeling in his teammate and a false neutral at turn 14 for Marini allowed his teammate to take control of the race with seven laps remaining. Marini quickly recovered to glue his machine to Bezzecchi’s but bided his time for an attack. The time came at turn 8 with five laps remaining but Bezzecchi hit straight back to finish the lap in the lead. With the SKY men continuing to lunge on the inside of each other at every opportunity, Bastianini found himself within a second of the leaders once again and bringing Vierge with him too.
Marini started the final three laps in the lead and a few twitchy moments for Bezzecchi slowed his charge for a bit but he could not rest for long as Bastianini was immediately on his tail for the final lap. The Italtrans rider gave his best but was not close enough in the end and there was no change in the podium order at the checkered flag. Vierge made do with a solid fourth place, while a late crash for Schrotter meant that Fernandez inherited fifth, after getting the best of Luthi and Di Giannantonio. Another later crash from Tetsuta Nagashima meant that Lowes snatched a fairly impressive eighth place at the end of a busy recovery ride. Aron Canet and Joe Roberts completed the top ten from pretty lowly starting positions.
Marini’s home victory extends his advantage to 17 points from Bastianini, with Bezzecchi ten points back. With Martin missing out on the action due to a positive Covid-19 test, the Spaniard drops to fourth in the standings, 33 points down on the leader.
|7||21||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Speed Up||+9.971|
|9||44||Aron Canet||Speed Up||+17.036|
|13||19||Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Kalex||+21.946|
|14||24||Simone Corsi||MV Agusta||+22.005|
|17||62||Stefano Manzi||MV Agusta||+27.442|
|45||Tetsuta Nagashima||Kalex||1 Lap|
|55||Hafizh Syahrin||Speed Up||4 Laps|
|23||Marcel Schrotter||Kalex||7 Laps|
|27||Andi Farid Izdihar||Kalex||9 Laps|
|2||Jesko Raffin||NTS||10 Laps|
|57||Edgar Pons||Kalex||13 Laps|
|9||Jorge Navarro||Speed Up||15 Laps|
|40||Hector Garzo||Kalex||19 Laps|