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Lorenzo Delivers with Masterful Misano Victory
Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo delivered a masterful performance today to win the San Marino Grand Prix in stunning form. The victory, his sixth successive Italian Grand Prix win, was delivered after a 28 lap race of inch perfect riding from the reigning world champion.
Starting from second on the grid, Lorenzo out dragged championship rival and pole sitter Marc Marquez to the first corner, taking the hole shot into turn one. He proved immediately impossible to follow, opening up a gap of just over a second on the first lap and keeping the pressure up as the race wound on. He was quick to build a comfortable gap to the chasing pack that was unbroken to the line, allowing him to claim his fifth Grand Prix win of the season.
Valentino Rossi initially dropped a couple of places to fifth off the start line but was quick to re-pass Aleix Espargaro on the first lap to slot into fourth chasing Marquez and Dani Pedrosa ahead. The Local hero was hot on the tail of Marquez and took advantage of an error by the young Spaniard to dive past up the inside and move into third place chasing Pedrosa. Unfortunately some issues with braking cost some valuable time and Marquez was able to re-pass, leaving Rossi in a lonely fourth position for the remainder of the race to the finish line.
Lorenzo's stunning victory moves him up into second place in the championship, tied on points with Pedrosa at 219, 34 behind Marquez with five races remaining. Rossi's fourth place finish keeps him in fourth place in the championship on 169 points, 23 ahead of Cal Crutchlow in fifth.
Position 1st- Time 42.39.802
"Luckily we improved the bike a lot in warm up, especially in braking so we improved the lap time and the pace quite a bit. I was convinced to follow my strategy of the last couple of races which was to try to break away and finally I could do it. The first two laps I had a big advantage so I had to keep pushing to maintain a distance because they never gave up and wanted to catch me. I'm happy, we recovered five points and we are closer to Marc. I need to be constant and try to win races and stay focused."
Position 2nd- Time +5.990
"All the weekend our performance was quite good, I stayed with the top three and I raised my level, especially in qualifying, I could push stronger with the new tyres and make the first row. The expectation for the race was very high, after the start the top guys were very fast but my fastest lap was close to theirs. Unfortunately after some laps I was in trouble in braking and entering corners. I was struggling in hard braking and made some mistakes going wide and step-by-step they pulled away. I made a small mistake on turn seven and lost two seconds and by then already I had too much disadvantage. It's a pity because we wanted to try for the podium here in Italy in front of all the fans in Misano. We hope the weather remains good for tomorrow as we have to try some new parts."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing - Team Manager
"Day number three here and an incredible race in Misano, our first seamless gearbox victory of the season. Yesterday we didn't really believe we could do this but after warm up we found a better package. Jorge felt it too and it gave him a lot of motivation. He pulled out the first four or five laps at an incredible pace and I think that made the difference towards the end of the race."
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing - Team Director
"It was a great work from Jorge and the whole team this weekend. We started on Friday with problems and have improved step by step in each session. This morning we found in the warm up the best solution to get the feeling back and then Jorge made the difference. He delivered an amazing output with 1.5 seconds after two laps, he maintained a constant pace and dominated the other riders. We were unable to get the podium with Vale. After yesterday afternoon we thought to have both riders on the podium but it was not to be. Tomorrow will be important to test the material we could not test at Brno."
Crutchlow battles to super sixth in San Marino
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow stormed back into the top six today at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli to remain firmly on course to be the leading non-factory rider in 2013.
And it was almost a double top 10 finish for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad, with rookie Bradley Smith missing out on claiming 10th spot by the narrowest margins at the end of a 28-lap race that was played out in front of a crowd of 50,949 fans.
Crutchlow bounced back from a tough home race at Silverstone earlier this month in typically determined fashion, the British rider brilliantly leading Stefan Bradl in fifth position for the majority of a race that took place in cloudy and windy conditions.
A faultless performance from Crutchlow seemed certain to be rewarded with a top five result, as he brilliantly defended from a hard charging Bradl right down to the final lap.
The German was not to be outdone though and a calculated move at Turn 8 dropped Crutchlow back to sixth. The British rider was unable to retaliate despite a determined late attack but Crutchlow's battling performance keeps the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in control of third spot in the all-important Team World Championship standings.
Today's result, which was a ninth top sixth finish of an impressive 2013, means Crutchlow remains comfortably the highest ranked non-factory rider in the World Championship standings on 146-points.
Smith was less than 0.2s away from continuing his outstanding run of top 10 finishes in his rookie premier class campaign. Locked in a fight for long periods with Andrea Dovizioso, Nicky Hayden and Michele Pirro, Smith almost overhauled the latter with a tremendous last lap attack.
Smith set his best lap of the race on the final lap but just couldn't find a way to make a clean pass on Pirro and he had to settle for 11th. The consolation though was the 22-year-old moved back into 10th place in the World Championship standings having joined Aleix Espargaro on 71-points
Position 6th - Time +22.599
"It is a shame that I lost fifth place on the last lap but it has been a very difficult weekend and I am happy to come away with this result. The top six is not what I am aiming for right now but I had no confidence with the bike all weekend, and it was important to get a strong finish. It was a very hard race because Stefan just sat on my back wheel from the first lap to the end and unfortunately he managed to find a way to pass me in the lasts corners. I tried my best to take fifth back but it wasn't meant to be, but I think the whole of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team showed a lot of fighting qualities this weekend. My crew have never given up and they have worked really hard trying to build up my confidence and I am grateful for their support."
Position 11th - Time +48.011
"The race pretty much panned out as I'd anticipated and I thought I'd stay close and race the Ducatis. I got an amazing start and that gave me a great opportunity to be in a battle but I just didn't have the pace throughout. I wasn't as fast as I'd hoped and again it was difficult at the start of the race on a full fuel load. But we have learned a lot all weekend and particularly in the race and now I am looking forward to tomorrow's test where we can try a few things to improve our package. Our setting right now is pretty good but I can improve my riding position. I don't think we are far away but small details can make a big difference when it comes to the race."
Hervé Poncharal - Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager
"We knew this weekend would be tough after such a difficult experience for both Cal and Bradley in Silverstone. Sixth place is not what we are looking for or what is the real potential of Cal. But he showed the whole race that he is a true fighter and it was unfortunate that Stefan was able to pass him right at the end. In the end it was a strong race and I want to thank Cal because he never gave up and as always he gave all he had, even though he has not been confident on the bike all weekend. Bradley had a tough weekend too. We knew Ducati would be strong here like always because they test on this track frequently and Bradley did a very good job. He set his fastest lap on the last lap and that shows there is still room for improvement but the whole team has demonstrated a lot of fighting spirit this weekend and I am proud of everybody involved. Finally I must pass on my congratulations to Jorge and Yamaha. Jorge was exceptional and he showed that this World Championship is not over yet. And I am also delighted to see the new YZR-M1 seamless shift gearbox make a winning debut, which bodes well for the future."
Dovizioso, Hayden eighth and ninth at Misano
The GP di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini was a demanding one for Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden who, after starting from the third and fourth rows, respectively, crossed the finish line in eighth and ninth places.
Considering their grid positions and the track layout at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, it was clear that the start would be very difficult for the Ducati Team riders, and that proved to be the case. The teammates made several early passes before beginning a battle with one another for eighth place. After twenty-eight laps, Dovizioso finished eighth, while Hayden had to settle for ninth.
Before heading home, the Ducati Team will return to action tomorrow for an official IRTA test at the same circuit.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 8th
"Obviously, we can't be satisfied with the result. I made a mistake on the start. Espargaro was in front of me and, unfortunately, I was distracted when he jumped the start. I lost many positions and some seconds in the early going because there were many of us trying to pass each other in the slow corners, so the first few laps were pretty challenging. Then I started to find my rhythm; I passed Nicky and thought I could do a faster pace, but I didn't have a great feeling with the front end of my Desmosedici. It's a shame because I had hoped to be able to fight for positions a bit closer to the front."
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 9th
"It's been a tough weekend and things certainly didn't get any easier today. When Espargaro jumped the start, I saw him out of the corner of my eye and delayed a little bit. I lost a few places on the run to turn one but was able to make up a couple of positions pretty quickly. Then it was a really difficult race for me, as it was very hard to change directions and stop. I was racing with Dovi, and at the end of the back straightaway, I lost the rear and ran off the track. The last few laps were pretty lonely after that. I made two mistakes?one at the start, one in the race?and they both hurt me. The pace hasn't been very good all week, and it's a shame because the team is working so hard."
Bernhard Gobmeier - Ducati Corse General Manager
"In the end, it was a disappointing weekend after it started quite well in the free practices, where we found a fairly good setup and race rhythm. Of course the starting positions on the grid after qualifying weren't too good, and we lost several positions at the start, which we could never really recover. We settled into a pace that was at times similar to that of the second group, but at the end, it was too much of a gap. Tomorrow we'll have a few more things to test, which should give us some more data for the development of next year's bike."
The Ignite Pramac Racing Team welcomes Yonny Hernandez
Starting from the official IRTA test, which takes place tomorrow at the Misano World Circuit, the Ignite Pramac Racing Team's Ducati Desmosedici GP13 will be ridden by Yonny Hernandez, currently in force with the Paul Bird Motorsport team, due to the fact that Michele Pirro will be involved in a series of tests with the Ducati Test Team from tomorrow onwards.
The collaboration between the Italian squad and the British team, which is willing to free Yonny until the return of Ben Spies, has made it possible to reach this agreement.
The Pramac Racing Team and Ducati wish to thank Paul Bird Motorsport and the Colombian rider for their availability.
Repsol Honda MotoGP
Marquez and Pedrosa seal eighth double podium in epic battle at Misano
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa have put on a wonderful show for the 50,949 strong crowd in San Marino today and clinched the team's eighth double podium of the season, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Pole man Marc dropped back at the start, losing two positions as Lorenzo took the lead and Dani moved into second, from fourth on the grid. Marc then made a small mistake on lap five which allowed Rossi to pass him and he slipped to 4th whilst Dani tried to stay with Lorenzo. On lap thirteen Marc passed Rossi and on lap eighteen he caught Dani and also passed him. Dani showed determination as he re-overtook Marc on lap 22 before Marc came back on the same lap and stole 2nd place.
Marc has stretched his lead over teammate Dani, but Lorenzo has closed the gap slightly. Marc now has 253 points with five races remaining, with Lorenzo in second, on the same points as Dani in third, with 219.
Marc Marquez 2nd Championship Standing: 1st - 253 points
"We've taken another 20 World Championship points today and, considering how the race went, I think that is a good reward! At the start of the race I knew that I had to be careful, but I made two mistakes and lost a lot of time with the second of those. Maybe I was lacking a little experience; it's my rookie season and it is normal to make a few errors. I also didn't feel completely comfortable with a full fuel tank; from the midway point onwards I felt a lot better. To finish second is a great result, even though Lorenzo has gained five points on us, we are an extra four ahead of Dani. We are happy and have a lot of motivation to keep fighting hard at Aragon!"
Dani Pedrosa 3rd Championship Standing: 3rd - 219 points
"I gave my all in the race today. I rode as well as I can ride, putting everything into every lap and trying to take every corner perfectly. Overall, this hasn't been our weekend, generally speaking, because I had a lot of grip problems with the rear tyre on every day of the GP. In the race today it was even more noticeable, so I couldn't have done things any better"