Valentino Rossi crossed the line in 5th to salvage 11 points in his Home Grand Prix the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini to extend his lead of the Championship to 23 points off Jorge Lorenzo who unfortunately crashed out on cold tyres after making a switch to Slicks for the second time Marc Marquez won the dramatic MotoGP™ race with Monster Tech3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith and Marc VDS’ Scott Redding 2nd and 3rd respectively joining the reigning sword Champuon on the Adriatic Rostrum without it’s hero
This was Marquez’s first ever victory in San Marino and his 23rd MotoGP™ victory after gambling in a flag-to-flag race that saw most riders pit twice due to the changing conditions. A record 92,000 fans at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli bore witness to an incredible spectacle but were denied a Valentino Rossi victory as the Italian crossed the line in fifth. Rossi managed to extend his lead in the championship standings to 23 points over teammate Lorenzo after the Spaniard crashed out of the race in second.
There was drama on the grid as drops off rain started to fall, riders setting off on their Warm Up lap with baited breath. Meanwhile, Ducati Team’s wildcard Michele Pirro had an issue with his GP15 and was forced to start from pit lane on his second bike, equipped with wet tyres.
The rest of the MotoGP™ field set off on slicks with Jorge Lorenzo setting a scalding pace from the start with a trademark launch off the line. Small battles emerged throughout the opening lap, but drama came as the white flags were flown on lap two. This signalled that all riders were able to come in and swap to their second bikes if conditions deteriorated.
Lorenzo forged ahead undeterred with Marc Marquez close behind, the duo able to break away from Valentino Rossi who struggled in the opening laps. All the while rained continued to fall, some riders pushed even harder in the conditions while other tiptoed around, waiting to follow their rivals into the pits. By lap six the pace had dropped by close to six seconds and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) found himself battling the Ducati Team pair of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, but the riders were visibly timid in the tricky conditions.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing’s Scott Redding had been involved in this battle for fourth, but on the seventh lap disaster struck as the Brit ran on and dropped his Honda. Determined as ever, he sprinted to his bike and dove into the pits for wet tyres. By this stage the majority of MotoGP™ riders had also opted for wet bike change, just the front three of Lorenzo, Rossi and Marquez staying out.
As in usual in racing, the top three all dove into the pits together, adopting the same strategy as your rival is often the safest option in unusual circumstances such as the San Marino GP. Even in pit lane there was drama as Marquez and Lorenzo almost collided, the Yamaha rider gesturing to Marquez to ‘stay calm’ as they exited the pits.
Check out the full MotoGP™ race results and the latest championship standings at http://www.motogp.com