Jorge Lorenzo was overjoyed after a dominant victory in the San Marino Grand Prix put him back in contention for the 2011 championship. With Casey Stoner a tired third, the Yamaha star cut his lead to 35 points with five races remaining.
The team were joined in the paddock by three-time world champion Wayne Rainey and Lorenzo was delighted to give him a victory to celebrate.
“Today has been an incredible day for us. I have delivered a good race; it was a very tough and long one. Most importantly we have won again and also reduced a little bit our gap to Casey. I want to dedicate this victory to Wayne who returned to Misano this weekend and I want to say thanks to all my team for their hard work. Now we have two weeks before Aragon, I hope to continue in this shape in my country. Tomorrow we will try the 1000cc Yamaha again; I am looking forward to riding my future bike. This has been one of the best days of my career!”
For the second race in succession, Ben Spies' chances were ruined at the start. The American fell from third to seventh early on and although he made it back past Valentino Rossi for sixth, Spies was left to reflect on a disappointing weekend.
“We started out with an ok set up but we didn't really go forward all weekend, struggling a lot with edge grip. I wasn't having a great feeling with the front either so we tried something new in warm up this morning which was honestly a disaster. We changed the front end of the bike dramatically before the race which proved to be good but took a few laps to get confidence in as it was such a big change. Once I got around Rossi I got more comfortable and was able to get to the back of Dovi and Simoncelli but was still struggling with edge grip and couldn't get close enough to strike. I tried as hard as I could but just didn't translate into top five this time. I need to say thanks to the team for all their hard work trying to solve the issues this weekend.”
Overall, today's result gives Yamaha renewed momentum heading into the closing races and Team Director Massimo Meregalli hopes to capitalise on that when MotoGP returns at Aragon.
“A brilliant victory today, Jorge ran an unbeatable pace; this is the best possible finish to the weekend. Unfortunately we couldn't find a really good set up for Ben here at Misano. He got good points finishing sixth which are important for the Championship. We'll go away now and look at the data to make sure we come back fighting in Aragon in two weeks time. I have to thank the whole team who have worked extremely hard in really hot conditions here to do the best they can for both riders.”