Marquez Wins Classic at Rain-Hit Misano

Marc Marquez took an extraordinary victory in the San Marino Grand Prix which saw constantly changing conditions and multiple bike changes. The reigning champion took advantage of strategical blunders from Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo to take his fourth win of the year with British pair Bradley Smith and Scott Redding joining him on the podium.

The race began under ominous skies with light rain starting to fall and the white flags were on display immediately, giving riders the chance to change bikes. Michele Pirro took that opportunity, although that only came to pass because his first machine failed to start on the dummy grid. Polesitter Lorenzo had no such problems and led the early laps from Marquez and Rossi but as conditions worsened, the pitlane became a hive of activity.

Scott Redding, who had climbed to fifth after revelling in the slippery conditions, was among the first to change bikes on lap seven, largely because he had crashed moments earlier but he was soon joined by the rest of the field in switching machines, with the notable of exception of Bradley Smith.

Marquez briefly took the lead through the pit-stop phase but the leading trio were soon circulating together on wet tyres, Lorenzo leading his compatriot with Rossi chasing them down and at half distance, the home favourite sent the crowd into raptures by easing past Marquez. Excitement among the capacity crowd continued to build on lap sixteen when Valentino wrestled the lead from Lorenzo but an unexpected threat was starting to emerge. With the rain having stopped and the track drying, Smith, who had remained on slicks throughout, was now lapping up to eight seconds per lap faster. Loris Baz was doing likewise having recognised the change in conditions and switched back to his dry bike on lap fourteen.

Repsol Honda had spotted the danger and called Marquez in on lap eighteen but despite multiple pit-boards telling them to do so, the Movistar Yamahas stayed out until Lorenzo pitted on lap 20, Rossi following a lap later. The up-shot of it all was that Marquez inherited a seven second lead over Smith with Baz holding third ahead of Lorenzo and Redding who was one of the first to change bikes for the second time.

It appeared as though the championship pendulum would swing back towards Lorenzo but with six laps remaining, the Spaniard crashed out in dramatic fashion at turn fifteen, triggering another roar from the grandstands. Despite his delayed second stop, Rossi was off the hook in fifth and in position to strengthen his points lead.

Marquez calmly brought his RC213V home in the closing laps for a 49th career win ahead of a euphoric Smith and an equally elated Redding, the Marc VDS rider overhauling Baz with four laps to go. Rossi was unable to catch the inspired Frenchman for fourth but still takes a 23 point lead away from Misano having held off Danilo Petrucci for fifth.

The Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso were seventh and eighth while Dani Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaro rounding out the top ten.



193. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team48:23.819
238. Bradley SmithYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+7.288
345. Scott ReddingHondaEstrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS+18.793
476. Loris BazYamaha ForwardForward Racing+26.427
546. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+33.196
69. Danilo PetrucciDucatiOcto Pramac Racing+35.087
729. Andrea IannoneDucatiDucati Team+36.527
84. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team+37.434
926. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team+39.516
1041. Aleix EspargaroSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR+39.692
1135. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda+41.995
1243. Jack MillerHondaLCR Honda+46.075
1363. Mike Di MeglioDucatiAvintia Racing+48.381
1425. Maverick VinalesSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR+52.325
1519. Alvaro BautistaApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+53.348
166. Stefan BradlApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+58.828
1769. Nicky HaydenHondaAspar MotoGP Team+1:02.649
188. Hector BarberaDucatiAvintia Racing+1:04.768
1950. Eugene LavertyHondaAspar MotoGP Team+1:05.677
2071. Claudio CortiYamaha ForwardForward Racing+1 Lap
2117. Karel AbrahamHondaAB Motoracing+1 Lap
NC44. Pol EspargaroYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+2 Laps
NC99. Jorge LorenzoYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+8 Laps
NC68. Yonny HernandezDucatiOcto Pramac Racing+19 Laps
NC15. Alex de AngelisARTE-Motion IodaRacing Team+19 Laps
NC51. Michele PirroDucatiDucati Team+19 Laps