Dani Pedrosa successfully chased down Valentino Rossi to claim a stunning victory at Misano to make Grand Prix motorcycle racing history. The Spaniard returned to form in sensational style to become MotoGP’s eighth different winner in eight races, the first time such a sequence has occurred in premier class history.
After claiming a 1-2 on the grid in qualifying, many were expecting the two Movistar Yamahas to dispute the victory amongst themselves and initially, that was what we got. Jorge Lorenzo led away from pole position, streaking clear of Rossi on the opening lap, but the home favourite soon got on terms before an aggressive move on lap two saw him hit the front at turn fourteen.
Rossi established a one-second lead over his teammate who was starting to come under pressure from Marc Marquez but the other Repsol Honda was emerging as a threat, setting a succession of fastest laps. Pedrosa had started from the third row but by the end of lap six, he had overhauled Maverick Vinales for fourth with only his teammate and the factory Yamahas in front of him.
The lap record soon fell to Pedrosa and Marc Marquez soon dropped behind him with the 30 year old diving up the inside of the championship leader into turn fourteen while an identical move three laps later deprived Lorenzo of second. Rossi still enjoyed a one-second cushion but nothing was going to stop Pedrosa who obliterated the deficit before barging the Italian aside at Rio six laps from home.
With Rossi unable to give chase, Pedrosa eased to his first win since Sepang 2015 with Rossi comfortably holding off Lorenzo for third. Marquez came home a lonely fourth, losing seven points to his championship rival, while Vinales beat Andrea Dovizioso to fifth despite having to let the Ducati through at one stage for exceeding track limits.
Michele Pirro rounded off a fine weekend with seventh across the line with Cal Crutchlow seeing off Pol Espargaro for the honour of top independent rider. Alvaro Bautista took tenth for Aprilia but Alex Lowes couldn’t round off another impressive showing with points after crashing out on lap eight.
2016 GP TIM Di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini (Race Result)
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