News 6 Sep 2010

MotoGP: Honda's Pedrosa victorious on sad day at Misano

Dani Pedrosa lead from start to finish at Misano on Sunday afternoon.

Dani Pedrosa lead from start to finish at Misano on Sunday afternoon.

Dani Pedrosa took his fourth win of the season in MotoGP today at the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, however there was a black cloud hanging over the whole Misano paddock after the tragic news of the death of Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa in the preceding Moto2 race.

Tomizawa, 19, and from Chiba in Japan, was riding in third place in the Moto2 event when he crashed and brought down Alex de Angelis and Scott Redding. The CIP Technomag rider was immediately transferred to the nearby Riccione Hospital by ambulance, before succumbing to his injuries at 2.20pm local time.

In the MotoGP race, Pedrosa went on to claim his first back-to-back premier class victories on Sunday, finishing first at Misano ahead of Championship leader and rival Jorge Lorenzo and home favourite Valentino Rossi.

Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa set a stunning pace from the start and was almost 1.5s clear of Lorenzo by only the third lap, as he set a lap record early on in the 28-lap contest. Before the action had even begun to unfold however there were two fallers at turn one as Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) went down together. The American rejoined the race but later had to retire.

With Pedrosa pulling away and Lorenzo riding a relatively lonely race in second position the real battle was for the final podium spot, with Rossi attacking Casey Stoner as he sought a result that would please the home crowd. The pair swapped positions a couple of times before the Italian made a move stick, with Andrea Dovizioso also passing the Australian later on.

Rossi and Dovizioso pulled away as they contended for the honour of highest placing Italian rider, and it was a battle the reigning World Champion eventually won comfortably. Pedrosa by that stage had crossed the finish line in first position and exactly 1.9s clear of Lorenzo, with Rossi just over a second behind his Fiat Yamaha teammate.

“There are no words to say how it feels after this victory – it feels like nothing,” declared Pedrosa. “Still with my helmet on in Parc Ferme they told me about Tomizawa and I couldn’t react. It was a big shock, a big contrast for me.

“It’s so sad, terrible, and these things should never happen. As a person I can only say he was a very funny boy, always happy and making jokes, and as a rider he earned respect from everybody in a very short time, he was fast and brave. To lose two riders in a week is terrible.

“Concerning the race, I want to say thank you again to my team for doing a great job. The whole weekend has been perfect: good practices, a very high pace during the race, my second win in a row and the fourth of the season.”

Following Dovizioso and Stoner in fourth and fifth respectively were Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair Ben Spies and Colin Edwards, with Álvaro Bautista, Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) completing the top ten. Melandri’s teammate Marco Simoncelli crashed but rejoined the race to finish 14th, whilst Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) was forced to retire late on.

Lorenzo’s lead at the top of the standings is now 63 points over Pedrosa, with Rossi moving into fourth overall at nine points behind Dovizioso.

“I don’t have many words for the race on such a sad day,” declared Lorenzo. “I made a good start, but couldn’t keep close to Pedrosa. Second is good, we weren’t fast enough but for the championship it’s another important result and that is our target.

“As for Shoya, it’s a huge pity because he was a good guy and a strong rider. I am so sad and I just want to say how sorry I am for his family and friends. When this happens nothing else matters.”

Reigning world champion Valentino Rossi echoed his teammate’s sentiments.

“This was a great result for us, but when something so sad like this happens everything else goes to zero and the result doesn’t matter. I’m so sorry for Shoya because he was a strong rider but above all he was very ‘sympatico.’ He was very funny, always smiling and he always had nice things to say to everyone. He was also very young, with a great career ahead of him, so we are all very sad.”

Toni Elías won from pole position at Misano on Sunday in the Moto2 Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini to extend his Championship lead to 83 points, achieving his sixth victory of the season and his fourth in a row.

Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar) moved into second place in the standings with second position in the race, whilst Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Moriwaki) made a return to the podium.

Andrea Iannone led from the off but a jump start meant the Fimmco Speed Up rider had to take a Ride Through penalty early on, and that allowed the trio of Jules Cluzel (Forward Racing), Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) and Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP) to run at the front.

Pole starter Elías was not far off however and after just six laps the Gresini Racing man assumed the lead, with Simone Corsi (JiR Moto2) keeping tabs on him.

Tomizawa’s tragic crash, which also brought down Alex De Angelis (JiR Moto2) and Redding, left a gap in the field that was quickly filled by Simón.

As the battle continued at the front Simón went through on Corsi to move into second, whilst wild card Mattia Pasini and Sergio Gadea’s races ended early with crashes. Yuki Takahashi (Tech 3 Racing) was another faller as he pushed hard to maintain fifth position.

As Elías continued to lead comfortably the impressive Lüthi reeled in Corsi and passed him having been over six seconds adrift at one stage, and also having started from 15th on the grid. Iannone’s day was then capped off with a mechanical fault that forced his retirement as he sought a points-scoring finish further back. Xavier Simeon, a replacement for the injured Fonsi Nieto, crashed when flying high in seventh.

Elías crossed 1.969s clear of Simón with Lüthi securing his fifth podium of the campaign in third, and Elías now stands on 211 points in the Championship with Simón moving up to second on 128 and Lüthi remaining in third on 124.

“All I feel is sadness right now and my victory today is irrelevant,” declared Elias. “I was talking and joking with Shoya Tomizawa only yesterday in the Clinica Mobile and to think that he is no longer with us is truly awful. He has left an indelible mark on my life.”

Corsi took fourth, with Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing), Cluzel, Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP), Claudio Corti (Forward Racing) and Roberto Rolfo (Italtrans STR) completing the top ten.

Marc Márquez (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) took his sixth win of the season – his first since Sachsenring – at Misano on Sunday as he opened up a nine-point advantage over Nico Terol in the 125cc title race, with the Bancaja Aspar rider crossing the line in second position.

A poor start off the front row for Terol saw the Spaniard drop down to 12th as the race got underway, but he soon regained ground and within a few laps had recovered to slot into second behind early race leader Márquez.

Pol Espargaró had made a good start and led for a short while at the front, with Tuenti Racing teammate Efrén Vázquez aiding his cause by getting in front of Márquez. However, by only the third lap it was Márquez and Terol who were the leading two and they swapped first position for much of the 23-lap contest.

Espargaró, who had trailed Márquez by just five points going into this race, looked to be keeping up in third but the leading pair upped the pace midway through the race with Terol and then Márquez setting new lap records as they pulled away. Meanwhile Espargaró began to drop down the order.

With four laps remaining Márquez had opened up over a second on Terol and he maintained a healthy distance until crossing the finish line in first, 2.185s ahead of the Bancaja Aspar rider. A fine scrap for the final podium spot was won by Vázquez for his first top-three result since the opening round in Qatar.

Missing out on the podium having been involved in that battle were pole sitter Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar) who came in fourth, Sandro Cortese (Avant Mitsubishi Ajo) in fifth and Espargaró, who eventually crossed the line sixth as his title hopes were dealt a significant blow.

Márquez now has 197 points at the top of the standings with Terol on 188 and Espargaró 20 off the leader on 177.

Riders failing to finish the race were Khairuddin Zulfahmi (AirAsia – Sepang International Circuit Team), Luis Salom (Stipa-Molenaar Racing), Alexis Masbou (Team Ongetta), Giovanni Bonati (Junior GP FMI), Lorenzo Savadori (Matteoni C.P. Racing), Sturla Fagerhaug (AirAsia – Sepang International Circuit Team) and Luca Marconi (Team Ongetta).

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