Dovizioso delivers Misano masterclass
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) took an expertly-crafted victory in the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, picking his way into the lead and unleashing incredible pace to secure only the second ever win for Ducati at the venue.
His win also makes it three in a row for the Borgo Panigale factory, having won at Brno and teammate Jorge Lorenzo following that up with victory in Austria.
Lorenzo was the man on the chase at Misano, too, but there was late drama as the five-time World Champion slid out on the penultimate lap after dueling Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Marquez took second at the flag, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) putting in an impressive ride to take third and come home as top Independent Team rider.
It was polesitter Lorenzo who shot out ahead and got the holeshot – as the number 99 is oft to do – but Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) kept second from second on the grid as the Aussie got a good start. Marquez was the biggest winner off the line, moving up from fifth after a crash in qualifying to slot into third, but he wasn’t there long…
Dovizioso struck quickly against the reigning Champion before picking off Miller, pushing hard to tag on to the back of his teammate as Marquez then sliced past the Aussie too – intent on keeping tabs on the Ducati duo at the front. Unfortunately, disaster struck a lap later for Miller as he slid out at Turn 14.
Back at the front, ‘DesmoDovi’ was honing in on Lorenzo and looking to make a move. With 22 laps to go the Italian did just that, slicing past at Turn 7. He then began to pull away as Marquez tagged on to Lorenzo in the battle for second, before the number 93 then shot past with 14 to go as the number 99 headed a little wide. The gap? 1.4 seconds to the Ducati ahead.
Marquez, however, wasn’t able to cut down the gap – and a number of laps later, he was under attack. Lorenzo made it through at Turn 8 and lit the touch paper on a few spectacular exchanges between the two, but to no avail and he settled back into third to prepare another attack. Trying again a lap later but not making it through, the ‘Spartan’ then switched tactics and went for it at Turn 12.
He’d prepared the move with a couple of feints beforehand, but this time he made it stick. From there it was time to put the hammer down and Lorenzo set about cutting the gap to his teammate. Tenth by tenth, the Spaniard was reeling him in – and the gap went back down to 1.3 seconds. Dovizioso began to respond, but drama suddenly hit the front on the penultimate lap. Pushing and pushing, Lorenzo suddenly slid out of second.
That left ‘DesmoDovi’ in free air at the front to take his first ever win at the venue, having managed the race to perfection. Marquez took second and extended his Championship lead, with Crutchlow’s impressive pace and race rewarded by a podium after the late drama.
Andrea Dovizioso saying, “I wanted this win so badly, because here at Misano Ducati and I have always struggled in recent years. In the test in August however we realized that we had made an important step forward and we could be competitive in the race. We worked really well during the weekend, in very different conditions, but both Jorge and Marc are very strong here so to win I had to do a perfect race. I started off in the right frame of mind, fully focussed on the race strategy, and when I took the lead, I pulled out a small advantage and then managed the situation until the finish. I’m really pleased, because winning here at Misano was very important for Ducati but also for me. Years ago it seemed like an impossible dream, but now we’ve done it and it fills me with so much satisfaction.”
Crutchlow had pulled free of a squabble and sliced past Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) to get into the position to try and close in on the then-leading trio, and more than made amends for a late crash in qualifying. Rins, meanwhile, impressed on the softer compound rear tyre to get well in the initial fight and then hold great pace to the flag, not able to stay ahead of Crutchlow but nevertheless holding station in the top five until Lorenzo’s late crash saw him take fourth.
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took fifth after dropping back slightly from a front row start and suffering a more difficult race, holding off some steady pressure from Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), who took sixth.
For Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), it was a difficult Sunday at home. Missing the race through injury last season – as his special edition ‘Back to Misano’ helmet attests – the ‘Doctor’ had higher hopes for the race that takes place so close to his home town of Tavullia. He took P7, retaining his qualifying position by the flag. Compatriot Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) also had a tough weekend, and came home eighth.
Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) continued his good run of recent form and took P9, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completing the top ten ahead of Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing). Petrucci had a difficult race day and was also given a 1.1 second penalty for cutting a corner early on.
Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) beat Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) to the honour of top rookie and P12, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) taking points for Noale factory Aprilia on home turf in P14, just ahead of Ducati Test Team wildcard Michele Pirro.
Behind them? Lorenzo had remounted and dueled Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) to the line, but the Brit was just able to stay ahead by a tenth.
That’s it from a dramatic weekend at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Next we return to MotorLand Aragon and home turf for Marquez, Lorenzo and Viñales, leaving Dovizioso and Rossi behind enemy lines. After three Italian wins over the three classes at Misano, can the Spaniards fight back? Find out in a fortnight.
MotoGP Race Results
- Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 162.6 42’05.426
- Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 162.4 +2.822
- Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 162.1 +7.269
- Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 161.7 +14.687
- Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 161.6 +16.016
- Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 161.5 +17.408
- Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 161.4 +19.086
- Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 161.2 +21.804
- Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Angel Nieto Team Ducati 161.1 +23.919
- Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 160.8 +27.559
…18. Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 159.4 +50.593
- Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 221
- Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 154
- Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 151
- Jorge LORENZO Ducati SPA 130
- Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 124
- Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 119
- Johann ZARCO Yamaha FRA 110
- Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 110
- Andrea IANNONE Suzuki ITA 92
- Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 79
- Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 76
- Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati SPA 64
18. Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 61
Moto2: Bagnaia was inch-perfect at home
Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) converted pole position into his sixth Moto2 win of the season at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini to extend his Championship lead over Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to eight points, with the Portuguese rider fending off Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) on the final lap as the German secured his maiden Grand Prix podium in third.
Bagnaia got the launch off the line and grabbed the holeshot, from which he never looked back. Compatriot Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) was his closest challenger in the opening exchanges, keeping the gap to around one second, but the older Italian couldn’t maintain the pace and eventually fell into the grasp of the chasing duo of Oliveira and Schrötter – the two locked together for the entirety. By this time, Bagnaia had a three second gap at the front and that’s the way it remained until the chequered flag – perfection from ‘Pecco’ on home soil.
Despite the best efforts from Schrötter, including an ambitious lunge up the inside at Turn 14 on the final lap, Oliveira minimised the damage done in the overall standings to take a vital P2. Schrötter finally got the podium monkey off his back in P3, with Pasini holding off a late challenge from Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) to take fourth on home soil and the Spanish rookie rounding out the top five.
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) fought back from P13 on the grid to take sixth at his home GP, with Fabio Quartararo (+ Ego Speed Up Racing) taking seventh, just a slender 0.066 ahead of Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder in eighth. Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto3) looked set for a top six at Misano but the Spaniard was forced to drop one position to Baldassarri after exceeding track limits. The Italian was over three seconds behind at the time, ultimately making it P9 for Navarro at Misano.
As he continues to recover from injury, Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) earned a fantastic top ten in P10, with 11th place Simoe Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) leading Remy Gardner (Tech 3 Racing), Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) and Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) over the line in P12, P13 and P14 respectively. Replacement rider Jesko Raffin (Temporary Lavorint SAG Team) managed to grab the final point scoring position in P15, a solid result for the current FIM CEV Repsol Moto2 European Championship leader.
Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Augusto Fernandez (Pons HP40) crashed at Turn 14 on the opening lap, the latter tagging his compatriot. Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) also crashed out of the race – riders ok.
Romano Fenati (Marinelli Snipers Team) was shown the Black Flag for irresponsible riding in an incident with Stefano Manzi (Forward Racing Team). Following a later hearing, Fenati was subsequently suspended from the next two races. Manzi, meanwhile, was also penalised for irresponsible riding but in an earlier incident with Fenati at Turn 4. Manzi has a six-place grid penalty for his next event.
Bagnaia extends his lead in the Championship after a sublime win on home soil, but Oliveira is still right there with him as the Moto2 title race amps up on the road to MotorLand.
Moto2 Race Results
- Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) KALEX 41’02.106
- Miguel Oliveira (POR) KTM +3.108
- Marcel Schrötter (GER) KALEX +4.094
Moto3: Dalla Porta took his first ever GP win
Italian claims first Grand Prix victory on home soil as Bezzecchi crashes out of the lead
In a drama-filled Moto3 race at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) secured a phenomenal debut Grand Prix victory, beating the two Del Conca Gresini Moto3 machines of Jorge Martin and Fabio Di Giannantonio on the run to the line. They completed the podium as the Championship got another shake up when Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrüstelGP) surrendered his lead, crashing on the penultimate lap.
The lightweight class race started in dramatic fashion as a huge crash unfolded on the exit of Turn 16 on Lap 2. After being passed by Martin, Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) highsided, leaving Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing), Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) with nowhere to go as the five riders all went down. All walked away, with Canet and Sasaki going to the Medical Centre for a checkup. Both were declared unfit, Canet for a left shoulder injury Sasaki for a broken arm.
This left a group of five at the front, led by Bezzecchi, with Dalla Porta, Martin, Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) and Di Giannantonio in hot pursuit. The paint swapping then commenced, with Dalla Porta showing his strength was down the back straight and into the fast sweep of left handers, getting the better of his compatriot Bezzecchi there on numerous occasions. ‘Diggia’ made his way to the front from fifth, but none of the top five could make the break or hold the lead for much more than a single lap.
With little over two laps to go, Di Giannantonio misjudged the braking zone heading into the tight T14 – narrowly avoiding Bezzecchi and Dalla Porta as he ran in too hot up the inside – but drama was avoided there until race leader Bezzecchi was too eager on the gas coming out of Turn 15. The Italian was flicked off his KTM as he crashed out of contention with a just over a lap to go.
This left Dalla Porta in charge on the final lap and despite the best efforts of Di Giannantonio at the final corner, lunging up the inside of his compatriot, the Leopard rider won the drag to the finish line to take his maiden Grand Prix win, made ever sweeter on home soil. Martin managed to out-run teammate ‘Diggia’ to the line to take a vital second, the latter settling for third at his home GP, with Rodrigo finishing 0.822 off the win in fourth.
Fifth was Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrustelGP), the Czech rider doing an incredible job to avoid the pile up on lap two to lead sixth place Albert Arenas (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) over the line. Sky Racing Team VR46’s Dennis Foggia crossed the line seventh on home soil, his best result of the season, with Darryn Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) getting his second top ten of the year so far in eighth. Andrea Migno (Angel Nieto Team Moto3) grabbed his best finish since Mugello in ninth, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) rounding out the top ten in front of his home fans.
Fellow Italian Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) was P11, with Adam Norrodin (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia), Vincente Perez (Reale Avintia Academy 77) – his maiden Grand Prix points – and rookie Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) completing the point scoring positions at the San Marino GP.
After a dramatic Moto3 race, it’s advantage Martin by eight points in the title hunt as we head MotorLand Aragon for Round 14. Can he hang onto it on home turf?
Moto3 Race Results
- Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA) HONDA 39’38.684
- Jorge Martin (SPA) HONDA +0.058
- Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA) HONDA +0.122