Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa became the eighth different MotoGP winner in eight races a fortnight ago taking a stunning victory at Misano, his 29th in MotoGP and the 52nd in his career, as well as the 120th for Honda since the start of the MotoGP era in 2002. Marc Marquez struggled with his front end but managed to score an important fourth-place finish, which allows him to keep an advantage of 43 points in the Championship standings
Dani’s choice of a soft-front and medium-rear Michelin tire combination proved to be the best one for today’s conditions and for his riding style, as it allowed him to charge through the field at an incredibly fast pace and to set a new track record of 1:32.979 (hours) on his way to the victory. Starting eighth on the grid, he was sixth at the end of the first lap and progressively improved his speed over the course of 22 laps, overtaking Dovizioso, Viñales, Marquez, Lorenzo and finally Rossi before crossing the line 2.8 seconds ahead of the Italian to became the fourth Honda rider to win a race this year.
Marc had a much tougher day as he struggled with his hard front tire, even if he was able to keep a similar pace to frontrunners Rossi and Lorenzo in the first third of the race. Nonetheless, when team-mate Pedrosa passed him on lap 14, he realized he couldn’t match his rhythm and wisely settled for the important 13 points that come with fourth place.
Ecstatic after the race, Pedrosa was quoted as saying, “It was a great race, and it has been a long time since I’ve had these feelings. Even I was surprised by the performance I put in today because I hadn’t expected to go so fast; we were fantastic. The key was the pace; I was able to fight my way through, especially in the final part, and being consistent allowed me to catch the riders at the front. It’s very nice for me to take a victory again, after all the effort made by those who have been with me in this challenging season so far: my family, my team and my fans. It has been very difficult, so I’m very happy for all of them.”
“Today, I enjoyed myself, although I was a little worried about the choice of front tire because I hadn’t used it in hot conditions. In the end we were focused and everything went very well; it was an opportunity we had to take advantage of, and I think we achieved a great victory,” he added.
Rossi meanwhile said, “I tried the maximum to race against Marquez. When I saw that my rhythm was enough to win I was very happy, but later Pedrosa arrived and he was too fast. I tried the maximum but there was no way, he had a better pace. Anyway, it’s second place. It’s a shame here in Misano, it’s a race I especially tried to win, but today it wasn’t possible. Thank you to all the fans that were at the track, it was great.”
Downcast, Lorenzo said, “I can’t be very happy, because I expected a bit more from the race. I tried hard for the victory but today I simply didn’t have the best pace. Especially Dani had a better pace and Rossi had one-tenth on some laps. Little by little they were going away, so I tried my best to stay there but they went ahead. Honestly they were faster.”