Dani Pedrosa has taken an unbelievable victory at the Misano World Circuit after rocketing his way from eight position on the grid to beat the Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in a nail-biter of a race. Pedrosa’s victory means MotoGP has had eight different winners in 2016 and this is the Spaniards first victory since Motegi in 2015.
Track Temperatures close to 50° greeted the riders as they took there place on the MotoGP grid which meant the race was going to be tricky and a big decision would have to be made on what tyres to use. Rossi and Lorenzo opted for a medium front and a medium rear but the Honda boys took a different approach with Dani Pedrosa choosing the soft front, medium rear and teammate Marc Marquez surprisingly opted for the hard front and medium rear.
It was Lorenzo who got the best start of the main protagonists flying from pole and holding the lead heading into turn one with Italian teammate Rossi also getting a solid start who was then involved in a small tangle with Silverstone winner Maverick Vinales entering into turn one. Pedrosa got a fantastic start making his way from P8 on the grid to quickly get involved in the lead group which also involved championship leader Marquez and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.
After a heated first few laps with many riders in the group exchanging places it was The “Doctor” who took the initiative, making his way to the front of the race on the end of lap two by making his way up the inside of Lorenzo forcing the Spaniard wide and immediately the Italian opened up a gap. Meanwhile in the battle behind Marquez had made his way past Vinales, distancing the Suzuki rider and subsequently started to close the gap to Lorenzo up ahead. Pedrosa quickly made his way through Dovizioso first then Vinales and instantly set the new lap record for the Misano World Circuit.
Soon the Repsol Honda man closed up on his teammate Marquez and made a very easy move with very little response suggesting the tyre choice for Marquez proved incorrect and the Catalan rider was unable to fight back. Pedrosa however was on a charge and the Spaniard set a series of lap records on his way to reeling in Lorenzo and Rossi. The ‘Baby Samurai’ sliced his way through Lorenzo and was now setting his crosshairs on race leader Rossi subsequently sitting up the Italian and promptly started to open up a gap on the helpless Yamaha rider in his own backyard.
In the end, Pedrosa cruised to his first victory of the season and with a healthy margin over second place Rossi, this could be the kick start the Honda man needed. Commenting after his victory Pedrosa admitted that he was worried and nervous this morning “I was worried at the start of the race because I’d never used this tyre in the hot conditions – only in the morning. But my feeling was good. On the start grid I was a bit nervous knowing I was the only one of us with that tyre choice but once I started I knew it was better for me.
Valentino Rossi rounded out a strong weekend in second place and scored 20 all important points to the championship. Talking to MotoGP.com after Rossi admitted “I think it was a good weekend and we worked well on the bike.We were able to improve and we made the right tyre choice for the race”. Commenting on how the race went VR46 said It was difficult and demanding physically. I could do great pace and stay around one second ahead and control that pace, and lap by lap I was more and more positive about the end, but after Pedrosa arrived…he was just faster. I tried to resist but he arrived with seven laps to go. I tried to make a lap behind him at the maximum but it wasn’t my pace; he was too strong. But it was a great race and a very good weekend.
Pole man Lorenzo consolidated third place on the second of the Movistar Yamaha machines finishing 4.3 seconds behind Pedrosa. Talking afterwards he congratulated Dani on the victory “Today was Dani’s day and he had everything perfect. He rode unbelievably. He really deserved this victory because he’s fought a lot during this period and it’s been a tough time. The Spaniard also talked about how his race went I tried all race to close the gap but today wasn’t my day. They were faster and I just have to accept it. In some corners I had some trouble but by the end the bike was working quite well but I can’t be really disappointed because I’m on the podium and I did my best today.”
Championship leader Marquez completed a tough weekend in fourth position and will be hoping to bounce back in his home race at Aragon in two weeks time. Maverick Viñales completed the top five, beating home rider Dovizioso and temporary teammate Michele Pirro who finished sixth and seventh respectively. Cal Crutchlow had a solid ride to finish as top independent rider in eight with Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro crossing the line in ninth, it was a fantastic showing from Alvaro Bautista in Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s home race as the Spaniard completed the top ten.
Danilo Petrucci completed a quiet weekend in P11 with Stefan Bradl, Hector Barbera, Eugene Laverty and Scott Redding rounding out the rest of the point scorers.
Motorland Aragon is the next track on the calendar for the MotoGP grid and with Marquez only 43 points ahead of Rossi were in for an exciting weekend.
Image Via: Motogp.com