Valentino Rossi’s victory last year at Misano was his 68th victory in the premier-class of Grand Prix racing which saw him equal one of the most coveted and long standing records in the sport – Giacomo Agostini’s total number of wins in the premier-class. In 2007 Rossi retired on lap five at Misano with mechanical problems.
Jorge Lorenzo won the 250cc GP at Misano two years ago from pole and last year was second in the MotoGP race to team-mate Rossi which was a return to form after a period in which he had suffered several painful crashes and gone seven races without a podium finish. Following
his victory at Indianapolis Lorenzo will be aiming to score back-to-back MotoGP victories for the first time.
Misano is one of just three current circuits at which Dani Pedrosa has not had a MotoGP podium. The other two are Indianapolis and Phillip Island. Pedrosa did not finish the first lap at Misano in 2007 as he was knocked off by De Puniet at the first left hand bend. Last year he finished fourth when having his last race on Michelin tyres.
Andrea Dovizioso retired from the 250cc race in 2007 at Misano with mechanical problems after leading the race across the line for the first seventeen laps. Last year he qualified down in 14th place on the grid but made his way up to fifth by the middle of the race only to fade back to eighth by the end.
Colin Edwards’ race performances at Misano have exactly equalled his qualifying results; in 2007 he qualified ninth and finished ninth, last year he qualified tenth and finished tenth.
Alex de Angelis finished fifth in the 250cc race at Misano two years ago and last year crashed out of the MotoGP race on the second lap.
Loris Capirossi is the only current GP rider to have raced in a Grand Prix on the previous track configuration at Misano where he finished on the podium three times: in the 125cc class in 1990 and 1991, and in the 250cc class in 1993.
Marco Melandri finished fourth and top Honda rider at the San Marino Grand Prix in 2007 after having a big crash in free practice and qualifying down in 12th place on the grid. Last year at Misano he had one of his better weekends of 2008 riding the factory Ducati, finishing ninth after ending the first lap down in sixteenth place.
Chris Vermeulen’s second place in 2007 at Misano equalled his best ever dry weather GP result. He finished fifth last year after qualifying in seventh and then suffering a near highside on the first lap that dropped him down to thirteenth.
Nicky Hayden finished 13th at Misano two years ago after qualifying on the front row but had to run into the gravel on the first lap to avoid the De Puniet crash. Last year he missed the race due to injuries riding a Supermoto bike which were made worse by a big crash during practice. Hayden’s third at the Indianapolis Grand Prix was his first podium since he joined Ducati for 2009.
Randy de Puniet has failed to finish the first lap on both previous visits to Misano after qualifying well in fourth on the grid both times; in 2007 he crashed at the first left-hand corner and last year he crashed at the final corner of the first lap.
James Toseland’s sixth place finish at the Indianapolis Grand Prix equalled his best ever MotoGP result that he has now achieved on nine occasions.
Toni Elias has put in two good performances at Misano; in 2007 he was seventh still suffering pain from the leg he had broken at the Dutch TT and last year he was the first Ducati rider home in third.
Mika Kallio has not had a race finish in the previous two visits to Misano racing in the 250cc class. He had a high-sider with three laps to go in 2007 and last year collided with his team-mate Aoyama which ended both their races.
Gabor Talmacsi set a lap record last year at Misano on his way to winning the 125cc GP having qualified on pole position.
Aleix Espargaro finished thirteenth at Indianapolis on his debut riding a MotoGP machine to become the youngest ever Spanish rider to score points in the premier-class, taking the record from Dani Pedrosa. Espargaro retired from the 250cc race last year at Misano after qualifying on the front row for the first time in his GP career.