James Toseland finished a gallant tenth at a sunny and hot Misano after making a superb recovery from a chaotic start to the San Marino Grand Prix.
However his Monster Yamaha Tech3 teammate Colin Edwards was not so lucky with the Texas Tornado making an early exit in a wild turn one crash. Edwards was an innocent victim when hit from behind by Italian rider Alex de Angelis with Nicky Hayden also being bumped out of the race.
It was a frustrating outcome to a promising weekend with Edwards on the pace for top four place. It was the first time this season in which Edwards has not scored championship points and he has now slipped from fifth to sixth in the standings behind Andrea Dovizioso.
Toseland was also a victim of the messy first corner action which spread the field with the Briton settling in tenth position at the end of lap one after starting fourteenth. Toseland quickly matched his qualifying pace that showed he had the speed for a potential top six finish.
The race was watched by 55,000 spectators in glorious late summer weather with factory Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo finishing first and second.
Colin Edwards Speaks… DNF – 123 points
"I thought I had the pace to easily be fourth and maybe fight with Pedrosa for a podium but we are in Italy and occasionally you have to deal with an Italian rider who wants to be a hero and today that was De Angelis. Turn one at the start with seventeen bikes is not the place to be going at race pace and he was never going to make through there. Today De Angelis is the guy who needed to be wearing Valentino’s donkey helmet. I didn’t know what happened until I was sliding through the gravel. Turn one is the most dangerous time to crash with so many bikes around you, it is unacceptable. I’ve been fighting with Dovizioso in the championship most of the season and now he has ten points on me with four races to go. That’s racing."
James Toseland Speaks… 10th – 78 points
"The incident at turn one really spilt the pack and I saw it all unfolding and it was unfortunate for Colin and Nicky to go out like that. I am not pleased with tenth place but I am pleased about my lap times in the race. I was matching Dovizioso and Capirossi except for the last five laps because I chose the softer tyre at the rear. We changed to a softer fork springs at the front for the race which made the bike smoother over the bumps and without that turn one incident I think I had a chance of tagging along for a top six finish. I found it difficult to find a comfortable setting this weekend and we went in circles a little while trying understand the new front geometry with this set-up, but the guys in the team did a great job. At the end I could see Capirossi ahead at every corner so I knew I was doing a good pace so it is frustrating when you can’t be up there fighting for a better result."
Herve Poncharal Speaks… Team Manager
"It was a very disappointing day, Colin had the pace for at least fourth position although you have to see the chequered flag to get a result. Before the race I sat down with Colin and told him that it looks good for him but I was worried about the Gresini Honda riders who need to have good results. Alex de Angelis is a nice guy but this is not the correct way to go racing, he did not do it on purpose but this type of incident can be very dangerous. It is a pity because we have lost points in the team championship and now Colin is sixth in the riders’ championship. James lost ground early in the race but his lap times were very close to the battle for fourth and fifth place but he had too much ground to make up. Now we cross our fingers for better results in the final four races."