After only four days break from the Red Bull Indy GP, riders and teams will be back on track for the Misano Grand Prix in San Marino, Round 12 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.
The 2.626-mile Misano track at San Marino, a 24-square mile country completely surrounded by northeastern Italy, is similar to Indy in flatness, but has its 16 turns tightly condensed, challenging the agility of both rider and motorcycle. Also, the longest straight is only 0.37 of a mile.
Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo enters Misano with 251 points after arriving on the podium all 11 of 18 races so far this year, which includes seven wins. The Spaniard’s record is 12-consecutive podiums if you include the final round at Valencia last year.
Lorenzo took second at Misano both last year and in his debut year with the premier class, and is coming off a third-place finish at Indy.
Jorge Lorenzo says: “We are going straight to Misano and I want to continue in the same way and get on the podium again. I’ve been second there for the last two years and I am feeling very motivated and looking forward to another good race. I hope the temperature is a bit cooler than in Indy because it was really too hot there. Last Sunday was my worst result this year, but I am still happy because it was still third and because it was very important for our goal, which is the Championship.”
After winning at Indy, Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa decreased Lorenzo’s lead, and now is 68 points behind. Pedrosa, who celebrated his third win of the season at Indy, finished third during last year’s Misano race, and fourth in 2008. He will be dueling with Lorenzo to be the first Spaniard to win at Misano.
As the two Spaniards battle up front, third and fourth spots in the championship are only separated by seven points. Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, has 126 points, and Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner is in fourth with 119.
Dovizioso has a best finish of fourth at Misano, and took fifth at Indy. Stoner won at Misano in 2007, and will be looking to regain some points after crashing at Indy, a track he called “too bumpy” and in need of repavement before next season. Stoner also missed last year’s round in Misano due to the illness he was struggling with, lactose intolerance.
The other tight race in the championship is for fifth, separated by only four points. Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi currently holds fifth with 114 points, but his future replacement Ben Spies is closing in.
Rossi has much luck at Misano, the Italian who lives only a few miles from the track winning there the last two years. Rossi, who will be riding for Ducati next year, finished in fifth at Indy.
Rossi’s future replacement, Spies, is coming off the best MotoGP weekend of his rookie career, having placed his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha on the pole at Indy, then finished in second.
The second of three Americans in the series, Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden, is just one point behind Spies. After placing his Desmosedici GP10 on the front row for the first time this season, Hayden could only finish sixth due to losing a knee puck on lap 3 of 28 at Indy. Hayden had a DNF at Misano last year, and didn’t start the race in 2008.
MotoGP says Randy de Puniet’s (LCR Honda) continuing recovery from his broken leg will take its next step, whilst rookie Marco Simoncelli and his San Carlo Honda Gresini teammate Marco Melandri will both want solid home results.
The third American competing, Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), is closely grouped with last year’s 250cc race winner Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar), and veteran Italian Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) is scheduled to become only the second rider in the 62-year history of GP racing to make 200 premier class starts.
MotoGP 1’34.746 – V. Rossi ’09, Yamaha
250cc 1’38.993 – M. Simoncelli ’08, Gilera
125cc 1’43.613 – P. Espargaro ’09, Derbi
1. V. Rossi, Yamaha
2. J. Lorenzo, Yamaha
3. D. Pedrosa, Honda
2010 MotoGP Point Standings (after 11 of 18 rounds):
1. Jorge Lorenz, 251
2. Dani Pedrosa, 183
3. Andrea Dovizioso, 126
4. Casey Stoner, 119
5. Valentino Rossi, 114
6. Ben Spies, 110
7. Nicky Hayden, 109
8. Randy de Puniet, 78
9. Marco Simoncelli, 63
10. Marco Melandri, 61
11. Colin Edwards, 57
12. Hector Barbera, 54
13. Loris Capirossi, 41
14. Aleix Espargaro, 39
15. Alvaro Bautista, 33
16. Mika Kallio, 31
17. Hirsohi Aoyama, 22