Jorge Lorenzo arrives at San Marino for the Misano Grand Prix, Round 12 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship, with seven out of 11 wins under his leathers.
And when the Fiat Yamaha rider didn’t win, he was on the podium. He leads Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa by 68 points as both Spaniards continue to battle for points.
Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, and Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner hold the fourth and fifth spots in the championship, respectively. In fifth with 114 points is nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, who lives only a few miles from Misano. He stated he’s still not 100-percent fit since breaking his leg at Mugello, but VR 46 is excited about a home race.
Valentino Rossi says: “Of course it’s my home race and it’s near my house so it’s always very special to race there, in front of all of my fans. I have won there the last two years but this year we come in slightly different circumstances. Still, we will be trying our hardest and I really hope I can give the fans a good show!”
It’s shaping up to be another exciting weekend of MotoGP competition. To keep you going until the action starts at Misano, here’s some rider statistics and facts heading into San Marino:
- Jorge Lorenzo won the 250cc GP at Misano three years ago from pole. In 2008 Lorenzo arrived at Misano following a period in which he had suffered several painful crashes and gone seven races without a podium finish, but finished second in the MotoGP race to teammate Rossi. Last year was a repeat of the 2008 result, with Lorenzo finishing a couple of seconds behind Rossi.
- Dani Pedrosa’s third place finish last year at the San Marino GP was his first podium finish at the Misano circuit. He did not finish the first lap at Misano in 2007, as he was knocked off by De Puniet at the first left hand bend. In 2008 he was the first Honda rider across the line in fourth place.
- In 2007 at Misano, Casey Stoner did the clean sweep of pole position, start to finish race win and record lap. He again qualified on pole in 2008 but crashed out whilst leading on lap eight. Last year the San Marino Grand Prix was one of the races that he missed suffering from ill- ness.
- 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. In 2008 in his first race at the circuit on a MotoGP machine, he qualified down in 14th place on the grid but finished eighth after running as high as fifth in mid-race. Last year at Misano he had his first race using new Ohlins suspension and finished fourth after qualifying down in eighth place on the grid.
- Valentino Rossi has won at Misano for the last two years; last year he also qualified on pole and set a new lap record. In 2007 Rossi retired on lap five at Misano with mechanical problems.
- Nicky Hayden finished 13th at Misano in 2007 after qualifying on the front row and then running into the gravel on the first lap to avoid the De Puniet crash. In 2008 he missed the race due to injuries from a crash whilst riding a Supermoto bike, which were made worse by a big crash during practice. Last year on the Ducati he qualified sixth and was con- fident of a good result, but got knocked off by Alex de Angelis at turn 2 on the first lap.
- Ben Spies competed in World Superbike at Misano last year; he won the first race, which was a flag-to-flag race with riders changing bikes. In the second race he was ninth after suffering mechanical problems from the start. Spies’ second place finish at Indianapolis is the best result of the year by a Rookie, best result of the year by a non-factory rider and best result by an American rider since Colin Edwards finished second at Donington last year.
- Randy de Puniet finished 12th last year at Misano, after running off the track on the first lap to avoid fallen riders and re- joining the race at the back of the pack. In his previous two appearances at the circuit in 2007 and 2008, he had crashed on the first lap on both occasions.
- 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. In 2008, the San Marino GP was one of his better weekends riding the factory Ducati, he ended the first lap down in sixteenth place but worked his way through the field to finish ninth. Last year on the Kawasaki he finished eighth.
- Up to last year, Colin Edwards’ race performances at Misano have exactly equaled his qualifying results; in 2007 he qualified ninth and finished ninth, in 2008 he qualified tenth and finished tenth. Last year he was an innocent victim of Alex de Angelis’ crash on the first lap.
- Misano is one of Marco Simoncelli’s least successful circuits and his sixth place in 2008 is the only time that he has finished in his three GP starts there in the 250cc class. In 2007 he retired from the race after just three laps and last year he crashed on lap thirteen while battling for the lead.
- Hector Barbera has a great record in the intermediate class at Misano with three successive podium finishes, including a win in 250 last year.
- Loris Capirossi is the only current GP rider to have raced in a Grand Prix on the previous track configuration at Misano. Since the track has been re-configured his best results have been fifth on a Ducati in 2007 and fifth on the Suzuki last year, which equalled his best result of 2009.
- Aleix Espargaro finished 11th last year at Misano, in only his second ever race in the MotoGP class.
- Mika Kallio’s seventh place finish last year at the San Marino Grand Prix, riding the factory Ducati, was his best result of 2009 and is the only time he has man- aged to finish a GP race at Misano.
- Alvaro Bautista won the 250cc GP at Misano two years ago after starting from 11th place on the grid. He had another podium last year, finishing third, following another disappointing qualifying, resulting in him starting from eighth place on the grid.
- Hiroshi Aoyama qualified on pole and finished fourth at Misano last year on his way to winning the 250cc world title.
- Toni Elias has put in three good performances at Misano in the MotoGP class; in 2007 he was seventh still suf- fering pain from the leg he had broken at the Dutch TT, in 2008 he was the first Ducati rider home in third and last year he was the first non-factory rider across the line in sixth. Elias has won the last three Moto2 races – the first time in his career that he has taken three successive GP victories.
- Andrea Iannone’s sixth place finish two years ago is his best finish at Misano from three starts in the 125cc class. Last year he crashed at the final corner when battling with Pol Espargaro for the race victory.
- Julian Simon won the 125cc race at Misano last year on his way to winning the world title. His second place finish at Indianapolis equaled his best result in the Moto2 class, which he achieved earlier in the year, at Le Mans.
- Yuki Takahashi finished second at Misano two years ago, one of his three podium finishes during his final year competing in the 250cc class.
- Gabor Talmacsi qualified on pole, won the race and set a new lap record in the 125cc class at Misano in 2008.
- Marc Marquez has finished fourth for the last two years at the Misano race.
- Nico Terol’s victory at Indianapolis gave him back-to-back Grand Prix wins for the first time in his career. Terol finished second last year at Misano.
- Pol Espargaro was leading the 125cc GP last year at Misano going into the final corner, when he was knocked off by Iannone.
- Bradley Smith has finished on the podium for the last two years at Misano; second in 2008 and third last year from pole position.