Dani Pedrosa went on to claim his first back-to-back MotoGP victories, winning at Misano ahead of Championship leader and motorcycle racing rival Jorge Lorenzo and home favorite Valentino Rossi.
The Repsol Honda racer set a stunning race pace from the start and was almost 1.5 seconds clear of Lorenzo by only the third lap, as he set a lap record early on in the 28-lap contest.
Before the action had even begun to unfold however there were two fallers at turn one as Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati MotoGP Team) went down together. The American Ducati rider rejoined the race but later had to retire.
Pedrosa crossed the finish line in first position and exactly 1.9 seconds clear of Lorenzo, with Rossi just over a second behind his Fiat Yamaha teammate.
Lorenzo, MotoGP class leader, is now 63 points ahead of Pedrosa, with Rossi moving into fourth overall, only nine points behind Dovizioso.
Dani Pedrosa says: “There are no words to say how it feels after this victory – it feels like nothing. Still with my helmet on in Parc Ferme they told me about Tomizawa and I couldn’t react. It was a big shock, a big contrast for me. It’s so sad, terrible, and these things should never happen. As a person I can only say he was a very funny boy, always happy and making jokes, and as a rider he earned respect from everybody in a very short time, he was fast and brave. To lose two riders in a week is terrible.”
“Concerning the race, I want to say thank you again to my team for doing a great job. The whole weekend has been perfect: good practices, a very high pace during the race, my second win in a row and the fourth of the season.”
Jorge Lorenzo says: “I don’t have many words for the race on such a sad day,” declared Lorenzo. “I made a good start, but couldn’t keep close to Pedrosa. Second is good, we weren’t fast enough but for the championship it’s another important result and that is our target. As for Shoya, it’s a huge pity because he was a good guy and a strong rider. I am so sad and I just want to say how sorry I am for his family and friends. When this happens nothing else matters.”
Valentino Rossi says: “This was a great result for us, but when something so sad like this happens everything else goes to zero and the result doesn’t matter. I’m so sorry for Shoya because he was a strong rider but above all he was very ‘sympatico.’ He was very funny, always smiling and he always had nice things to say to everyone. He was also very young, with a great career ahead of him, so we are all very sad.”
Wilco Zeelenberg says: “Today was frustrating for Jorge because he is a winner but he knows he can’t afford to take risks, thinking about the championship. Pedrosa was very strong and we couldn’t catch him, so we will be working hard to try to find a way to get back to fighting with him at the next race. As usual Jorge kept his head and rode a sensible race to get as many points as he could and we are still on target for our goal. We would like to say how sorry we are about Tomizawa, he was clearly a huge talent who was destined to be here in MotoGP one day. This is the nature of our sport but today has reminded us all what can happen.”
Davide Brivio says: “It’s a very sad day for our sport, our thoughts go out to Shoya and to his friends, his family and his team. He was a very good guy. The race was very positive because Valentino was able to increase the pace and he was very fast and very consistent at the end of the race. The bike was working well, we did a good job and Valentino was happy which gives us good confidence for the next races. His pace was very close to the top and his physical condition seems to have improved. We’re looking forward to him being back to his very best. This was an important step for the bike and for the rider on our way to being back in contention for victories.”
Ben Spies says: “It was a tough race after I got shuffled back at the second corner. I struggled a little bit with front-end feeling but I had a good pace and by the time I got through everybody into sixth everybody else was ten seconds ahead. There was no sense in doing anything stupid but looking at the lap times I’m sure I had the pace to fight closer with Casey.”
“My goal was top six and that’s what I achieved so I can’t be too disappointed. I had top five pace and that’s better than being in the top six but not fast enough to be any higher. I want to express my sadness at the passing of Shoya Tomizawa. My thoughts a re with his family and friends. It’s another sad loss for our sport.”
Colin Edwards says: “It was a good race and another seventh has put me back in the top ten in the championship. I made a good start and managed to avoid any trouble at the first corner and I had a good early battle with Simoncelli. But I had the same problem I had all weekend and I was losing the front a bit on the brakes.”
“I was trying to ride aggressively and I was happy with my lap times but honestly, I thought the outcome was going to be a little better than seventh. When Ben came by he was able to just pull away from a little bit every lap. I tried my hardest to stay with him but once he’d gone I just settled for seventh. The race doesn’t count for much though when you hear the news about Tomizawa. My thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Herve Poncharal says: “Firstly, on behalf of everyone at Tech 3 Yamaha, I’d like to send our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Shoya Tomizawa. He was a great talent and a really good guy who will be missed by all of us in the racing community.”
“Looking at the race, what happened to Ben early on the first lap was crucial. Unfortunately he lost some places but once again he showed fantastic determination to recover even though this track is difficult to pass on. He got back to sixth but unfortunately he had no chance to catch Casey and that it is shame because without what happened on the first lap, I think Ben could have had a good race with him. But he scored another top six and again he was the best non-factory by a long way. I’m also really happy with Colin because he has been making a lot of progress recently and riding back to his best.”
Casey Stoner says: “I am very, very disappointed with our performance today considering the feeling we found yesterday after a few modifications. The feeling today was completely different from warm-up this morning. I tried to stay with Jorge in the race but I started to make mistakes because the front kept closing. It became a challenge just to make it to the end of the race and hold my position. This is not important today though considering what has happened. I am deeply saddened for Tomizawa, his family and everybody who worked with him. It is something truly terrible and it left me breathless, like a week ago. It was a pleasure to watch him ride and I was looking forward to see him have a great career.”
Nicky Hayden says: “This hasn’t been a great track for me over the last couple of years. I got quite a good start and made up some positions but on the exit of turn two when I got on the gas and opened up for the next turn I touched with Loris, who was closing his line a little. I’m sorry but it was a racing incident that can happen at any time and when you start so far back you tend to cross lines. The shifter was damaged and I had to come back in. All this is irrelevant though compared with what happened to Tomizawa. I am really sad, we have lost two riders in two weekends. My thoughts are with his family and his team but I think the whole paddock has been hit hard by this tragedy. At the end of the day we are all brothers here. We have lost a talented kid with a great personality. I loved his style, his determination and the smile he always wore.”
Vittoriano Guareschi says: “This was a very difficult weekend for a lot of different reasons. Firstly we are all feeling the pain and sadness from the loss of Shoya Tomizawa and on behalf of the whole team I would like to pass our condolences to his family and to his team. The race result obviously wasn’t good for us but it is secondary on a day like this. Casey started well but after a couple of laps he had to contend with a bike that did not allow him to run at the front because of a problem that has dogged him all year – front end feel. There’s not much to say about Nicky, he got a good start but unfortunately collided with Loris and his race was over in the second corner.”
Álvaro Bautista says: “It has now become a very difficult day and I don’t really know what to say. I had a good race, even though I had to avoid Loris and Nicky after they crashed and I lost my position. I tried to get in my rhythm as quick as I could because I knew I had a good pace. When I was catching the group in front of me I made a mistake and put the bike into neutral – so I lost some more distance on them. I concentrated hard and pushed to the limit and I managed to go faster than I had in practice and I caught the group up.”
“Once I was with them I knew I was faster so I got past them and pulled away. Today nobody crashed in front of me during the race so it was a true eighth position and I was very pleased with that. I was happy at the end of the race because the position was good and I was happy with the race-pace, but when we had finished the race I heard the news about Tomizawa and I am just so sorry for him and all his family. It is a hard day for all riders, I am sure he will stay with us always and I hope he is now in a better place.”
Loris Capirossi says: “I am very angry at what happened today because I was feeling very confident and the bike was good, so I thought we could have a competitive race. Now I have to have an operation and I hope I can be back for Aragon, but this is nothing compared to what happened in the other race. I want to send my condolences to Tomizawa’s family, this is a great tragedy and something that you never like to hear about.”
Tom O’Kane (Álvaro Bautista’s Crew Chief) says: “Firstly I want to say to Tomizawa’s family and friends that we all send our deepest sympathies – it’s a terrible thing that has happened and Álvaro was very upset when he heard the news at the end of the race. With regards to the race, he got a very good start off the line, but took a few laps to find his rhythm. Then it looked like he had a really fun race, he was chasing guys down and passing them with what looked like ease. His fastest lap in the race is the fastest one he has done all weekend and we as a team will be doing all we can to move him up in qualifying to see what he can do from the second or third row.”
Marco Melandri says: “There is nothing I have to say about today’s race. It is a tragic day.”
Marco Simoncelli says: “There is not much to say – it’s been a tough day and the race is insignificant. Two tragedies in a week is too much. Last Sunday a boy of just thirteen and today Tomizawa, who was only nineteen. Unfortunately this is the risk of racing motorcycles but when something like this happens it is simply terrible and I feel so sorry.”
Fausto Gresini says: “Today is a very sad and very tough day, when racing doesn’t feel like it should. I know just how hard it is to lose a rider in these circumstances and I know the pain that his family and all the guys on the team who worked with him are feeling right now.”
“There is little more to say. This is an extremely sad day. We knew immediately that the incident was serious but you always hope at times like this that there will be a miracle and the rider will get to his feet. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case today.”
Andrea Dovizioso says: “My thoughts are with Shoya Tomizawa. I was informed after the race and the news is like a slap in the face. Two tragic accidents in two races is so terrible and it reminds us how dangerous is our job. The safety commission has improved safety levels so much that we often forget this aspect. I’m so sorry for Tomizawa’s family. Having become a father I can understand that this is the worst thing that can happen for a family. Unfortunately we couldn’t do anything: these were two casualties, two accidents with a similar dynamic where the track-side barriers were not touched. This can happen and this is why our job is so risky.”
“Concerning the race, we did the maximum. The race weekend was so complicated but we succeeded in turning the bad results from qualifying into a good race. I’m not happy with the 4th position though because our target was the podium. Today the bike was working better and I also improved my riding – I rode differently from qualifying. We could race with a high pace and this is the important point. I was pushing so hard and, especially in the middle of the race, me and Valentino were putting in really fast lap times. I tried to catch Rossi but in the end I couldn’t make it. We will start for the next race from here: we were fast and now we need concrete results”.
Hiroshi Aoyama says: “The entire Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team and I are deeply sorry about the loss of Shoia Tomizawa, who succumbed to his injuries after a crash during the Moto2 race of the Grand Prix in Misano today.”
Randy De Puniet says: “I do not want to speak about me and my race. This weekend ended in the most horrible way. My thoughts go to Shoya and his family”.