The 2015 San Marino Grand Prix at Misano Circuit Marco Simoncelli officially got underway Thursday with the pre-race press conference.A home race for nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, the Movistar Yamaha YZR-M1 pilot was joined by teammate Jorge Lorenzo; the reigning MotoGP Champion, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez; Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso; Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci; and E-Motion IodaRacing Team’s Alex de Angelis.
The 36-year-old Rossi was the first to speak. He enters Misano MotoGP with a 12-point lead over Lorenzo after claiming the fourth win of the season at Silverstone two weeks ago. Rossi, whose hometown is only six miles from the San Marino track, is looking for back-to-back wins at Misano. He has claimed three MotoGP wins at the Italian circuit.“It’s a special place. Looks like this year also more; I expect a lot of people. I arrive in a very good moment for sure as I’m leading the rankings and also the victory in Silverstone creates more expectations,” Rossi says. “It will be a tough weekend, more than usual especially outside the track as II have a lot of people who want to come see me. We’ll try to manage that and stay concentrated. The important thing is a good job on track, it’s a track I like and usually our bike is very strong.”Lorenzo also has three MotoGP wins at Misano, including three straight from 2011-2013. Last year he finished second behind Rossi, and has never finished worse than runner up.“It is an amazing situation and a good opportunity for a special race, mainly due to the situation of the championship. But we’re also here in Italy and it’s the second home of Yamaha, but 25 points for the win is the same at every circuit and for me it’s another race like any other which we have to manage to get the best result,” Lorenzo says.The man in third, Marquez, trails Rossi by 77 points as he chases his third-straight MotoGP title. Marquez, who crashed out of Silverstone while battling with Rossi, has never won in the premier class at Misano, though he has three other victories there (1 x 125cc, 2 x Moto2).“After Silverstone, the options for the Championship are not gone completely, but it’s really difficult. There we tried and the feeling with the bike wasn’t the best but it was time to take some risks to try and win the championship, it wasn’t possible,” Marquez says.“We did a great race and the most important was that we were fast in dry conditions and it looks like it will be dry here again this weekend. We did a test here during the summer that was really good, really hot so we will need to adjust the setup but we start with a good base.”Ducati GP15 pilot Dovizioso will seek another podium after claiming second at Silverstone. He and the Ducati Team also had two private tests at Misano, and he’s hoping to earn his first podium at his home track.“Yeah, this year to make the podium is very tough. The four factory bikes are really strong; they’re fighting for the championship and pushing each other even harder. It will be difficult but not impossible, we have to try and our speed in the test was good. If we’re close to them anything can happen during the race,” Dovizioso says.Another Ducati Desmosedici rider was present – Petrucci, who claimed his first MotoGP podium at Silverstone with third after starting from 18th on the grid. Petrucci was born in Terni, but leaves a few miles from the Misano.“I’m happy to get my first podium but now I want to do a good dry race. Now it is almost impossible to get a dry podium, or even in the top five. I don’t want to hear another time when a wet race happens ‘Oh Petrucci will be fast’; maybe on a sunny day I want to hear ‘Petrucci is fast’. This is my next target,” Petrucci says.Also present was Alex de Angelis who, only scored two points this MotoGP season but is hoping to put on a show for his fans: “It’s always nice to come to Misano because it’s my home. It’s also where I got the first podium of my career in 1998 actually! It’s quite important, it’s motivation to push.”The riders will be on the San Marino Circuit Friday for the opening day of free practice. For more, visit 2015 San Marino MotoGP Preview.
Ducati Team Riders Dovizioso and Iannone Ride GP15s at il Palazzo Pubblico di San Marino
Earlier on Friday Dovizioso and his teammate Andrea Iannone decided to pay a visit with a difference to the il Palazzo Pubblico di San Marino. Located on Mount Titano the building normally plays host to important government meetings, but on Thursday it welcomed Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone and their fire-spitting 260-horsepower Desmosedici GP15’s.Both riders went on a tour of the palace, which dates back to the late 14th century and were suitably impressed by its majesty. They then took advantage of the glorious weather to take their bikes out for a spin in the city centre. The cutting-edge prototype GP15 machines cutting a stark contrast against the ancient towers, walls and cobbled streets of such a historic site. The two Italians rode their bikes past a spellbound crowd through the convents of St. Francis and St. Clare, the Titano Theatre, the old fortified wall and several other historic buildings before it was time to head to the track.
This week Teejay chats to Tyler Poppe. Tyler works on the TV show Mayans MC–and yet he doesn’t ride an American V-Twin. Wassup with that?? Also, Arthur finds out from friend Mike Cardillo about his thoughts on the full-size version of the Kawasaki KLX 140R F trail bike.