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The Misano Moment: MotoGP Race Notes

Jorge Lorenzo set a masterful pace at the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano, making it his 3rd consecutive win at the circuit. Marc Marquez took 2nd place, extending his lead in the championship, while Dani Pedrosa took 3rd.

It was Lorenzo's Land three years in a row at Misano. Image courtesy Yamaha Racing Team (for editorial use only)

It was Lorenzo’s Land three years in a row at Misano. Image courtesy Yamaha Racing Team (for editorial use only)

I have to admit, I was pretty kicked about the race at Misano. What was not to love: A weekend that begins with brand-new black heels, a delightful Italian meal, Tom Sykes still leading the WSBK championship, and a seamless gearbox that was proving to be oh-so-lucky for Valentino Rossi. Now, those are the only ingredients a girl needs for happiness.

Saturday was Vale-perfect! It was second time on the front row, he showed great pace, and even had Marc Marquez worried. I mean, when was the last time you heard our sweet rookie saying, post-Qualifying, “Valentino will also be tough to beat, because it is his home race and he has been very strong in practice; I’m sure that he will be fast tomorrow as will Dani.”

But then, you know what they say about counting chickens and clichés? They never really end well.

Valentino Rossi spent most of the race sliding up and down the grid and playing catch-up. Image courtesy Repsol Honda (for editorial use only)

Valentino Rossi spent most of the race sliding up and down the grid and playing catch-up. Image courtesy Repsol Honda (for editorial use only)

So, I settled down to watch the MotoGP race, excited, but a little scatter-brained. You can’t really blame me. I had the last few laps of WSBK streaming live on my laptop and the television blaring MotoGP with shots of Valentino Rossi (and you know how Vale always distracts me) on the grid. It didn’t help that in all this, I was balancing my iPad on my lap, tweeting on Twitter and downing a cuppa. But hey, that’s how we roll on multiple Race Day Sunday.

Anyway, as the lights went out, our warriors shot off towards the first corner, jostling for space and revealing an interesting combination up front. Jorge Lorenzo, his seamless gearbox providing a seamless race, leading the lot, with Dani Pedrosa following close behind. Vale slipped down to 5th place ahead of Cal Crutchlow, but behind Marc Marquez. Oh well, I thought.

But you can never rule out the Doctor, can you? He swept aside the others and headed straight towards a potential podium, making a smooth move past Marquez who seemed to be racing rather carefully, and made a rare mistake. Now that’s a new one isn’t it? Though, methinks it probably had something to do with the two crashes, one on Saturday and the other during the morning warm-up session. Now, we are talking, I thought to myself. Vale on the podium would be perfect. I was even ready to be happy with Dani Pedrosa keeping him company and spraying champagne.

But the best-laid plans are always a path to chaos. And haven’t we learned from Marquez in the past? That rookie just can’t bear to see his teammate up front. Not that I mind his focused passion for the podium. It always gives us the best of racing.

Valentino Rossi ran a lonely 4th on his home ground. Disappointment and heartbreak for all Rossi fans. Image courtesy Yamaha Racing Team (for editorial use only)

Valentino Rossi ran a lonely 4th on his home ground. Disappointment and heartbreak for all Rossi fans. Image courtesy Yamaha Racing Team (for editorial use only)

But Misano was a tad different. Marquez soon found his speed and made Vale his victim. He took 3rd place in a smooth move, pushing my favourite man down to 4th. Now, I am happy Vale is on 4th. I mean it is better than 10th a la Ducati days? But, knowing the M1, the seamless gearbox, and Vale’s talent, I am hungry for more. As is Vale, I am sure. And I so wanted it to be in Misano. But, Marquez had different plans. Before we knew it, the young Spaniard had shot off into the distance, increasing the gap between him and the Doctor, getting ready to attack his teammate.

Jorge Lorenzo ran a perfect race, while Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa jostled for postiion. Image courtesy Yamaha Racing Team (for editorial use only)

Jorge Lorenzo ran a perfect race, while Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa jostled for postiion. Image courtesy Yamaha Racing Team (for editorial use only)

It all sort of went into ennui territory from thereon. Rossi stuck to a lonely 4th, while Marquez chased down Pedrosa. Lorenzo was busy having tea somewhere, because I just couldn’t see him on television. There were moments of excitement, brief, teeny-tiny moments, courtesy Marquez. I don’t care what people say about the young lad. But, he has a knack for giving us excitement, no matter how fleeting it may be. He chased down Pedrosa and fought him for position…I mean fought him. It was brilliant nose-to-tyre action as the two dove into corners, swung out on to the straight, exchanged positions and generally made me jump up and down in excitement. It wasn’t to last though.

Marquez took 2nd place, while Pedrosa had to be content with a 3rd. I think Pedrosa is taking on the Grinch guise this season. He always seems so grumpy on the podium. Lorenzo had extended the gap to such an extent that there was no competition. It was Lorenzo’s Land flag flying in Misano three years in a row. Now, I have newfound respect for Lorenzo post his Superman-esque performance in Assen, so I am not going to complain.

The Ducati Way: Playing catch your teammate. image courtesy Ducati (for editorial use only)

The Ducati Way: Playing catch your teammate. Image courtesy Ducati (editorial use only)

It just that Cal Crutchlow was still battling his Silverstone injury and took 6th. Vale was still stuck in 4th place. And well, poor Nicky Hayden had to be content with battling his teammate instead of the rest, thanks to Ducati’s brilliant machine (I know, I know, sarcasm galore!). The Ducatis managed to save face a little (thank god), as both Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso managed to beat Michele Pirro.

You have to admit this wasn’t the most exciting of all races, we have seen so far. But Aragon is coming up soon. Vale and Cal Crutchlow can still battle for championship, as can Lorenzo and Pedrosa. Marquez is still not in the clear. And well, this season has proved to be rather delightful, hasn’t it? So, I am not going to be quick to judge.

Instead, I may just do a little dance for the gods, just so I can see Vale on the podium at least five times, before the season’s out.

In Pictures

The highlight of the Misano race was a brilliant battle between teammates Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, as they fought for 2nd place. Image courtesy Repsol Honda team (for editorial use only)

The highlight at Misano was a brilliant battle between teammates Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, as they fought for 2nd place. Pedrosa made Marquez sweat…just for a bit, before he gave way to the rookie. Image courtesy Repsol Honda team (for editorial use only)

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2 Responses

  1. Nice write-up. I really hope the seamless gearbox works for Rossi. I’d hate to tag him as “King of Fourth” …

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