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GP Week : Issue 62
at Misano ewed up at Indy but, with a dose of self-deprecation, the same 'at home' in Misano. MICHAEL SCOTT was there got ahead. Elias would drop back after six laps, complaining of queasy handling. But Rossi was already moving forward, past Lorenzo for second on lap five, and taking three more to get ahead of Pedrosa. "I was uncomfortable with a full tank, but I waited to get the tyres to the proper temperature, and then lap by lap I felt more confident." From then on a sun-baked crowd of 55,103 fans, mainly wearing Rossi's trade-mark yellow, watched as he controlled the race from in front. When Lorenzo finally found his way past Pedrosa at half-distance, Rossi was able to stretch a gap of around 1.5-seconds to better than 2.6 seconds, and hold it to the end, setting a new lap record on the 16th lap. "There were two or three corners where I was really fast, so I made the most of my advantage," he said. But while happy to have clawed back five points from Lorenzo, he added with a laugh: "Indianapolis was the opposite. There, Jorge was faster than me. Here, he was more clever than me, because he takes home 20 points." Lorenzo concurred. "Today I did what I had to do. When you are struggling with the bike, sometimes it is better to close the throttle and finish second." Pedrosa had likewise accepted his fate: "At the start, I was not comfortable but I could go fast," he said. "But in the middle of the race they (the Yamahas) kept improving the lap time, and I was not able to follow." On the slow-down lap his bike stopped and he had to hitch a lift home with Toni Elias. Officially, it was out of gas, but Pedrosa said: "From the beginning I had some engine problem, misfiring in some corners, and then when I tried to make a wheelie at the end, it just stopped." Lorenzo had been lucky to escape a second-corner melee, when his seat got tagged but he stayed on. Not so Nicky Hayden (Marlboro Ducati) and Colin Edwards (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha). Both were sent flying by an over-eager Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda). Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) lost touch with the leaders after the first few laps, but was able to get ahead of Elias. But his work was not done: an inspired Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) had been left behind at the beginning, then after ten laps started to close on his countryman. By lap 17 he was on him, and on the 25th he surged past ... only for Dovizioso to get back over the line by two tenths. Elias was a couple of seconds adrift in sixth; Mika Kallio (Marlboro Ducati) spent the whole race under pressure from Marco Melandri (Hayate Kawasaki), finishing less than two seconds clear. By then, the Italian had his hands full narrowly fending off Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki), who had picked up pace to pass and escape from James Toseland (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha). Rank rookie Aleix Espargaro, in an impressive second ride on Kallio's vacant Pramac Ducati, had been with the pair until the late stages, finishing 11th. Then came Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), through from stone last after he had been put off the track by the second-corner crash. Niccolò Canepa (Pramac Ducati) and Gabor Talmacsi (Scot Honda) trailed in, with points for all 14 finishers. Rossi's points lead is now 30: 237 points to Lorenzo's 207; while Pedrosa moved past the absent Stoner, 157 points to 150. Lorenzo likewise passed no-score Edwards, 133 to 123. Moto GP San Marino >> 27