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GP Week : Issue 190
A huge chunk of the 46,000 fans at Misano for the san Marino/Rimini Riviera GP had a disappointing afternoon. They were Rossi fans, and all geared up for the track invasion that is a tradition at the track that bears the name of another local, the late Marco Simoncelli. The invasion happened anyway, but Rossi wasn’t there to reward a relatively listless mob. He was fourth. Again. Three Spaniards were not enough to take his place. His now firmly senior Yamaha team- mate did the other thing. Lorenzo displayed once again his devastating fast- start fast-runaway technique, reeling off lap after lap with smooth accuracy, on the limit, and on his own terms. Riding for the first time with a seamless-shift gearbox, he was immaculate. Nobody could touch him as he added a fifth win, second in a row, to move back to second in the standings. Not even Marquez, who crashed twice before the race and then ran wide while challenging Repsol Honda team- mate Pedrosa for second early in the early laps. This handed third to Rossi, raising the hopes that he might hang on to it. Not while Marquez gains comfort as the fuel load lightens. He closed remorselessly and attacked vigorously, pushing inside to lift Rossi up, then skating off at speed to catch Pedrosa again. Dani fought back, even getting ahead again for half a lap. Marquez was firmly past before the end of it, and had escaped for a clear second by the flag. This increased his points lead to a large but not insurmountable 34. It also revealed a new rival – Lorenzo back to his full form, riding like Mr Perfect. Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha), sobered by his Silverstone crashes and still bleeding from a badly skinned and swollen arm, rode well within himself, holding fifth; on his back wheel Stefan Bradl’s LCR Honda. The German waited until the last lap to pounce, and secure the position. Bautista’s GO&FUN Honda fell away behind, and then another full 20 seconds away, and more than 40 off the leaders, the disconsolate Marlboro Ducati pair, to-and-fro in the race but Dovizioso clear of Hayden by the end. Test rider Pirro was another three seconds adrift for tenth. Lorenzo’s revival augurs well for an exciting end to the season. He now equals Pedrosa on points, but is officially second because he has more race wins. Marquez now has a buffer of 34 points with five races left. He need finish only second from now on. Next weekend is the Aragon race ... a track whose long straight has favoured the Hondas of Stoner and Pedrosa over the past two years. Now with the seamless shift to match his equally seamless style, can Lorenzo make it three in a row for Yamaha? MOTOGP >>> nEWs LORENZO PLAYS MR PERFECT AS FIGHT-BACK BEGINS 15 GPWEEK.com // 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: