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Rossi on the Top Step

Moto GP 2014

maddix park mx

Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi will have quite the celebration on his hands after returning to the top-step in his home race at Misano. This is the first race win for Rossi since Assen in 2013 and his first at the Italian circuit since 2009. Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, finished in second-place followed by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa in third.

The Doctor brought fans to their feet off the start, slotting into second behind Lorenzo. Pedrosa’s teammate, Marc Marquez, made an aggressive push through the opening turns to grab third followed by Pramac Ducati’s Andrea Iannone, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro and Pedrosa. The fireworks began early as Marquez attempted a pass on Rossi in the second lap, but the Yamaha rider was ready for the fight and quickly answered back. The two swapped position a handful of times after that, Rossi never ceding an inch to the championship points leader. 

On the fourth lap Rossi had caught Lorenzo and made his move to the front. Marquez got ahead of the Mallorcan as well and for the next few laps the Honda rider stalked Rossi, looking for an opportunity to move to the lead. With 19 laps remaining disaster struck for Marquez in Turn 4 when he lost the front end, resulting in a low-side crash which sent the defending champion sliding across the tarmac. He quickly jumped to his feet and righted the bike, but struggled to get the machine refired. It took a gaggle of marshals pushing and a number of desperate attempts before the bike got running again, but by that time Marquez was beyond any hope of challenging for the lead, bringing up the back of the pack instead.

While battling with Marquez, Rossi had opened a multi-second gap on Lorenzo and when Marquez went down, the Doctor enjoyed more than two seconds of space between himself and his teammate. From there Rossi maintained a consistent pace and extended his margin slightly to the checkers, allowing the local hero to throw a triumphant wheelie as he crossed the line for the win.

“I’m very happy for sure because it’s very special to win here in Misano in front of all the crowd and my family and friends. I’m very proud," said Rossi afterward. "I made it five years after the last time here, in the same way, fighting with Jorge. During the practice it looked like our Yamaha worked very well so we had a small advantage. I tried to the maximum and so I knew we could fight for victory, I knew for sure I would have to battle with Dani and Jorge and Marc. I tried to push from the start and at the end it was great to have the win more than one year later from my last. I always work hard and never give up and trust that days like this can happen. I have to say thank you to Yamaha, to all my team, to all my friends and all the crowd who support me, especially here in Misano.”

Lorenzo was lonely in second, staying a number of seconds ahead of the battle for third-place. Pedrosa advanced a handful of positions after the start, getting to the number three spot 10 laps into the contest. Dovi stayed glued to the Honda rider’s rear tire throughout much of the event but during the latter stages Pedrosa gave himself a bit of breathing room, crossing the line a little more than one second faster than Dovi. Iannone dropped to fifth by mid-race and held there to the checkers while Pol Espargaro trailed in sixth. Espargaro’s teammate, Bradley Smith, finished in seventh ahead of Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista in eighth and Dovi’s teammate, Cal Crutchlow, in ninth. Iannone’s teammate, Yonny Hernandez, rounded out the top-10.

The riders outside the top-nine benefitted from NGM Mobile Forward Racing Aleix Espargaro’s final lap crash, as he was running eighth at the time of his off. The incident also helped Marquez get into the points, bringing the Honda ace to 15th just before the finish.

Marquez retains a sizable points lead in the series despite his misfortune, but the battle for second overall has heated up. Pedrosa remains runner-up but Rossi’s victory puts him just one point adrift of Pedrosa in third. Lorenzo sits fourth followed by Dovi in fifth.

MotoGP Misano Results 2014 
1. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 
3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 
5. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 
6. Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) 
7. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 
8. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 
9. Cal Crutchlow (Ducati) 
10. Yonny Hernandez (Ducati) 
11. Karel Abraham (Honda) 
12. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 
13. Scott Redding (Honda) 
14. Alex De Angelis (Forward Yamaha) 
15. Marc Marquez (Honda) 
16. Leon Camier (Honda) 
17. Michael Laverty (PBM) 
18. Broc Parkes (PBM) 
19. Hector Barbera (Avintia)

MotoGP Championship Points 2014 
1. Marc Marquez, 289 
2. Dani Pedrosa, 215 
3. Valentino Rossi, 214 
4. Jorge Lorenzo, 177 
5. Andrea Dovizioso, 142 
6. Pol Espargaro, 98 
7. Aleix Espargaro, 92 
8. Andrea Iannone, 92 
9. Stefan Bradl, 74 
10. Bradley Smith, 74

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