With eighth win
The Misano MotoGP visit ended with Ducati Marlboro's Casey Stoner extending his World Championship advantage to 85 points with a plus four second victory at the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.
The return of racing to Italy's
Adriatic coast saw the unstoppable Aussie secure maximum points for the eighth time this year, controlling the race from pole, while his closest title rival Valentino Rossi disappointingly retired early on with engine problems after starting second on the grid.
It was also another fantastic day for the ever improving Rizla Suzuki team as they filled the other two podium spots – Chris Vermeulen in second place after starting on the third row, finishing 4.851s behind compatriot Stoner and 11 seconds ahead of team-mate John Hopkins.
There was frustration for Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden on the very first lap, with Pedrosa's race ended by Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet as the pair collided and crashed out. Hayden had to steer round them onto the gravel run-off area and never recovered as he came home an unlucky 13th having started on the front row of the grid.
A brave ride from returning Honda Gresini rider Marco Melandri after a series of recent crashes, including a major accident on Saturday, saw him take fourth – while his fellow Italian Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro) crossed the line fifth.
Another MotoGP veteran Carlos Checa (Honda LCR) finished ten seconds behind Capirossi in sixth, in front of compatriot Toni Elias (Honda Gresini) who continues his remarkable recovery from a broken femur.
The top ten was completed by Anthony West (Kawasaki), Colin Edwards (Fiat Yamaha) and Shinya Nakano (Konica Minolta Honda).
DORNA / CAPSIS International