Double podium for Fiat Yamaha on tragic day in Misano
The Fiat Yamaha Team gained their first double podium since Laguna Seca today, when Jorge Lorenzo finished second and Valentino Rossi third behind Dani Pedrosa at Misano. The day was overshadowed however by the tragic news
that Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa had passed away following an accident in the Moto2 race. Yamaha would like to express its deepest condolences to his family, friends and team.
Lorenzo lost one place at the start and dropped to third but before the first lap was over he had got back past Casey Stoner to retake second position. Despite pushing hard in the early stages, it was soon clear that the championship leader was not able to run the same pace as Pedrosa today and he was forced to settle for an uneventful ride to second, importantly taking another 20 points for his title challenge and continuing his flawless record of a podium in every race this season.
Italian hero Rossi was hopeful of a return to the podium and he made a good start, keeping his fourth position and holding on to the leaders over the first few laps. He gradually began to close down Casey Stoner and made the pass stick on his second try, on lap eleven of 28. In the latter part of the race he came under pressure from fellow countryman Andrea Dovizioso but he was able to hold him off, putting in his fastest lap of the race three laps from the end and coming home just over a second behind his team-mate.
Lorenzo leads the championship by 63 points after today's race and Rossi has moved to fourth in the standings; on identical points to Stoner but ahead on race wins. The next round comes at the new track of Motorland Aragon in two week's time.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 2ndTime: +1.900
"I don't have many words for the race on such a sad say. I made a good start but I couldn't keep close to Pedrosa. Second is good, we weren't fast enough but for the championship it's another very important result and that is our target. The podium is our goal in all races, although we hope we can still improve our M1 a bit more. As for Shoya, it's a huge pity because he was a good guy and a strong rider. I am so sad and I just want to say how sorry I am for his family and his friends. When this happens nothing else matters."
Valentino Rossi - Position: 3rdTime: +3.183
"This was a great result for us, more than just for the podium but for the way that the result arrived. I was very fast at the end of the race and this shows how much we're improving because I was able to keep pushing right to the end. I think we did a good job this weekend. But when something so sad like this happens everything else goes to zero and the result doesn't matter. I'm so sorry for Shoya because he was a strong rider but above all he was very 'sympatico.' He was very funny, always smiling and he always had nice things to say to everyone. He was also very young with a great career ahead of him so we are all very sad."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"Today was frustrating for Jorge because he is a winner but he knows he can't afford to take risks, thinking about the championship. Pedrosa was very strong and we couldn't catch him, so we will be working hard to try to find a way to get back to fighting with him at the next race. As usual Jorge kept his head and rode a sensible race to get as many points as he could and we are still on target for our goal. We would like to say how sorry we are about Tomizawa, he was clearly a huge talent who was destined to be here in MotoGP one day. This is the nature of our sport but today has reminded us all what can happen."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"It's a very sad day for our sport, our thoughts go out to Tomi and to his friends, his family and his team. He was a very good guy. The race was very positive because Valentino was able to increase the pace and he was very fast and very consistent at the end of the race. The bike was working well, we did a good job and Valentino was happy which gives us good confidence for the next races. His pace was very close to the top and his physical condition seems to have improved. We're looking forward to him being back to his very best. This was an important step for the bike and for the rider on our way to being back in contention for victories.