Pedrosa defeats Rossi to win San Marino GP
Dani Pedrosa stormed through the field to take his first race win for the year at the San Marino Grand Prix.
The Repsol Honda rider came from eighth on the grid before passing long-time leader Valentino Rossi in the final quarter of the 28-lap race to take the victory.
Rossi was left to settle for second on home soil, while Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo completed the podium.
Lorenzo took the early initiative from pole position before Rossi made an aggressive move on Lap 2.
While Rossi was gradually building a lead, Pedrosa occupied sixth after Lap 4.
He then passed Maverick Viñales (Suzuki) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) on consecutive laps, finally clearing a path to set after team-mate Marc Marquez.
Pedrosa lowered the lap record on Lap 11 before bumping Marquez out of the podium placings on Lap 14.
On the unpopular soft front tyre, Pedrosa ran down the medium shod Yamahas with remarkable ease, first Lorenzo on Lap 17 and then Rossi on Lap 22.
Rossi attempted a fightback but he was unable to stop Pedrosa from recording a 2.8s victory, his first since Malaysia last year.
“I’m very happy because it’s been very difficult, as everybody knows,” said Pedrosa.
“This victory is for my fans, for my friends, family, and for my team.”
Pedrosa’s triumph set a premier class record by becoming the eighth different race winner of the season.
Lorenzo expressed his displeasure following a lacklustre performance after breaking the qualifying record to score pole position.
“I cannot be happy because I expected to fight for the win, but sometimes you can’t do it and you have to wait for the next time,” said Lorenzo.
The defending world champion however made slight inroads on the current points leader Marquez, who faded on his way to fourth.
Marquez’s championship lead has been cut to 43 points over Rossi.
Viñales finished fifth, ahead of the factory Ducati pair of Dovizioso and Michele Pirro.
Cal Crutchlow crossed the line in eighth but a post-race time penalty for exceeding track limits saw the LCR Honda demoted to ninth, behind Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha).
Aprilia’s Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top 10.
Jack Miller did not take the start after succumbing to pain in his fractured right hand.
Earlier, Lorenzo Baldassarri took a maiden Moto2 race win after passing Alex Rins on the penultimate lap, while Australia’s Remy Gardner finished 19th.
The championship heads to Aragon in Spain from September 23-25.
Result: MotoGP San Marino Grand Prix
|1||Dani Pedrosa||Honda||28 Laps|
|8||Pol Espargaro||Tech3 Yamaha||+27.15|
|9||Cal Crutchlow||LCR Honda||+27.20|
|11||Danilo Petrucci||Pramac Ducati||+39.20|
|13||Hector Barbera||Avintia Ducati||+42.99|
|14||Eugene Laverty||Aspar Ducati||+49.45|
|15||Scott Redding||Pramac Ducati||+54.87|
|16||Yonny Hernandez||Aspar Ducati||+1:05.07|
|17||Tito Rabat||Marc VDS Honda||+5 Laps|
|DNF||Javier Fores||Avintia Ducati||Retirement|
|DNF||Alex Lowes||Tech3 Yamaha||Retirement|
|DNS||Jack Miller||Marc VDS Honda||Withdrawn|