News Report 31 August 2008
San Marino

2008 MotoGP San Marino & Riviera di Rimini - Misano

View results Track information
Marco Simoncelli, San Marino
4226 m
08 / 31 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Rossi matches Agostini's record with win number sixty-eight


Valentino Rossi reached another milestone in his outstanding career today by matching the all-time premier-class win record. His 68th premier-class victory brings him level with his great countryman Giacomo Agostini and the fact that he was able to do it at his home track of Misano made it all the more special for the flamboyant Italian. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo put the icing on the cake for Yamaha with an impressive return to the podium to make it the second one-two finish for the team this season.

Rossi had a good start but Dani Pedrosa had an even better one and the seven-time world champion was forced to ride at his maximum to pass the Spaniard back, which he did on the second lap. Casey Stoner was by then some three seconds clear but Rossi’s M1 was working well and he was gradually able to start making up some ground, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap six. One lap eight of 28 Stoner sensationally slid out into the gravel in a carbon copy of the last race in Brno and Rossi was left in the lead. There was no opportunity to rest however as the twisty nature of the circuit was a very different task to face alone than the flowing curves of Brno and Lorenzo, another three seconds behind, was giving Rossi no chance of a let-up. The local hero was able to bring his M1 home safely however to the rapturous cheers of his home fans, who flooded onto the track in typical Italian fashion.

The sixth win of the season for Rossi and another non-finish for Stoner means he is now 75 points clear at the top of the championship, with a maximum of 125 points remaining from five races. Lorenzo stays in fourth and Yamaha remain on course for a treble of Teams’ and Manufacturers’ championships as well.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 1 Time: 44'41.884
“Today is a truly fantastic day and I can’t believe that I have matched Agostini’s record! He was one of my heroes so it’s quite incredible to have made it to 68 wins. This was quite a difficult weekend for us from the start and there has been the added pressure of a home race, which makes it harder to concentrate because there is so much distraction! Mugello has always been ‘my’ track, even though it’s further away from Tavullia, but here, after the bad time last year, we haven’t found it so easy. Once again today however my team gave me a very competitive bike and I felt very confident. I got a good start but then Dani came past me very fast and I then lost a lot of time getting past him and had to take some big risks – I had a big slide! Once I was past him I could see Casey, although I have to admit that today I wasn’t as confident as I was in Brno that I could win. Anyway I kept pushing because it’s not in my nature to ride for second place and I think it still could have been a battle; I was very fast once I found my rhythm. Then I saw Casey slide out. I’m sorry for him once again but this is very good for our championship so I am happy for our team. We have 75 points, which is a lot, but there are still five races and I will ride to win at every one, as I always have done throughout my career. Thanks to my fantastic Yamaha team, to Bridgestone and of course congratulations to Jorge as well, he kept pushing me today and I wasn’t able to relax even for one minute! It is a great day for us all.”

Davide Brivio - Team Mananger
“What a day! It’s very positive for our championship and to come out with 75 points after three wins in a row is amazing. Once again the team and engineers did an excellent job to fix some problems in time for the race to give Valentino a competitive bike, so well done to them. Despite losing a bit of time at the start Valentino was able to come back and set the fastest lap and keep pushing. Of course the championship isn’t done but our advantage is very big and all the team are concentrated and motivated for the final five races. It’s great to see Jorge back on the podium as well – a great race and a great team!”

Lorenzo returns to podium with stunning second in Misano

Jorge Lorenzo made it a fantastic home-race double podium for the Fiat Yamaha Team today, finishing second behind his team-mate Valentino Rossi at Misano. It was the rookie’s first podium since the team’s last one-two finish in Le Mans and it was a deserved one following the injuries that have plagued him since.

Lorenzo lost some time at the start when Dani Pedrosa passed him and then had to wait for Rossi to pass his Spanish compatriot before he could make his move, which he did on lap five. When Casey Stoner crashed out of the lead on lap eight, leaving Rossi in front, Lorenzo was elevated to second and he rode a strong race from then on, exerting constant pressure on his team-mate, who was unable to relax and had to keep pushing to keep the gap at about three seconds. Lorenzo was followed home by another Spaniard, Toni Elias, who crossed the line 8.54 seconds off in third.

The 21-year-old Mallorcan’s fifth podium of the season sees him consolidate his fourth place in the championship and his leading rookie status, whilst Rossi is now 75 points clear of Stoner at the top. There are five rounds remaining with the next one coming at Indianapolis in the USA in two week’s time
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 2 Time: +3.163
“Seeing the party Valentino’s fans were making for him around the track today reminded me how much I want to start winning again, but as a start this second place is fantastic for us! I lost some ground at the early on but then I took my rhythm, passed Dani and started to push, and then I kept pushing until the end. To be one and two on the podium again, like in Le Mans, is wonderful and after four months of problems I am enjoying this moment very much – it’s perfect. Since the Brno test and with the improvements that Michelin have made here my confidence has being going up all the time and my riding style has improved as well, so I want to say thank you to them. I hope the situation is the same at the next races, then we can continue to be strong like this. Thanks to all of my team and congratulations to Valentino and Toni.”

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager
“It’s really great to be back on the podium after a long time and we are very happy for Jorge. We never lost confidence that he would come back to this level even though it has been very hard for him at times, but everyone has kept focused and here we are, so well done to all involved. Our Michelin tyres have worked much better here and this has made everything easier to achieve, it seems that the Brno test was a turning point and the improvement in the tyres has helped us to find a new set-up. Now we’re looking forward with confidence to the next races. Congratulations to Valentino and the other side of the garage for a great victory.”

James Toseland storms to top six, tough day for Colin Edwards
A fantastic performance by British rider James Toseland saw him claim his fifth top six finish of the season at red-hot Misano this afternoon.

The Tech3 Yamaha rider was always in contention for his first top six finish since the Catalunya GP after a solid start from ninth on the grid. At one stage though he looked on course for his best ever MotoGP finish as he held a terrific fifth having got the better of a tough battle with Andrea Dovizoso and Shinya Nakano.

He slipped to sixth place on lap 22 but then produced a heroic display to hold off intense pressure from Loris Capirossi and Dovizioso in an enthralling finale to the 28-lap encounter, which was run in punishing 35-degree heat. Today’s result moved Toseland back into the top ten in the world championship standings.

American team-mate Colin Edwards had a difficult afternoon, as any hopes he had of mounting an assault on the top six were dashed in the early stages. He struggled with rear grip, but was able to run a consistent pace in the second half of the race to fight his way back into a hard fought tenth.
James Toseland 6th – 85 points
“I got a decent start off the line and held my grid position in ninth, so I wasn’t too disappointed and got into the groove quite quickly. I was battling with Dovizioso and Nakano for the first half of the race. I passed Shinya and then started chasing Dovizioso but just as I caught him I started having some troubles. But he was too and I managed to pass him and make it stick. Then Chris Vermeulen came past and pulled away which was a bit frustrating because I was hoping for fifth to get my best result. Coming from where I’d been in the last few races and to produce a ride like that was brilliant. That is what I’m here for and I really enjoyed it. I was about ten feet wide on those last few laps and probably the widest Yamaha in history. I knew Loris and Dovizioso were behind me in those last few laps and they wanted my place in front of their home fans. Loris passed me on the penultimate lap but I’d blocked the line so he had to go really deep and he just went slightly wide and he left half a door open and I moved back through. I didn’t touch him so it was all fair and square. On the last lap I blocked into the last two corners and I knew I’d got sixth with it being a short drag to the line so it was a great feeling. Michelin has had a lot of stick recently but they have knuckled down and so have I. We have kept working hard and today we showed what we can achieve together with Tech 3 and Yamaha.”
Colin Edwards 10th – 108 points
“It was a very tough race and not what I’d expected. I thought it was going to be tough, but not that tough and obviously I wanted to do better for my guys at Tech 3 who tried everything to solve some of our issues here. Unfortunately some of the issues we can’t control, and I was struggling for grip in the early stages. I just couldn’t get any temperature in the rear tyre and I didn’t have the confidence to push like I wanted to. Those first three laps just dictated my result because once I got into my pace my lap times were pretty decent and good enough to be fighting much further up. But I lost too much in the early part of the race. The problem is on a short track when everybody is doing pretty much the same lap time; it is impossible to make up a lot of time. I got through to tenth and I’ve got a chance to put things right on home soil in Indianapolis next time out.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“It was a fantastic race from James and I am really pleased to see him back up there fighting as we know he can do. When he suffers the whole team suffers and it is not been an easy period for him, but he has never let his head drop and he always kept his motivation and given Tech 3, Yamaha and Michelin 100 per cent. This result will give him a big boost for the remainder of the season, and maybe a podium is not impossible before the end. He came under a lot of pressure but he kept concentrated and showed the James we saw at the start of the season. I am sorry for Colin. His lap times showed at the end of the race he had the speed, but for some reason in the early part of the race he was not able to run the pace we had hoped. But it was a strong weekend for Tech 3 and for Yamaha. I’d like to congratulate Valentino and Jorge and I think we saw that Michelin and Bridgestone are really close together. I’d like to thank Michelin for the way they have responded to the last few races.”