MotoGP: Capirossi’s Off at Misano keeps Him from Racing at Aragon

What Happens When a Little Injury Causes Problems

1:43pm EST — According to a press release from the Rizla Suzuki team, Loris Capirossi will not be competing in this weekend’s GP at Motorland Aragon, due to injuries sustained on the first lap of the race at Misano.  Apparently, “the surgery to re-attach the tendon to his right-hand little finger [that was damaged during the off] is healing well but, on the advice of his surgeon, he must keep it immobilised for at least another week in order to avoid damaging the repair.”  That leaves only Alvaro Bautista to compete for Suzuki at the new circuit, instituted to replace the scheduled round at Hungary that did not materialize.

Capirossi said in the release, “I am extremely disappointed not to be racing at Aragón, but the surgeon has told me to rest the hand for another week. I am still feeling a bit of pain and I’m going to the hospital every day to have the wound cleaned and dressed, so although I could possibly be able to ride I wouldn’t be fit enough and it might jeopardise my attendance and competitiveness at Motegi if I did – so it’s best to stay at home. I wish Álvaro all the best for the weekend and hope that he gets a good result for us – we certainly need one. I’ll be back for the trio of races next month and will be looking to get some good results at circuits where I know we can go well.”  The first lap incident marked the third year in a row Hayden did not finish the San Marino Grand Prix, as the American slid into Capirossi in Turn 1 as the Italian came back across the track, preparing for Turn 2.  The release suggests Capirossi will be fit for the Japanese Grand Prix, a move that will also save another engine for Capirossi and Suzuki, who have been using all too many of them this season.

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MotoGP Misano Results & Race Report: Pedrosa Never Gives Up the Lead

What Happens When a Pall Is Cast Over the Racing

8:52am — Dani Pedrosa dominated the MotoGP race from San Marino, with a gap nearly up to six seconds during the race over second place finisher Jorge Lorenzo while Valentino Rossi stepped up his game after returning with a still injured right leg to take the final position on the podium, eventually taking it from fifth place Casey Stoner, who dropped cback after fighting with Rossi and losing his fourth position to Andrea Dovizioso.  Loris Capirossi and Nicky Hayden crashed out in Turn 2, though Hayden attempted to continue racing, ending his race a few laps later.  Sadly, Shoya Tomizawa succumbed to injuries sustained during the Moto2 race earlier in the day, a sad ending to another MotoGP weekend.

Dani Pedrosa continued his good results from Indianapolis to take pole at Misano, despite some fast times from Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner throughout the session.  Lorenzo then Stoner were fastest early on, but Pedrosa took charge in the latter quarter of the qualifying session and only let go of pole occasionally as the other riders lost fast lap times in the third sector.  Valentino Rossi seemed to benefit from the home crowd, qualifying fourth and not crashing out as he did so often at Indianapolis.  Stoner did lose the front end but recovered after his crash to qualify third behind Lorenzo.  At the halfway point it was Stoner, Pedrosa, Rossi, Lorenzo, Ben Spies, Colin Edwards,  Andrea Dovizioso, Marco Melandri, Loris Capirossi, and Alvaro Bautista as the top ten with Nicky Hayden seemingly unable to find pace anywhere.  He languished outside of the top ten throughout the session and only qualified fourteenth.  Pedrosa continued his pace, stealing the fastest time from Lorenzo at the end of Sunday’s morning practice, where Dovizioso, Rossi, and Stoner rounded out the fastest five.

It was a darkened afternoon when the MotoGP bikes got away in San Marino, with Pedrosa leading into a very small turn one, with Stoner then Lorenzo following.  For the third time in a row, Hayden did not make it through Turn 1, crashing out with Loris Capirossi as Hayden slid outward into the Italian as he came back across the track.  It would end both of their races, though Hayden stuck it out for the first few laps.  Lorenzo took second from Stoner before the first half of the lap was over, though Pedrosa was already making a gap, Rossi was fourth with Andrea Dovizioso and Colin Edwards behind.  Spies had dropped to tenth while teammate Edwards also lost sixth position to Simoncelli.  Pedrosa continued to gain on the rest of the field as Lorenzo had nearly an equal gap back to Stoner, who had only a bit of space on Rossi.  Continue reading

MotoGP Misano Quali: Pedrosa Takes Pole Despite Some Scuffles for It

What Happens When It Looks Like Different Spaniard’s Turn

9:01am EST — Dani Pedrosa continued his good results from Indianapolis to take pole at Misano, despite some fast times from Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner throughout the session.  Lorenzo then Stoner were fastest early on, but Pedrosa took charge in the latter quarter of the qualifying session and only let go of pole occasionally as the other riders lost fast lap times in the third sector.  Valentino Rossi seemed to benefit from the home crowd, qualifying fourth and not crashing out as he did so often at Indianapolis.  Stoner did lose the front end but recovered after his crash to qualify third behind Lorenzo.  At the halfway point it was Stoner, Pedrosa, Rossi, Lorenzo, Ben Spies, Colin Edwards,  Andrea Dovizioso, Marco Melandri, Loris Capirossi, and Alvaro Bautista as the top ten with Nicky Hayden seemingly unable to find pace anywhere.  He launguised outside of the top ten throughout the session and only qualified fourteenth.

Provisional Starting Grid for the San Marnio Grand Prix:
1. Pedrosa 1:33.948
2. Lorenzo 1:34.256
3. Stoner 1:34.397
4. Rossi 1:34.470
5. Spies 1:34.472
6. de Puniet 1:34.571
7. Edwards 1:34.782
8. Dovizioso 1:34.826
9. Simoncelli 1:34.934
10. Melandri 1:35.018
11. Capirossi 1:35.096
12. Barbera 1:35.259
13. Aoyama 1:35.286
14. Hayden 1:35.303
15. Espargaro 1:35.438
16. Bautista 1:35.629
17. Kallio 1:35.724

Rossi Returns to Form at Misano: MotoGP Race Report

What Happens When The Doctor Gets it Done

1:43am EST — Despite a bad start, Valentino Rossi took a decisive win in front of his home crowd at Misano Sunday.  This win brought back five points lost to teammate and title challenger Jorge Lorenzo after Rossi’s crash at Indianapolis one week ago.  Lorenzo finished second, with Dani Pedrosa rounding out the starting-to-become typical top three.

Rossi started on pole, but was soon swallowed by Pedrosa and Tony Elias, who led into the first turn.  Further back, Alex de Angelis attempted to make a great start, but ran into the side of Colin Edwards, who clipped Lorenzo and slid out, taking Nicky Hayden with him.  Hayden was starting from sixth, one of his very best starts this season on a Ducati with whom he has not seemed to get along.  Hayden then proceeded to tell and show de Angelis what he thought of his maneuver.  Corner workers kept the American back, but he went back for another go.  Fisticuffs did not ensue.

Pedrosa and Elias opened a small gap on Rossi, who also had a small lead on Lorenzo, who managed to escape the de Angelis debacle unscathed.  Just behind were Loris Capirossi and Andrea Dovisioso, just beginning a race-long scrap.  Elias momentarily took the lead from Pedrosa still on the first lap, but was re-taken by the Spaniard, reminiscent of many 250 and 125 battles between the two.  At the beginning of the second lap, Lorenzo went past Rossi for third.  Dovisioso passed Capirossi for fifth on that lap.  Lorenzo and Rossi had completely caught up Pedrosa and Elias by the end of the second lap.  At Turn 8, Elias had a go for the lead, but went a bit wide and Pedrosa barely kept first.  On lap 3, the top four looked like a snake curving through the turns, personifying a diagram of lean angles.

As Pedrosa began to pull out a small gap on Elias, Rossi went through on Lorenzo and Dovisioso caught up the Mallorcan.  Rossi then went to second around Elias.  Lorenzo also moved up to third, all on lap 4.  Rossi then went to work reeling in Pedrosa.  Both Pedrosa and Rossi wiggled their way out of the last turn, with Pedrosa leading.  On lap 9, Rossi slid through and gained the lead.  He had pulled out a noticeable but small gap within a lap. Rossi would not be caught.  Around this time, Capirossi had made his way through on Dovisioso.

They stayed that way, Rossi, Pedrosa, Lorenzo, for a few laps, but Lorenzo simply could not get around Pedrosa, until lap 13, when Pedrosa went too deep in an attempt to defend his line, and Lorenzo finally gained second place.  Rossi set the fastest lap of the race, 1:34.746, with his teammate behind him on lap 16.  By lap 19, Rossi had a 2.647 second lead on Lorenzo, who lead Pedrosa by another three seconds.  Dovisioso  was twelve seconds behind third, with Capirossi just under a second behind him, and Elias had a similar gap between himself and fifth place Capirossi.

With five laps to go, the Capirossi-Dovisioso battle heated up, with Capirossi close behind Dovisioso.  Capirossi went through at Turn 8 quite easily on lap 24.  On the last lap, Dovisioso used Turn 8 to get around Capirossi, and while Capirossi tried to fight back, the fourth place went to Dovisioso.  Rossi had powered to victory at Misano after some early traffic, with teammate Lorenzo second, and Dani Pedrosa, whose bike stopped on the cool-down lap, third.

Final Misano Race Results (courtesy of MotoGPMatters.com)

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 44’32.882
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 44’35.298 2.416
3 3 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 44’45.282 12.400
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 44’59.212 26.330
5 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 44’59.421 26.539
6 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 45’01.168 28.286
7 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 45’03.066 30.184
8 33 Marco MELANDRI KAWASAKI 45’04.639 31.757
9 7 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 45’04.791 31.909
10 52 James TOSELAND YAMAHA 45’11.229 38.347
11 44 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 45’19.555 46.673
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 45’24.923 52.041
13 88 Niccolo CANEPA DUCATI 45’36.080 1’03.198
14 41 Gabor TALMACSI HONDA 45’55.229 1’22.347
Not finished first lap
15 Alex DE ANGELIS HONDA
5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA
69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI

Championship Standings After GP of San Marino (courtesy of MotoGPMatters.com)

1 ROSSI Valentino ITA 237
2 LORENZO Jorge SPA 207 -30
3 PEDROSA Dani SPA 157 -80
4 STONER Casey AUS 150 -87
5 DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA 133 -104
6 EDWARDS Colin USA 123 -114
7 CAPIROSSI Loris ITA 97 -140
8 DE ANGELIS Alex RSM 88 -149
9 DE PUNIET Randy FRA 88 -149
10 MELANDRI Marco ITA 87 -150
11 VERMEULEN Chris AUS 84 -153
12 ELIAS Toni SPA 80 -157
13 TOSELAND James GBR 78 -159
14 HAYDEN Nicky USA 73 -164
15 KALLIO Mika FIN 51 -186
16 CANEPA Niccolo ITA 35 -202
17 GIBERNAU Sete SPA 12 -225
18 TALMACSI Gabor HUN 12 -225
19 TAKAHASHI Yuki JPN 9 -228
20 ESPARGARO Aleix SPA 8 -229

Barbera Wins MotoGP250 at Misano, at the Bitter End (for Simonchelli)

What Happens When the Race Goes to the Very End

12:11am EST — The GP of San Marino started with Hiroshi Aoyama on pole, though he would not stay there. The championship leader finished the race fourth, just behind title rival Alvaro Bautista.  Hector Barbera won the race after a thrilling last lap saw him trade positions with second-place finisher Mattia Pasini.  Luckily, the two managed to race without taking one or the other out, as occurred at Misano in 2008.

Mattia Pasini led into Turn 1, just beating Hector Barbera, who then took the lead.  Aoyama was soon overtaken by Marco Simonchelli, who then snuck under Barbera and attacked Pasini before the first lap was over.  Simonchelli then took the lead at Turn 8 and kept it, even as Barbera re-took third place from Aoyama, who soon lost another place to Hector Faubel as he ran very wide, and had Alvaro Bautista right behind him.  Less than a lap later, Bautista took Aoyama, with the championship being contested hotly between the two, Aoyoma having a 16-point lead coming into the race.

By lap nine of twenty-six, it was Pasini leading Simonchelli, with Barbera close, and Bautista following two seconds behind the leader.  The center part of the race was settling down, until Simonchelli crashed out at Turn 6.  It would later appear that he had issues with traction control malfunctioning.  This left Pasini leading Barbera, with Bautista, Aoyama, and Mike di Meglio about a second and a half behind at the midpoint of the race.  These three had a four and a half second gap in which Bautista and Aoyama could fight over the championship.

Barbera responded by setting the, then, fastest lap of the race with a 1:39.362.  At the end of lap 16/beginning of lap 17, Aoyama, Bautista, and di Meglio split the track, with Aoyama going between the other two to take third, and di Meglio taking fourth from his teammate Bautista.  di Meglio then took third from Aoyama, leaving the championship leader still ahead of his closest rival, with Simonchelli unable to score points this race.  With eight laps to go, Barbera took the lead, but went wide and lost the spot, then tried again and kept position, precisely where the contact forcing Pasini out last year took place.

Pasini re-took first, went wide, then kept position, inspiring much use of air-horns from the crowd.  Just after, Bautista went under Aoyama to take back fourth.  Bautista went wide and was taken by Aoyama, but was able to get back the position.  Going through traffic at Turn 8, Aoyama took a look, but was unable to make the pass.  Yet again, they traded positions, but continued with Bautista ahead.

With three laps to go, the positions stood with Pasini leading Barbera, then di Meglio leading the championship fight of Bautista and Aoyama, and much close racing.  Aoyama passed Bautista and set about racing di Meglio for third.  The two leaders nearly touched as Barbera slid past Pasini for the lead, but there was no contact as Pasini moved his elbow out of the way.  By this time, Bautista had gotten past Aoyama and was taking on his teammate.  At Turn 10 Aoyama got past, but ran too wide and Bautista kept his fourth position.

Barbera led Pasisni across the line for the final lap, but Aoyama had again gotten around Bautista on the last corner.  di Meglio remained safely in third as Bautista returned the favor at Turn 2.  Pasini, at nearly the same time, inspired cheers from the crowd by passing Barbera for the lead.  Barbera and Pasini traded places again, and again.  On the back straight, Aoyama came into fourth, with di Meglio’s board out with “P4” on it.  Bautista managed third with the three riders fanning out along the track.  Even with a very close, side-by-side effort, Hector Barbera beat Mattia Pasini to the line to win the Grand Prix of San Marino.  Hiroshi Aoyama just missed third as Alvaro Bautista stayed ahead of him in the final turn.  Mike di Meglio remained an excellent teammate, finishing fifth.
(final race positions courtesy of MotoGPMatters.com)

Pos. No. Rider Manufacturer Time Diff
1 40 Hector BARBERA APRILIA 43’23.353
2 75 Mattia PASINI APRILIA 43’23.393 0.040
3 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA APRILIA 43’25.044 1.691
4 4 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 43’25.050 1.697
5 63 Mike DI MEGLIO APRILIA 43’25.274 1.921
6 16 Jules CLUZEL APRILIA 43’32.555 9.202
7 6 Alex DEBON APRILIA 43’33.836 10.483
8 35 Raffaele DE ROSA HONDA 43’34.713 11.360
9 55 Hector FAUBEL HONDA 43’42.306 18.953
10 12 Thomas LUTHI APRILIA 43’47.833 24.480
11 17 Karel ABRAHAM APRILIA 43’48.033 24.680
12 48 Shoya TOMIZAWA HONDA 44’14.874 51.521
13 25 Alex BALDOLINI APRILIA 44’15.827 52.474
14 53 Valentin DEBISE HONDA 44’35.028 1’11.675
15 11 Balazs NEMETH APRILIA 44’38.868 1’15.515
16 7 Axel PONS APRILIA 44’39.019 1’15.666
17 56 Vladimir LEONOV APRILIA 43’36.763 1 lap
18 10 Imre TOTH APRILIA 43’56.557 1 lap
19 77 Aitor RODRIGUEZ APRILIA 44’01.540 1 lap
Not Classified
14 Ratthapark WILAIROT HONDA 35’14.349 5 laps
15 Roberto LOCATELLI GILERA 34’59.239 6 laps
54 Toby MARKHAM APRILIA 27’09.046 11 laps
58 Marco SIMONCELLI GILERA 20’06.199 14 laps
8 Bastien CHESAUX HONDA 5’20.160 23 laps
52 Lukas PESEK APRILIA 3’30.847 24 laps

Championship Standings after GP of San Marino (courtesy of MotoGPMatters.com)

1 AOYAMA Hiroshi JPN 205
2 BAUTISTA Alvaro SPA 192 -13
3 SIMONCELLI Marco ITA 165 -40
4 BARBERA Hector SPA 158 -47
5 PASINI Mattia ITA 120 -85
6 DE ROSA Raffaele ITA 90 -115
7 FAUBEL Hector SPA 86 -119
8 DEBON Alex SPA 82 -123
9 LUTHI Thomas SWI 80 -125
10 LOCATELLI Roberto ITA 78 -127
11 DI MEGLIO Mike FRA 74 -131
12 CLUZEL Jules FRA 58 -147
13 PESEK Lukas CZE 53 -152
14 ABRAHAM Karel CZE 44 -161
15 WILAIROT Ratthapark THA 43 -162
16 TALMACSI Gabor HUN 28 -177
17 TOMIZAWA Shoya JPN 25 -180
18 BALDOLINI Alex ITA 24 -181
19 ESPARGARO Aleix SPA 22 -183
20 TOTH Imre HUN 12 -193
21 DEBISE Valentin FRA 11 -194
22 AOYAMA Shuhei JPN 10 -195
23 LEONOV Vladimir RUS 8 -197
24 NEMETH Balazs HUN 3 -202
25 PONS Axel SPA 2 -203
26 MARKHAM Toby GBR 2 -203
27 WATANABE Kazuki JPN 2 -203
28 CHESAUX Bastien SWI 1 -204
29 BONSEY Stevie USA 1 -204

Rossi Adds to Point Lead With Win at Misano

What Happens When a “Donkey” Has a Good Day

9:25am EST — With a donkey helmet to commemorate his poor performance at Indianapolis, Valentino Rossi took the lead at Misano on lap 8 and did not look back.  He led his teammate Jorge Lorenzo to the line by 2.416 seconds.  Dani Pedroa finished third after getting off a flying start, but was passed by both factory Yamahas.  This five point advantage brings Rossi’s championship lead to 30 points.

Early on, Alex de Angelis crashed and took Nicky Hayden (with a promising sixth place start) and Colin Edwards with him.  Just behind the Dynamic Trio, Andrea Dovisioso and Loris Capirossi fought hard for fourth, with Dovisioso taking the position by .2 second.
(final results courtesy of MotoGP website)

1 V. ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 44’32.882
2 J. LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team + 2.416
3 D. PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team + 12.400
4 A. DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team + 26.330
5 L. CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 26.539
6 T. ELIAS SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini + 28.286
7 M. KALLIO FIN Ducati Marlboro Team + 30.184
8 M. MELANDRI ITA Hayate Racing Team + 31.757
9 C. VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 31.909
10 J. TOSELAND GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 38.347
11 A. ESPARGARO SPA Pramac Racing + 46.673
12 R. DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP + 52.041
13 N. CANEPA ITA Pramac Racing + 1’03.198
14 G. TALMACSI HUN Scot Racing Team MotoGP + 1’22.347