Spain’s defending world champion Marc Marquez won San Marino MotoGP on Sunday as Yamaha Movistar’s Valentino Rossi committed tactical errors in closing stages and his teammate Jorge Lorenzo crashed out. In poor weather at Misano track, Marquez negotiated the changing conditions better than other riders and recorded his fourth win of the 2015 season. However, Marquez still trails Rossi by 63 points and there is hardly any chance of his retaining the world champion’s title. Sharing the podium with Marquez were two British riders; second-placed Bradley Smith on Yamaha and third-placed Scott Redding on Honda. Redding had a wonderful ride after his bike got stuck in the dirt but he got up and finished on the podium. It was also the first time since 1979 that two British riders have finished on the podium.
It is remarkable that Marc Marquez didn’t lose heart after his crash at Silverstone MotoGP on August 30th. In the qualifying on Saturday, Jorge Lorenzo had taken the pole position ahead of Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi. Marquez’s Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa was fourth. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, who was making his second wild-card appearance in the 2015 season; was fifth ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Bradley Smith. Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso were seventh and eighth respectively. The ninth place on the grid went to Danilo Petrucci of Octo Pramac Racing while Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Aleix Espargaro finished tenth.
On race day, pole-man Jorge Lorenzo made a rocketing start and shot away from Rossi. The Italian briefly held to his second place but he was overtaken by Marquez at the first corner. The White flag came in the opening lap itself and riders went to the pits to change their machines as it started raining. Lorenzo opened a 0.6 seconds lead over Marquez and Rossi dropped back a bit in the third place. Dani Pedrosa, Bradley Smith and Andrea Iannone were next in line. As the riders entered lap 5, the intensity of rain increased. Some riders went to the pits again for another change in their machines. However, Marquez and Rossi continued chasing Lorenzo. At turn four, Scott Redding fell as a victim to the deteriorating track conditions. But the Briton pulled out his bike and rejoined the race.
At the end of lap seven, Lorenzo, Marquez and Rossi all went to pits for changing to the wet set-up bikes. When they resumed, Lorenzo and Marquez quickly broke away from Rossi, who looked like adopting a more conservative approach in keeping with sharply deteriorating weather conditions. Marquez passed Lorenzo, when the Pole-man ran wide at Querica. But at the same Querica on lap 10, Marquez ran wide off the track and Lorenzo regained his lead. Meanwhile, Rossi closed in on the top two and began breathing down on Marquez’s neck. On lap 14, Marquez allowed both Lorenzo and Rossi to overtake him. The leading trio continued to remain on track. Rain stopped at this point and Rossi fans went into a pre-matured celebration as the veteran Italian took the lead at Turn 1.
On lap 19, Marquez went to pits for changing to the dry set machine while Rossi and Lorenzo continued on wets. This decision was to prove the undoing of both the Yamaha Movistar riders. By lap 21, Rossi had opened a big lead from Lorenzo, who finally went to switch to his dry bike. It was here that Rossi blundered. His decision to stick to the wets cost him the race at San Marino. Rossi finally pitted on lap 22 but his teammate Lorenzo crashed at Turn 15. Marquez, who had pitted at the right time, zoomed away into the lead and there was no looking back after that. Bradley Smith took the second place, Scott Redding was third with Forward Racing’s Loris Baz finishing fourth. Rossi was fifth, Danilo Petrucci of Pramac Racing finished sixth ahead of Ducat’s Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso at seventh and eighth respectively. Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa was ninth while Suzuki’s Alexi Espargaro finished tenth.