A few laps into the 13th round of the MotoGP season, the sea of yellow fans roared as their local hero took the lead in the San Marino GP at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Movistar Yamaha rider, nine times world champion, legend around them parts, Valentino Rossi, was in front and pulling away.
Rossi worked hard to gain the lead
Prior to that the Italian had battled briefly with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) before moving past him, and then overtook his teammate Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) to take the lead. It seemed all the legend had to do was stay consistent, keep going and not fall off and surely he had it in the bag. He didn’t realise that Dani Pedrosa was on one! The Repsol Honda rider surged through the field as he was running extremely quick and set several lap records consecutively.
Pedrosa was on the move
His quick pace allowed him to first overtake Marquez, then Lorenzo and then he had Rossi in his sights. With only a few laps remaining he caught him and it was not long before he made his move. He actually dared to take the lead from the Italian in front of his home fans.
Rossi did try and defend the manoeuvre and retaliate later on, but he couldn’t match Pedrosa. With just two laps remaining he appeared to speed up and closed the gap between him and Pedrosa, but in the end he had to settle for second in San Marino.
Amazing turnout of Rossi fans at Misano
This didn’t stop the party from starting. The fans roared as their beloved Italian biker had finished his home race on the podium. The track invasion started and the start-finish straight was heaving with people dressed head to toe in yellow and waving the flags to match.
Debate began about Rossi’s apparent aggressive overtake
The fans jeered as Lorenzo took to the podium, then the celebrations began when he stepped foot in front of them. Pedrosa even got a warm reception from the crowd made up of the majority of them Rossi fans. Then it was on to the press conference where he became involved in a debate/argument/disagreement with Lorenzo about the overtake he made on him earlier on in the race.
Lorenzo accused Rossi of being too aggressive, but Rossi’s opinion was very different and he highlighted the several moves in the previous round between him and Marquez as they battled at Silverstone. They sort of agreed to disagree with Lorenzo becoming unhappy at Rossi for laughing at the matter; see for yourself…
Rossi was at the maximum
Speaking about the race Rossi described how he “tried the maximum to race against Marquez”. He got past him and as a result he realised that his “rhythm was enough to win” and so was “very happy”. However he explained how “Pedrosa arrived and he was too fast”. Rossi described how he “tried the maximum” but found that “there was no way” as he found that Pedrosa “had a better pace”.
He reassured himself however saying, “Anyway, it’s second place!” He felt that it was “a shame here in Misano” in front of his home crowd as he said he “especially tried to win”. However he realised “it wasn’t possible”. Rossi then went on to say, “Thank you to all the fans that were at the track, it was great!”
Special touches for home GP
The Italian was sporting a new helmet design for his home grand prix which included a picture of him and his friend Uccio dressed like the Blue's Brothers (one of his favourite films) and the words 'Sweet Home San Marino". The theme continued through the weekend as his M1's on board camera was seen sporting a little replica hat, and Rossi wore one on the podium as he drank his shampoo from his boot!