Sun 5th, Misano, Italy- Dani Pedrosa took his fourth win of the season in MotoGP today at the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, however there was a black cloud hanging over the whole Misano paddock after the tragic news of the death of Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa in the preceding Moto2 race.
Tomizawa, 19, and from Chiba in Japan, was riding in third place in the Moto2 event when he crashed and brought down Alex de Angelis and Scott Redding. The CIP Technomag rider was immediately transferred to the nearby Riccione Hospital by ambulance, before succumbing to his injuries at 2.20pm local time.
In the MotoGP race, Pedrosa went on to claim his first back-to-back premier class victories on Sunday, finishing first at Misano ahead of Championship leader and rival Jorge Lorenzo and home favourite Valentino Rossi.
Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa set a stunning pace from the start and was almost 1.5s clear of Lorenzo by only the third lap, as he set a lap record early on in the 28-lap contest. Before the action had even begun to unfold however there were two fallers at turn one as Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) went down together. The American rejoined the race but later had to retire.
With Pedrosa pulling away and Lorenzo riding a relatively lonely race in second position the real battle was for the final podium spot, with Rossi attacking Casey Stoner as he sought a result that would please the home crowd. The pair swapped positions a couple of times before the Italian made hisa move stick, with Andrea Dovizioso also passing the Australian later on.
Rossi and Dovizioso pulled away as they contended for the honour of highest placing Italian rider, and it was a battle the reigning World Champion eventually won comfortably. Pedrosa by that stage had crossed the finish line in first position and exactly 1.9s clear of Lorenzo, with Rossi just over a second behind his Fiat Yamaha teammate.
Dani Pedrosa – “There are no words to say how it feels after this victory – it feels like nothing,” declared Pedrosa. “Still with my helmet on in Parc Ferme they told me about Tomizawa and I couldn’t react. It was a big shock, a big contrast for me. It’s so sad, terrible, and these things should never happen. As a person I can only say he was a very funny boy, always happy and making jokes, and as a rider he earned respect from everybody in a very short time, he was fast and brave. To lose two riders in a week is terrible.”
“Concerning the race, I want to say thank you again to my team for doing a great job. The whole weekend has been perfect: good practices, a very high pace during the race, my second win in a row and the fourth of the season.”
Following Dovizioso and Stoner in fourth and fifth respectively were Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair Ben Spies and Colin Edwards, with Álvaro Bautista, Héctor Barberá (Páginas Amarillas Aspar) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) completing the top ten. Melandri’s team-mate Marco Simoncelli crashed but rejoined the race to finish 14th, whilst Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) was forced to retire late on.
Lorenzo’s lead at the top of the standings is now 63 points over Pedrosa, with Rossi moving into fourth overall at nine points behind Dovizioso.
Jorge Lorenzo “I don’t have many words for the race on such a sad day,” declared Lorenzo. “I made a good start, but couldn’t keep close to Pedrosa. Second is good, we weren’t fast enough but for the championship it’s another important result and that is our target. As for Shoya, it’s a huge pity because he was a good guy and a strong rider. I am so sad and I just want to say how sorry I am for his family and friends. When this happens nothing else matters.”
Reigning World Champion, Valentino Rossi, echoed his teammate’s sentiments.
“This was a great result for us, but when something so sad like this happens everything else goes to zero and the result doesn’t matter. I’m so sorry for Shoya because he was a strong rider but above all he was very ‘sympatico.’ He was very funny, always smiling and he always had nice things to say to everyone. He was also very young, with a great career ahead of him, so we are all very sad.”