Valentino Rossi claimed a special victory today at his home track
Misano MotoGP: Rossi takes home victory and equals Agostini's record
31 August 2008 13:48
After Casey Stoner crashed out early, Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi claimed victory today at his home track in front of his many fans, bringing him equal with legendary racer Giacomo Agostini's 68 win record.
It was a landmark day for the cheery Italian rider, because not only did he equal Agostini's win record, he did it by claiming his first win at his home track Misano.
In fact it was a good day for the whole Fiat Yamaha team, since Rossi's team mate Jorge Lorenzo crossed the line second giving them the elusive 1-2 finish. Spaniard Tony Elias took third place for the Alice team to round off the podium.
When proceedings got under way in Italy today, Casey Stoner had pole position at the front of the grid, with Italian Valentino Rossi in the second spot, Jorge Lorenzo in third and Randy De Puniet in fourth. Spaniards Tony Elias and Dani Pedrosa sat in 5th and 6th respectively.
As the lights went out the light-weight Dani Pedrosa shot forward and slotted in between leaders Stoner and Rossi.
With 27 laps still to go, LCR Honda MotoGP rider De Puniet crashed out of the race. Less than a lap later Alex De Angelis of the San Carlo Honda Gresini team joined him in the pits, after he too crashed out of the Italian GP.
With 21 laps still to go Casey Stoner, who had built up a comfortable lead despite riding with a wrist injury, crashed out of the race handing the win to Rossi, who had already broken away from the rest of the pack.
Slightly further back in the field a battle was raging for 5th place. The rookies clashed when James Toseland passed Dovizioso. Toseland then tried hard to fend off Chris Vermeulen as he fought his way up through the pack, but he eventually had to concede a place.
Later Toseland had to hold back another charger as seasoned rider Capirossi, who incidentally took the record for most MotoGP appearances today, challenged him for the 6th spot, but Toseland managed to keep him at bay until the chequered flag.
1 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 44'41.884
2 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 44'45.047
3 Toni ELIAS SPA Alice Team Ducati 44'53.589
4 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 44'59.354
5 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 45'05.293
6 James TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha Yamaha 45'08.092
7 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki 45'08.708
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP Honda 45'09.475
9 Marco MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team Ducati 45'15.053
10 Colin EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha Yamaha 45'18.413
11 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team Ducati 45'23.965
12 Shinya NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda 45'25.692
13 Anthony WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki 45'36.758
14 John HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki 45'37.038