Misano MotoGP: Rossi takes home victory and equals Agostini's record

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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

James Keen

By James Keen