MICHELIN Power Rain tyres were used to their full potential at today’s Gran Premio Tribul Mastercard di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini from Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) splashed to MotoGP™ victory in challenging conditions.
Heavy rain leading up to the start of the 28-lap race meant the 4,226m Italian circuit was very wet as the riders lined-up for the start with Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) sitting on pole. All racers chose the soft option front and rear MICHELIN Power Rain tyres, which signalled the first time all riders had made the same choice for a race since Michelin returned to MotoGP last season. First off the line was Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati team) and he pushed hard to open a gap at the front as his tyres gave him the confidence in the wet. Unfortunately, the atrocious conditions caught out Lorenzo on lap-seven and he crashed. The Spaniard’s demise handed the lead to Danilo Petrucci (OCTO Pramac Racing), with Marquez just behind him and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) also in close attendance. From lap-20 onwards Petrucci and Marquez continuously set the fastest laps as they pulled away at the front, demonstrating the consistency and durability of the wet tyres as the race wore on. Marquez made the defining move of the race on the penultimate-lap as he passed Petrucci and immediately pulled a gap between the two – on his way to setting the fastest lap of the race – before taking the chequered flag for his fourth win of the season, a result which also moves him to the top of the championship standings. Petrucci crossed the line in second and took the prize of First Independent Rider, whilst previous championship leader Dovizioso was third.
Despite the awful weather a crowd of 96,324 was reported to have braved the downpour and gathered around the trackside. They were not disappointed as the 23-strong field pushed to the limits in the tricky and demanding conditions, each one of them putting total faith in their Michelin tyres as the touched speeds of more than 280 Km/h on a very wet track. With battles between themselves and the weather, the action went all the way through the field, Viñales held off a charging Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) to take fourth, Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was sixth with Scott Redding (OCTO Pramac Ducati) in seventh. Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Team) rounded out the top-ten by coming eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
Michelin’s next outing will be the final European race before the three fly-away races, as MotoGP heads to Aragon in Spain for round 14 of the championship on Sunday 24th September with the title race still very much in the balance.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:
“At the start of the weekend in the dry conditions it was difficult to choose the correct rear tyre, because the performance was very similar from all three and they were all working really well. On Sunday though everything changed and we had rain conditions and I was honestly quite scared after watching the Moto3™ and Moto2™ races – where there were many crashes – and because the track was slippery, but the Michelin tyres worked really good, especially in the braking points. It was very difficult, but I always felt like I had it under control and the tyres gave me plenty of warning. I’m very happy because these 25-points will be good for the future.”
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“The weather here at Misano has been the biggest thing we have had to contend with all weekend. We came here with the tyres we had used successful at the test here a couple of weeks ago, but due to poor track conditions on the first two-days the riders couldn’t quite match the performance they had at the test. We were pleased with how the tyres worked despite the circumstances and all riders had a clear strategy for race day. That all changed though as it rained hard today, so the rain tyres came in to play. We were fortunate that all riders had a wet warm-up session this morning, as they could get some data and set-up info for the race, so they were prepared at the start. It was quite cool, as well as very wet, so the obvious choice was the soft wet pairing, which everyone went with. The conditions were very difficult for all concerned and it was a testament to the riders and the grip provided by our tyres that they could produce such an enthralling race. Seeing the fastest lap of the race set many times as the race ended and finally beaten on the last lap again provides further validation of the durability that we are striving for with all our tyres, wet or dry. We now move on to Aragon for what will be another challenge and one that we will take on with all the commitment we have shown all season, no matter what lies ahead.”