Rossi wins home ground race


Nicky (69) is taken out by a ‘dumb-ass’ move

The Moto GP race at Misano in Italy this weekend was won by Valentino Rossi, who styled himself the Flying Donkey in embarrassment at his crash at the Indianapolis race a week earlier. He even had a special helmet design featuring the donkey from Shrek front and centre.

He didn’t ride like a donkey, however, getting an uncharacteristically good start, shadowing Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa until his fuel load went down a bit and he got a good feel for the bike, then splitting from the field. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate and main title challenger Jorge Lorenzo also got by Pedrosa but never really challenged, as Rossi was clearly In The Zone this weekend and won by a comfortable margin.

The race lost three serious challengers on the first lap, when Alex de Angelis (Gresini Honda) torpedoed Colin Edwards’ Tech 3 Yamaha, who in turn crashed into Nicky Hayden’s factory Ducati, putting all three out of the race. Lorenzo was also hit, but managed to stay up. Edwards said, "I have no idea [what happened] but it’ll be the usual thing, a dumb-ass Italian at the Italian GP."


Flying Donkey celebrates

Hayden commented, "Look, he was never going to make that corner … [I saw] somebody out the corner of my eye coming way too fast" … The usually cheerful and imperturbable Hayden was incensed, actually physically going after de Angelis when he realized what had happened. He was no doubt particularly upset because he’d been running in the top four in the morning warm-up which certainly appears he’s finally getting the wayward Desmosedici Ducati to work for him.

The incident didn’t do de Angelis’ career hopes much good, either. He’s out of work for 2010 and was hoping to get on a Ducati satellite team, but his chances of that took a good whack with this incident.

Father back, Pedrosa held on for third despite a late-race engine misfire; the bike actually quit on the cool-down lap. He was followed by his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso (Honda announced this weekend that both had re-signed with the team, Pedrosa for one year and Dovi for one plus an option year) who on the last lap pipped local hero Loris Capirossi on the first of the Rizla Suzukis.

There’s now a three-week break in the schedule, thanks to the cancellation of the Hungarian GP, so the teams will reconvene at Estoril in Portugal October 4. Rossi’s increased his lead over Lorenzo by five points, but with Lorenzo’s second place in spite of his win Rossi was prompted to say, "Jorge was cleverer than me and take home 20 points."

With four races left in the schedule, the top 10 look like this:

1. Valentino Rossi, Italy, Fiat Yamaha, 237 points; 2. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain, Fiat Yamaha, 207; 3. Dani Pedrosa, Spain, Repsol Honda, 157; 4. Casey Stoner, Australia, Marlboro Ducati, 150; 5. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy, Repsol Honda, 133;  6. Colin Edwards, U.S.A., Tech 3 Yamaha, 123; 7. Loris Capirossi, Italy, Rizla Suzuki, 97; 8. TIE, Alex de Angelis, Gresini Honda and Randy De Puniet, France, LCR Honda, 88; 10. Marco Melandri, Italy, Hayate Kawasaki, 87.

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