Lorenzo boosts title hopes
Jorge Lorenzo took a huge step towards winning this year's MotoGP title with a dominant lights-to-flag victory at Misano.
By Alex Williams
Last Updated: 16/09/12 6:55pm
Jorge Lorenzo took a huge step towards winning this year's MotoGP title with a dominant lights-to-flag win at Misano.
The Yamaha rider eased to victory at the San Marino Grand Prix after his main championship rival Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the race on the first lap.
Valentino Rossi equalled his best performance of the season to take second in front of his adoring Italian fans despite never threatening Lorenzo, who is now 38 points clear of Pedrosa in the riders' standings.
Alvaro Bautista edged Andrea Dovizioso in a photo finish for third place to give Honda Gresini an emotional podium on a weekend when the late Marco Simoncelli, who lived close to Misano and has had the circuit named after him, was at the forefront of everybody's thoughts.
The first planned start was abandoned after Karel Abraham raised his hand during the lights sequence, leading to a 10-minute dely.
There was no shortage of drama during the hold-up as Pedrosa's bike was wheeled off the grid before being brought back on and slotted into pole position just in time.
But the mechanical issue Pedrosa was suffering from continued to blight him on the formation lap and he was made to start from the back of the grid after being the last man onto it.
Abraham's problem was also not solved and he had to be taken off the grid before the race could finally get underway, with Lorenzo taking a comfortable lead from the start.
Pedrosa had already started to carve his way through the field when he was taken out by an overzealous Hector Barbera on the opening lap, while Abraham's race ended with a frightening highside.
British rider Cal Crutchlow, who had started on the front row of the grid, also crashed out early on as Lorenzo cruised into a big lead while Rossi struggled to hold off Stefan Bradl.
Home favourite Rossi eventually managed to put some distance between himself and the young German, who would slip back and eventually finish in sixth place.
Bautista inched ahead of Dovizioso at the line to take the final podium spot with Ben Spies completing the top five, while Lorenzo had a completely untroubled run to the win.