Championship leader Valentino Rossi and Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo will be on one of their most successful circuits in San Marino on Sunday, the 13th of 18 MotoGP races in 2015.
Rossi, who has finished on the podium in every race this season and brilliantly mastered the wet conditions to win at the most recent British GP, resides just 20 minutes away from the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli and has often tasted glory on what he describes as a “home” race.
The Italian, 36, will carry a 12 point lead over Lorenzo into the race while Honda’s two-time defending champion Marc Marquez slipped 77 points behind the ‘Doctor’ last time out and desperately needs to pick up his fourth win of the campaign after retiring at Silverstone.
Seven-time world champion Rossi won a thrilling race last year, on the track named in memory of the late Marco Simoncelli, while he also stood top of the podium in 2008 and 2009.
Lorenzo, who struggled to fourth in Britain, is also a keen fan of the winding 4.3km Misano circuit and has finished in the top three every year since the race was introduced back in 2007.
The Spaniard has three wins (2011, 2012, 2013) to go along with four second place finishes as he tries to keep the pressure on Rossi’s number 46 bike.
Rossi admitted he can’t wait to get going but knows expectations will be high in front of his legions of supporters.
“We now arrive in Misano and there will be a lot of pressure on me, especially from the fans, friends and family that are coming, but I like this track a lot,” said the iconic Rossi.
“There is always a great atmosphere in Misano and it’s really my home race, because the track is only 10km away from Tavullia.
“Last year I rode a great race, but at the same time Jorge (Lorenzo) is also very fast there, so it will be another great fight.
“I’ll have to manage the situation in the right way. It will be difficult, but the most important thing is that this is a place where I’m able to go fast and where Yamaha is usually very strong.”
Lorenzo also believes the Yamaha bikes will thrive this weekend.
“Silverstone didn’t go as we expected due to the weather conditions. We tried all we could to stay on the podium but unfortunately we couldn’t get the pace to stay in front and finally we had some problems beyond our control, prohibiting us to keep up the fight until the end as well,” explained the 28-year-old, twice world champion, from Palma.
“I know Valentino will feel good because it’s his home Grand Prix, but in the past I’ve always been quite fast there and achieved several victories, so let’s see what happens.” – Agence France-Presse