Motor Sports

Rossi matches Agostini’s Record with Win Number Sixty-Eight

Valentino Rossi reached another milestone in his outstanding career today by matching the all-time premier-class win record. His 68th premier-class victory brings him level with Giacomo Agostini and the fact that he was able to do it at his home track of Misano made it all the more special for the flamboyant Italian. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo put the icing on the cake for Yamaha with an impressive return to the podium to make it the second one-two finish for the team this season.

Rossi had a good start but Dani Pedrosa had an even better one and the seven-time world champion was forced to ride at his maximum to pass the Spaniard back, which he did on the second lap. Casey Stoner was by then some three seconds clear but Rossi’s M1 was working well and he was gradually able to start making up some ground, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap six. One lap eight of 28 Stoner sensationally slid out into the gravel in a carbon copy of the last race in Brno and Rossi was left in the lead. There was no opportunity to rest however as the twisty nature of the circuit was a very different task to face alone than the flowing curves of Brno and Lorenzo, another three seconds behind, was giving Rossi no chance of a let-up. The local hero was able to bring his M1 home safely however to the rapturous cheers of his home fans, who flooded onto the track in typical Italian fashion.

The sixth win of the season for Rossi and another non-finish for Stoner means he is now 75 points clear at the top of the championship, with a maximum of 125 points remaining from five races.  Lorenzo stays in fourth and Yamaha remain on course for a treble of Teams’ and Manufacturers’ championships as well.

“Today is a truly fantastic day and I can’t believe that I have matched Agostini’s record! He was one of my heroes so it’s quite incredible to have made it to 68 wins” said an exuberant Rossi. “This was quite a difficult weekend for us from the start and there has been the added pressure of a home race, which makes it harder to concentrate because there is so much distraction! Mugello has always been ‘my’ track, even though it’s further away from Tavullia, but here, after the bad time last year, we haven’t found it so easy. Once again today however my team gave me a very competitive bike and I felt very confident. I got a good start but then Dani came past me very fast and I then lost a lot of time getting past him and had to take some big risks – I had a big slide! Once I was past him I could see Casey, although I have to admit that today I wasn’t as confident as I was in Brno that I could win. Anyway I kept pushing because it’s not in my nature to ride for second place and I think it still could have been a battle; I was very fast once I found my rhythm. Then I saw Casey slide out. I’m sorry for him once again but this is very good for our championship so I am happy for our team.”

Results
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 44’41.884
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team + 3.163
3. Toni Elias (SPA) Alice Team + 11.705
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda + 17.470
5. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki + 23.409
6. James Toseland (GBR) Tech 3 Yamaha + 26.208
7. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 26.824
8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) JiR Team Scot MotoGP + 27.591
9. Marco Melandri (ITA) Ducati Marlboro + 33.169
10. Colin Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha + 36.529
11. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Alice Team + 42.081
12. Shinya Nakano (JPN) San Carlo Honda Gresini + 43.808
13. Anthony West (AUS) Kawasaki Racing + 54.874
14. John Hopkins (USA) Kawasaki Racing + 55.154
Did not finish
Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro 21 Lap
Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini 27 Lap
Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 28 Lap
Did not start
Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda

Championship Standings
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 262
2. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro 187
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 185
4. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 140
5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) JiR Team Scot MotoGP 118
6. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki 110
7. Colin Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha 108
8. Shinya Nakano (JPN) San Carlo Honda Gresini 87
9. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 86
10. James Toseland (GBR) Tech 3 Yamaha 85
11. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda 84
12. Toni Elias (SPA) Alice Team 82
13. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini 49
14. Marco Melandri (ITA) Ducati Marlboro 48
15. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Alice Team 47
16. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 40
17. John Hopkins (USA) Kawasaki Racing 39
18. Anthony West (AUS) Kawasaki Racing 36
19. Ben Spies (USA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 10
20. Jamie Hacking (USA) Kawasaki Racing Team 5
21. Tadyuki Okada (JPN) Repsol Honda Team 2

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