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MotoGP: The drama in Misano...

The Fiat Yamaha Team gained their first double podium since Laguna Seca today, when Jorge Lorenzo finished second and Valentino Rossi third behind Dani Pedrosa at Misano. The day was overshadowed however by the tragic news that Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa had passed away following an accident in the Moto2 race. Yamaha would like to express its deepest condolences to his family, friends and team.

Lorenzo lost one place at the start and dropped to third but before the first lap was over he had got back past Casey Stoner to retake second position. Despite pushing hard in the early stages, it was soon clear that the championship leader was not able to run the same pace as Pedrosa today and he was forced to settle for an uneventful ride to second, importantly taking another 20 points for his title challenge and continuing his flawless record of a podium in every race this season.

Italian hero Rossi was hopeful of a return to the podium and he made a good start, keeping his fourth position and holding on to the leaders over the first few laps. He gradually began to close down Casey Stoner and made the pass stick on his second try, on lap eleven of 28. In the latter part of the race he came under pressure from fellow countryman Andrea Dovizioso but he was able to hold him off, putting in his fastest lap of the race three laps from the end and coming home just over a second behind his team-mate.

Lorenzo leads the championship by 63 points after today's race and Rossi has moved to fourth in the standings; on identical points to Stoner but ahead on race wins. The next round comes at the new track of Motorland Aragon in two week's time.

"I don't have many words for the race on such a sad say. I made a good start but I couldn't keep close to Pedrosa. Second is good, we weren't fast enough but for the championship it's another very important result and that is our target. The podium is our goal in all races, although we hope we can still improve our M1 a bit more. As for Shoya, it's a huge pity because he was a good guy and a strong rider. I am so sad and I just want to say how sorry I am for his family and his friends. When this happens nothing else matters." - Jorge Lorenzo, #99.

"This was a great result for us, more than just for the podium but for the way that the result arrived. I was very fast at the end of the race and this shows how much we're improving because I was able to keep pushing right to the end. I think we did a good job this weekend. But when something so sad like this happens everything else goes to zero and the result doesn't matter. I'm so sorry for Shoya because he was a strong rider but above all he was very ‘sympatico.' He was very funny, always smiling and he always had nice things to say to everyone. He was also very young with a great career ahead of him so we are all very sad." - Valentino Rossi, #46.

“There are no words to say how it feels after this victory - it feels like nothing. I arrived at parc fermé very happy with the win and I immediately felt that the atmosphere among my mechanics was really strange, everybody was serious. Still with my helmet on they told me about Tomizawa and I couldn’t react. It was a big shock, a big contrast for me. I asked three times if it was true because I couldn’t believe it. It’s so sad, terrible, and these things should never happen. As a person I can only say that he was a very funny boy, always happy and making jokes, and as a rider he earned respect from everybody in a very short time, he was fast and brave. To lose two riders in a week is terrible. I believe everybody in the World Championship is feeling the same now and I want to send my condolences to the family. When you are born, life gives you the chance to choose what you want to do. Tomi chose to be a rider and in fact he was doing great. I just want to think that he’s been happy making his dream come true. Concerning the race, I want to say thank you again to my team for doing a great job. The whole weekend has been perfect: good practices, a very high pace during the race, and the second win in a row and the fourth of the season. I want to keep my feet on the ground though and just concentrate on one race at a time. The feeling on the bike is very good now and my goal is to continue in this way. But to be honest I’m not really thinking about that at this moment.” - Dani Pedrosa, #26.

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