Marquez wins, Rossi extends lead, Lorenzo falls

Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:39pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Valentino Rossi extended his MotoGP lead over luckless Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo to 23 points at the San Marino Grand Prix on Sunday despite a strategy blunder that handed victory to Spaniard Marc Marquez.

Rossi had the 92,000-strong home crowd cheering as he took the lead at Misano's Marco Simoncelli circuit in eastern Italy but the joy was short-lived in a thrilling dry-wet-dry race involving two pitstops to change bikes.

With Marquez's Honda team pitting the reigning champion with 10 laps remaining, Rossi and Lorenzo -- who had started on pole -- stayed out.

Lorenzo came in with eight laps to go but his hopes vanished when he crashed on the next lap just as Rossi, who ended up fifth, was brought in for his switch back to slick tyres.

For the first time since the days of Barry Sheene in 1979, two British riders stood on the podium in the top category with Bradley Smith second on a Tech3 Yamaha and Scott Redding third for Marc VDS Honda.

Rossi has 247 points to Lorenzo's 224, with Marquez on 184 after his fourth win of the season and 23rd of his career. There are five races left with Spain's MotorLand Aragon hosting the next one on Sept. 27.

"The championship is a lot more important that winning this race, it‘s the main target," said Rossi, who had hoped for much more in the race closest to his home.

"It was a crazy race and when you have to change the bike, in this case twice, you need luck and rapid thinking to understand the situation."

Lorenzo cursed his misfortune.   Continued...

Honda MotoGP rider Marc Marquez of Spain celebrates on podium after winning the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano Adriatico circuit in central Italy September 13, 2015.   REUTERS/Max Rossi