Valentino Rossi has delighted his home Italian crowd by dominating the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano and widening his lead in the MotoGP championship over Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
The reigning champion, once he managed to overtake Honda rival Dani Pedrosa for the lead on lap eight of the 28-lap race, took full advantage of the clear track in front of him to open a gap while Pedrosa was slightly slowing down Lorenzo who was just behind.
The latter took six more laps to overtake Spanish compatriot Pedrosa, but by then Rossi was already 1.4 seconds further up the road.
That gap increased to three seconds before the Italian, who had dropped down to fourth after the first two laps, slowed down in the last four laps to win by 2.4 seconds over Lorenzo.
Pedrosa, who made his usual perfect start from second on the grid to take the lead, reduced his pace a few laps after being overtaken by Lorenzo to take a safe third place, 10 seconds behind second.
Andrea Dovizioso with the other factory Honda beat Suzuki's Loris Capirossi for fourth place after a hard battle, but the two were 14 seconds behind Pedrosa.
Gresini Honda's Toni Elias made a strong start to take second place behind Pedrosa from his brilliant fourth place on the grid, and even led for a momen. He managed to keep the second position for the initial four laps before being passed by the Yamahas. In the end, the Spaniard was classified sixth, ahead of Ducati's Mika Kallio and Hayate Kawasaki's Marco Melandri.
Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen and Tech 3 Yamaha's James Toseland completed the top 10.
Americans Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati) had plenty to complain about after being wiped off the track by Alex de Angelis.
The San Marino rider braked his Gresini Honda too late into the second corner of the first lap and hit Edwards, who in turn hit Hayden, with the trio retiring on the spot.
Lorenzo's rear wheel was also clipped by Edwards's front in the crash, but he had a lucky escape by managing to keep control of his bike.
Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 44m32.882s
2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha + 2.416s
3. Dani Pedrosa Honda + 12.400s
4. Andrea Dovizioso Honda + 26.330s
5. Loris Capirossi Suzuki + 26.539s
6. Toni Elias Gresini Honda + 28.286s
7. Mika Kallio Ducati + 30.184s
8. Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki + 31.757s
9. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki + 31.909s
10. James Toseland Tech 3 Yamaha + 38.347s
11. Aleix Espargaro Pramac Ducati + 46.673s
12. Randy de Puniet LCR Honda + 52.041s
13. Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati +1m03.198s
14. Gabor Talmacsi Scot Honda +1m22.347s
Colin Edwards Tech 3 Yamaha 0 laps
Nicky Hayden Ducati 0 laps
Alex de Angelis Gresini Honda 0 laps