Rossi’s turf – or Lorenzo’s land?

A look through some of the biggest winners on the Riviera di Rimini

The Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini is just around the corner, and there are a few big names who’ll want to pencil themselves in for the trophy. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) is the rider with the most wins at the track across all classes since racing came back to the venue in 2007 – one on a 125, two in Moto2™ and two in MotoGP™ – but it’s only in difficult conditions that the reigning Champion has taken victory in the premier class. In that premier class, it’s two other men who are tight at the top on wins: Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) go into the event with three MotoGP™ victories each at the venue, so there could be a lot at stake this weekend.

Lorenzo was the bridesmaid at Misano when he moved up to the premier class. Taking three second place finishes in a row from 2008 to 2010, it was always a case of close but no cigar after his first win at the venue on a 250 in 2007. Come 2011, however, it all changed and the Majorcan took three MotoGP™ wins in a row as his win record on Italian soil sky-rocketed at both Misano and Mugello.

Since then he’s been in the running, not least last season when he crashed out the lead. So after winning with Ducati this season at some of his other ‘signature’ venues - and taking pole at Silverstone - can Lorenzo take back the top at Misano?

Rossi will be hoping he’s the man with the answer. The home hero, the true local and the definite fan favourite, the ‘Doctor’ is the man who took the wins that eluded Lorenzo in 2008 and 2009. The Italian then added a third premier class victory at the venue in 2014 for good measure and, you guessed it…it was Lorenzo who took second.

So will it be a fight for the record books this weekend? At three apiece, Rossi and Lorenzo could each tip the scales in their favour. Lorenzo, if he wins, would also equal Marquez’ win count across all classes – and only Casey Stoner has won for Ducati at the venue, so the number 99 is in sight of another little slice of history this weekend. In front of a partisan crowd at fever pitch, however, the home hero won’t go down without a fight – vs Lorenzo or Marquez.

Tune in for the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini this weekend, with lights out at 14:00 (GMT +2) on Sunday.

Watch all races LIVE & OnDemand and enjoy the whole video library, including technical features, exclusives interviews and classic races, with the MotoGP™ VideoPass