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The curse of the Misano pole

After Dovizioso’s triumph from fourth on Sunday, Pedrosa’s win in 2010 was the last time Misano’s race winner started from pole position

The curse of the Misano pole position continued on Sunday after Andrea Dovizisoso (Ducati Team) sealed a commanding victory at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini from fourth on the grid, with polesitter Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) crashing out on the penultimate lap. This means no rider has won from pole at the San Marino GP since Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa in 2010…

Dovizioso takes charge of Misano!

The ‘Little Samurai’ was untouchable that weekend as he beat then Yamaha rival Lorenzo by 1.9 seconds and home hero Valentino Rossi by 3.1 seconds, leading the race from start to finish to secure his first back-to-back premier class victories. Since then though, no one has been able to covert pole into victory at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli:

2011: Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner was on pole a year later in 2011, joined on the front row by Lorenzo and Pedrosa. However, the Australian had no answer to both Spaniards come Sunday, with Lorenzo going on to take the win by over seven seconds from his compatriot – Stoner settled for P3, nearly 12 seconds behind his rivals.

Misano 2011 - MotoGP - Race - Highlights

2012: A year later, it was Pedrosa’s turn to spearhead the grid as he took pole by a slender 0.018 from Lorenzo, with Britain’s Cal Crutchlow taking his fifth front row of the season on board his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine in third.

Sunday though was nothing short of a disaster for the pole sitter. Bike issues ahead of the race meant Pedrosa was forced to start from the back of the grid and as he sliced his way through the field on the opening lap, the Spaniard’s comeback was halted - taken out by Hector Barbera at Turn 8. Title rival Lorenzo went on to take a dominant win from teammate Rossi and Alvaro Bautista.

Misano 2012 - MotoGP - Race - Highlights

2013: Rookie sensation Marc Marquez stormed to his sixth pole of the season at the San Marino GP, beating Lorenzo by over half a second on Saturday afternoon. It was the latter who had the final say on Sunday though, with the Yamaha rider beating Marquez by over three seconds as Pedrosa completed an all-Spanish podium in third.

Misano 2013 - MotoGP - RACE - Highlights

2014: The ‘Spartan’ sealed pole on board his YZR-M1 machine in 2014, fighting off home favourties Andrea Iannone and Rossi by less than a tenth. Unlike the previous three years though, Lorenzo wouldn’t be taking home the 25 points. Instead, it would be teammate Rossi who would go on to delight the Italian fans with the win, ousting the Spaniard by 1.5 seconds with Pedrosa joining them on the rostrum – the last time ‘The Doctor’ has triumphed at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

San Marino 2014 - MotoGP - RACE - Highlights

2015: It was deja vu for Lorenzo in qualifying a year later as he once again took Saturday’s honours. However, Sunday saw a dramatic flag-to-flag race unfold with the MotoGP™ riders having to swap bikes twice as track conditions changed from dry to wet, then wet to dry. After the second switch, Lorenzo dramatically crashed out of contention as Marquez went on to take his fourth win of the year, with Bradley Smith and Scott Redding joining the number 93 on the podium.

#SanMarinoGP: MotoGP™ Full Race

2016: Lorenzo made it a hattrick of Misano pole positions in 2016 but once again, the five-time World Champion couldn’t convert it into a race win. The number 99 had to settle for P3 on Sunday as Pedrosa produced a phenomenal ride from eighth on the grid to take maximum points for the first time in 13 races - Rossi joined the Spaniard’s on the box in second.

Highlights: Pedrosa's perfect race in Misano

2017: Last season saw Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales start on pole, with Dovizioso and Marquez joining him on the front row. Sunday saw the heavens open for the first full wet race of the season and it was Marquez who would stand on the top step of the podium, overtaking second place Danilo Petrucci on the final lap as title contender Dovizioso claimed third.

Highlights: Marquez wins after last-lap overtake in Misano

2018 continued the curse for an eighth-straight year, so can anyone break the spell in 2019?

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