Rome, Sep 13 (IANS) Italian Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) produced 27-inch perfect laps on home soil to secure his maiden MotoGP victory in a dramatic Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.
Morbidelli took the chequered flag 2.217 ahead of compatriot Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), who celebrates his first premier class podium, with Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) getting the better of home hero Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) on the last lap to claim another podium finish.
Meanwhile, now former Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crashing out twice at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
From the middle of the front row, Morbidelli out-dragged both Maverick ViAales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Quartararo off the line and headed into Turn 1 leading, with fourth place Rossi getting a superb start to slot into second ahead of the equally fast-starting Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) on the second row.
Vinales slipped to P4, with Quartararo slotting into P5 as Morbidelli and Rossi sent the Italian fans into raptures on the opening lap.
Looking eager, Rossi got a good run down into Turn 8 on Lap 1 and showed a wheel to Morbidelli, but the latter was late on the brakes and closed the door. The numbers 21 and 46 then started to create a bit of a gap to third place Miller, with Viales holding off Quartararo and the two Team Suzuki Ecstar machines of Alex Rins and Joan Mir.
Vinales was the only rider on the grid to select the hard Michelin rear tyre, and it was clear that the lap record holder was just taking his time to get heat into the rear – with Quartararo looking impatient behind.