Motorcycling: Tragedy casts pall over Pedrosa win

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The Independent Online

Dani Pedrosa took victory in yesterday's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano but the result was overshadowed by the death of a competitor in the earlier Moto2 race. Japanese rider Shoya Tomizawa died when he lost control of his machine at high speed before colliding with the bikes of Alex de Angelis and Scott Redding. The Suter team rider was taken to the Hospital of Riccione but later died of his injuries.

The MotoGP competitors were informed of Tomizawa's death after their race, and Pedrosa admitted the news had soured the euphoria of claiming his second victory in a week.

"It feels so strange, there is a big hole inside me," the Spaniard said. "I was so happy and then I was told and this big hole opened up inside me."

Reigning MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi, who finished third, said he had feared the worst after seeing the crash. "When it happens like this, nothing else matters," the Italian said. "I saw the crash on TV and it was terrifying. When something so sad like this happens everything else goes to zero and the result doesn't matter. He was very funny, always smiling and he always had nice things to say to everyone. He was also very young with a great career ahead of him so we are all very sad."

Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa was never troubled in yesterday's race, converting his pole position into a crushing triumph to register his first back-to-back wins in the premier category.

His win in Indianapolis last weekend coupled with yesterday's maximum has seen him claw back Jorge Lorenzo's championship lead to 63 points with six rounds of the season remaining.

Lorenzo has minimised the impact of Pedrosa's surge by securing podium finishes in Indianapolis and Misano, but he struggled to take any positives from a black weekend.

"I don't have many words for the race on such a sad day," he said. "I made a good start but I couldn't keep close to Pedrosa. Second is good, we weren't fast enough but for the championship it's another very important result and that is our target."