The stage was set for a great race in the San Marino sunshine. Kevin Schwantz (Lucky Strike Suzuki) was on a roll after his British GP victory and claimed pole position in San Marino.
World Championship leader Wayne Rainey (Marlboro Yamaha) had other ideas in stalling the tall Texan's late challenge for the title.
Rainey’s closest competitor Michael Doohan (Rothmans Honda), currently lying second in the Championship, stunned his rivals by storming into first place from early leader Rainey, but the drama was just beginning as the dreaded back-markers began to play a vital role in the final outcome...
In the 250 class Championship leader Luca Cadalora (Rothmans Honda) was out to take a giant step towards the championship. Helmut Bradl was engaged in a tremendous battle with the flying Italian, keeping the Honda star at bay for many laps. Once passed, Bradl, in a frantic bid to retake the lead from Cadalora, spectacularly came to grief in the searing San Marino heat but escaped injury. This left Carlos Cardus (Repsol Honda) the main challenger to Cadalora in a memorable race.