MotoGP Results and Quotes: Donington
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Andrea Dovizioso closed a MotoGP chapter at Donington Park with his first ever premier class victory. The Repsol Honda rider made sense of the madness in wet-dry conditions to earn 25 points and the honour of being the last premier class winner at the Midlands circuit.
The race was one of the most unpredictable of recent years, with twists and turns every step of the way. Besides the maiden triumph there were falls for the top two in the World Championship, a disastrous pre-race decision from a title contender and riders holding on instead of coming in for a bike change.
Dovizioso had been in the chasing group on the opening laps, but was thrust up to the front courtesy of his superior pace and mistakes from his rivals. After battling with World Championship leader Valentino Rossi at the head of the field, the young Italian found himself alone out in front as the more experienced Rossi fell at the Fogarty Esses with eleven laps remaining.
Also benefiting from consistency were podium finishers Colin Edwards and Randy de Puniet, who engaged in an entertaining battle as the chequered flag came closer to being waved. Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man Edwards took second from the LCR Honda rider on the final hairpin, ending the race just under 1.5 seconds behind Dovizioso. For both riders the top three result was their first podium of the 2009 season.
The early going saw uncertainty and instability as rain fell upon the lights going off. Early leader Jorge Lorenzo had been talked out of running wet tyres and took the lead after just a handful of laps, but took a fall when he clipped a slippery rumble strip and was unable to restart his Yamaha M1. The crash had been foreshadowed by a tumble for Toni Elías, the leader of lap one and a faller at the same spot on lap seven.
The Ducati Marlboro team of Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden were the only riders to go with full wet tyres on the grid, although a lack of heavy rainfall and the durability of Bridgestone’s dry tyre meant that they were immediately off the pace. The duo were lapped by the leaders two laps before the halfway point of the race, their gamble definitively failing to pay off.
With eight laps remaining the first riders came in to change machines, but it was too late for the switch to make an impact. Alex de Angelis placed fourth, ahead of the remounted Rossi and home rider James Toseland -with whom he dueled on the last lap. Rossi now leads the World Championship by 25 points from Lorenzo.
MotoGP Race Results: Donington
|1||A. DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Repsol Honda Team||48’26.267|
|2||C. EDWARDS||USA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+ 1.360|
|3||R. DE PUNIET||FRA||LCR Honda MotoGP||+ 1.600|
|4||A. DE ANGELIS||RSM||San Carlo Honda Gresini||+ 8.958|
|5||V. ROSSI||ITA||Fiat Yamaha Team||+ 21.622|
|6||J. TOSELAND||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+ 22.465|
|7||M. MELANDRI||ITA||Hayate Racing Team||+ 35.284|
|8||N. CANEPA||ITA||Pramac Racing||+ 38.769|
|9||D. PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||+ 42.112|
|10||M. KALLIO||FIN||Pramac Racing||+ 45.845|
|11||L. CAPIROSSI||ITA||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||+ 53.190|
|12||G. TALMACSI||HUN||Scot Racing Team MotoGP||+ 1’12.315|
|13||C. VERMEULEN||AUS||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP||+ 1’20.398|
|14||C. STONER||AUS||Ducati Marlboro Team||1 Lap|
|15||N. HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Marlboro Team||1 Lap|
|J. LORENZO||SPA||Fiat Yamaha Team||22 Lap|
|T. ELIAS||SPA||San Carlo Honda Gresini||23 Lap|
Hiroshi Aoyama came out on top in the 250cc race, as Donington Park dried out and gave a headache for the title contenders.
Aoyama had a pair of near-misses, but managed the degradation of his Dunlops to perfection as none of the big guns elected to make a switch. Backmarkers and riders attempting to unlap themselves came into play, but Aoyama remained cool to add to his win total and World Championship lead. Álvaro Bautista and Mattia Pasini finished second and third, respectively.
Julián Simón emerged victorious in a five-lap sprint for glory in the final 125cc contest. Rainfall eleven laps from the scheduled end of the twenty-five lap showdown closed back up the field and created a thrilling finale, won by the series leader.
Second place went to Fontana Racing’s Simone Corsi, taking his first rostrum since the final round of the 2008 season at Valencia. He had led the race on the final lap, but was taken by Simón and unable to regain the place.
Last year’s victor at Donington Park, Scott Redding made an unlikely push for the podium from twelfth on the grid. The Blusens Aprilia rider had a great first section of the race to move up to the second row of the revised grid, and held his nerve in the rain for third place and a home top three finish.
The ‘second race’ began with a mercurial start for Bradley Smith, who took the lead before taking a crash on the wet track when battling with Marc Márquez. He rejoined to take his bow in front of the home fans, whilst the battle at the front raged on. Two laps on, when leading the race, Márquez fell to the same fate.
MotoGP takes a brief break before returning in the Czech Republic on August 16th.