Donington Park has received official homologation from the FIM, giving the Leicestershire England venue the green light to host the European round of the Superbike World Championship to be held March 25 to 27, 2011.
World Superbike star Sylvain Guintoli says he is delighted that Donington Park is back open – because it will help him to erase memories of breaking his leg in a horrific motorcycle accident at the circuit two years ago.
The Ducati Xerox Team has been on track at the Mugello circuit yesterday and this morning, as guests of the Ducati MotoGP Team, to carry out two days of testing and to verify at the same time the physical condition of Noriyuki Haga, two months after the incident at Donington Park in which the Japanese rider fractured both his right ulna and left scapula.
Refreshed after a thoroughly deserved summer break, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team made a fast and promising return to MotoGP action at the Brno circuit today.
Boosted by his brilliant second place finish in the British GP at Donington Park, Colin Edwards continued his impressive 2009 form by clocking the fourth quickest time in today’s opening practice session.
A best lap of 1.57.741 saw Edwards miss a top three finish by just 0.157s, the 35-year-old helping Yamaha secure three of the top four places as the YZR-M1 machine dominated proceedings.
The 2009 FIM MotoGP World Championship is turning out to be one of the most closely contested and unpredictable title battles in recent times and the excitement of this year’s Grand Prix racing is having a highly positive effect on the sport’s viewing figures, with the British Grand Prix last weekend enjoying particularly strong numbers.
Figures provided on behalf of MotoGP commercial and media rights holders Dorna Sports make for impressive reading, as the MotoGP race at Donington Park saw record BBC audience figures which peaked at 2.9 million viewers and the UK’s national broadcaster repo
Dovizioso won in treacherous conditions, with drizzle falling on and off throughout the 30 laps. The former 125 World Champion, who has previously ridden Hondas to 250 and 125 successes at Donington Park, exhibited enormous courage and inch-perfect riding to take a 1.3 second victory from Colin Edwards (Yamaha).
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden paid the price for a bold gamble that backfired in the British Grand Prix, opting to run wet tyres with the rest of the field on slicks as drizzle fell on the starting grid at Donington Park. The Australian and the American were concerned about the state of the track after the sighting lap and, in the hope that the light rainfall would become heavier as the race progressed, they chose to make the switch from slicks to full wets.
A damp British Grand Prix at Donington Park saw both Fiat Yamaha riders crash out of the lead in slippery conditions, although Valentino Rossi was able to remount and finished a brilliant fifth, extending his championship lead in the process. Jorge Lorenzo was less lucky and was unable to continue, meaning he had to watch the rest of the race from the pits after sliding out on lap nine.
MotoGP Results and Quotes: Donington
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Valentino Rossi took pole position number four of the 2009 season on Saturday afternoon with the fastest lap of MotoGP qualifying at Donington Park. The Fiat Yamaha rider’s time of 1’28.116 gave him his first top spot for the British Grand Prix since 2005 – the last occasion in which he won at the Midlands track.