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.
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden will ride for potentially the final time at Donington Park tomorrow, with the British Grand Prix set to move to Silverstone next year. The Australian and the American start from fourth and fifteenth place respectively on the grid after qualifying practice was held in dry and warm conditions this afternoon.
Valentino Rossi took pole for the second race running at Donington Park this afternoon, his fourth of the season and the 56th of his career. Jorge Lorenzo qualified third and, with four poles for him also this year, the Fiat Yamaha Team has now taken the front grid slot in eight out of the ten races. It is also the fifth consecutive race at which both riders have been on the front row.
After yesterday’s downpours, today was dry with sunny intervals and this morning saw Lorenzo second and Rossi third as they got their first chance to work on their dry settings around the 4km track.
D-air Enters MotoGP
Years of dedicated motorcycle airbag research and development bring an important result to Donington this weekend, where Dainese racers will use the D-air® Racing system in heavyweight MotoGP class competition. After the general fitting tests were completed, Valentino Rossi also decided to wear the suit with a D-air® during Saturday’s race in Donington Park.
The final MotoGP at Donington Park before next year’s move to Silverstone got underway in heavy rain today, which eventually gave way to blue skies and sunshine at the Leicestershire circuit.
On the eve of the last MotoGP race weekend at Donington Park some typical occasional showers at the Midlands track provided uncertainty over the weather for the next three days of on-track action at the British Grand Prix.
Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Toni Elías, Marco Melandri and James Toseland attended the official pre-event press conference, to talk over their expectations for the race ahead. Of the quintet only Elías has not lived in the British Isles, and there is strong motivation for everyone involved to take a win this weekend.
British Grand Prix – Tuesday 21 July Preview
This weekend sees the end of an era in the FIM MotoGP World Championship, as the series makes its final visit to Donington Park for the British Grand Prix. The venue has played host to some great racing in all classes and, with competition at a breathtaking level in 2009, another thriller can be expected on Sunday 26th July.