Dovizioso talks MotoGP Donington (photo gallary)
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). His maiden MotoGP win was Repsol Honda’s second success in three races, following the US GP win of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) earlier this month.
Dovizioso led for two laps early on, the slippery conditions claiming Toni Elias (San Carlo Gresini Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) by one-third distance. When Lorenzo crashed out of the lead on lap nine, series leader Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) took over, chased by Dovizioso. The two Italians were inches apart as they felt their way in the risky conditions, their lap times slowing down and speeding up as rain showers hit various parts of the circuit.
On lap 20 Rossi slid off at the Foggy Esses, handing an eight second lead to Dovizioso. But the last third of the race was anything but easy for the new leader. The intermittent rainfall caused the left side of his tyres to cool down too much, leaving him with very little grip at certain points of the track. And all the while de Puniet and Edwards were inching closer. Dovi kept his head and just enough of a lead to prevent the pair getting close enough to launch an attack. Today’s result, which followed three no-scores for Dovi, moves him to sixth in the World Championship.
1st – Andrea Dovizioso Speaks… (Repsol Honda)
"It’s a fantastic feeling to win my first MotoGP race because this is the top series in the world with the best riders and so to win is a fantastic emotion. I’m very pleased with my performance today as the conditions were so difficult. It was like three different races – riding hard at the start when it was nearly dry, following Valentino as it got wetter, and then judging the pace once I was in front. I rode well in every section and managed the very tricky situation, so it’s really satisfying. This is also important for my confidence after the last three races. In the first three laps I took a lot of risks to maintain my position with the leaders because the tyres need two or three laps to get up to temperature."
"Once I was following Valentino it was quite easy because it’s not so difficult to follow someone in these conditions since the leader has to judge where it’s wet and where it’s dry. But when he fell it was clear from his crash that the tyres were very cold and this was scary because now I had to set the pace. Colin and Randy closed the gap quickly in the last five laps and at this point I was being careful and wasn’t pushing to the limit, but in the final two laps I pushed as hard as I could and they weren’t able to get close enough to try and pass. I’m so happy with this win, and we’ll use it to move forward. The important thing is to fight with the best riders in normal dry conditions, so me and the team will work really hard to repeat this victory in the dry."