Ducati Marlboro's Casey Stoner continued his dream season today, taking his fifth victory in eight races on the 2007 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) calendar. Today's win came after a rainy journey on the Donington Park circuit.
"This proves to people that the Ducati doesn't just have power. We've been improving the bike and now it doesn't have any particular weak points, we just need to improve it as a complete package", Stoner said.
The podium was completed by Fiat Yamaha's Colin Edwards and Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen after 30 laps in the British Grand Prix event.
The race began under rainy conditions, with Edwards moving from the pole position, although it would be Dani Pedrosa who jumped to the front from fourth spot on the grid. The Spaniard onboard his Repsol Honda enjoyed the leadership over the first five laps of the race before Edwards again took the lead and behind them, Stoner continued his advance onboard the Desmosedici GP07 after a bad start.
"I got a perfect jump at the start, a perfect clutch release, but then I must've hit a white line and it spun up straight away. I was panicking a little bit because everybody was zooming past and I thought I'd be last into the first corner. We still got in there in a reasonable position and we were able to pick our way through. Colin seemed to be nice and smooth, but I knew I could go quicker", the winner commented.
Eventually Stoner would move into second during the competition and start a head-to-head fight with Edwards for the victory, leaving the rest of the field behind.
"I saw the track getting drier and drier. I was worried about destroying the rear tyre, so I started going over all the wet patches. When we got to the last five laps the tyre still had a pretty good feeling and it looked pretty good at the end of the race, considering it was our softest option. I'm not looking at the championship yet, I'm just enjoying all these races whether I win or don't finish on the podium", the Australian added.
Edwards did all he could to try to get his maiden victory in MotoGP, but the American had to settle for second place at the end.
"We had good race! I had a great start, better than any of my practice ones during the weekend, and then I just got my head down and kept pushing lap after lap. My bike was feeling good in the wet but then it started to dry out. I started braking a bit harder and feeling more confident, but then the front locked once into the chicane which gave me a bit of a scare. Then at the next corner, down at the hairpin, I locked it again, ran wide and Casey came through. After that I tried everything but I couldn't stay with him and it was clear that I didn't have the grip he had", Edwards mentioned.
When the track started to show a dry line, the Bridgestone tyres of Stoner's Ducati proved to be in better shape than the Michelins's of Edwards' Yamaha.
At the halfway point of the race, on lap 16, Stoner jumped to the lead in Melbourne Hairpin, leaving Edwards once again at the door of his maiden MotoGP victory.
"With less than ten laps to go, Chris Vermeulen was closing his gap with Rossi for the last step of the podium and four laps before the end the Rizla Suzuki rider overtook the Italian to take third position and another podium after his success in the French GP some weeks ago", Vermeulen commented.
"It was very wet to start with and then dried out later on and that made the conditions very difficult. But my team and Bridgestone deserve full marks for picking the best tyres for today -- they certainly knew what they were doing! I also want give my crew an extra special thank-you because for the second day running I crashed heavily in the morning and they again managed to get the bike rebuilt in time, so thanks guys!"
After 30 laps of hard racing for the riders, Stoner took the victory at the chequered flag with 11.768s over Edwards and 15.678s of gap to Vermeulen. The Australian now leads the championship with 165 points and is followed by Rossi in fourth position, who has 139 points.
The ninth round of MotoGP will be next Sunday in the Assen circuit of Netherlands.