British GP: Repsol Honda race report

British GP: Repsol Honda race report
Oct 2, 2009, 4:36 PM

Dovizioso Rides Immaculate Race For Win Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso rode an immaculate race in the hardest possible circumstances at Donington Park today to record his first ever MotoGP victory. The 23-year-old Italian mastered the ...

Dovizioso Rides Immaculate Race For Win

Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso rode an immaculate race in the hardest possible circumstances at Donington Park today to record his first ever MotoGP victory. The 23-year-old Italian mastered the perilous track conditions to win the British Grand Prix and complete a hat-trick of victories, having won the won the 125cc race in 2004 and the 250cc event in 2007. Dovizioso is one of only two riders to have won in the three Grand Prix classes at Donington, the other being Valentino Rossi, who came fifth today.

The race was declared wet before the start, but almost the entire MotoGP field chose to begin on slick Bridgestone tyres because of the largely dry track surface. Dovizioso got away well and was in the mix during an action packed first few laps which saw the order changing frantically right the way down the field. The first laps were fast and furious and Dovizioso was on typically combative form, but then rain began to fall sporadically and conditions became treacherous. Once Lorenzo fell from the lead, Dovizioso cleverly tracked new leader Valentino Rossi until he too fell, leaving the 23-year-old Italian out in front.

In the most difficult conditions possible, with rain on his visor and the grip changing from lap to lap, Dovizioso held off a late challenge from Colin Edwards and Randy de Puniet to score a victory of immense skill and maturity.

Though fast in the early laps, his team-mate Dani Pedrosa had a difficult race as the wet conditions robbed him of grip and feedback. The Spaniard was fastest in first two of the weekend's practice sessions, but was forced to bring his RC212V home in ninth place today on the final British Grand Prix to be held at Donington Park. Pedrosa can take comfort that the latest revisions to the RC212V race machine have provided the platform for Repsol Honda's second victory in the last three races and he will return with confidence when the MotoGP paddock reconvenes at Brno in the Czech Republic for the next race on Sunday 16 August.

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO -- 1st World Championship position: 6th 94 points

"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."

DANI PEDROSA -- 9th World Championship position: 4th 115 points

"First I have to congratulate Andrea on his win because he rode a great race from beginning to end in very difficult conditions. For me, the result today is obviously disappointing and the team because I have been fast all weekend and I couldn't keep that up during the race. At the beginning I was feeling good on the Bridgestone slicks and was able to judge my pace well according to the conditions. As the rain came however, I couldn't maintain the temperature in the tyres and when this happens the grip really goes away and I wasn't able to control the bike as I wanted. On the grid I was sure my tyre choice was correct, but with 10 laps to go I thought that maybe I should go into the pits and change to wets, but it wasn't worth losing 20 seconds for the bike change because the lap times of the riders on the wet tyres were the same as the times on slicks. It was a frustrating race in strange conditions, but we'll still have confidence going into the next race in Brno because we've been making progress recently and I'm feeling strong on the bike."


"This is a great result for Andrea and he did an excellent job in conditions that were extremely difficult, so congratulations to him and the team. We can built on this result and I think it is only the start for Andrea - now he can get stronger and stronger. He's had a tricky time at the last few races, but his pace and consistency has been improving sol he and his team really deserve this result. For Dani it was a difficult race and he's disappointed naturally, but if we look on the bright side, he steered clear of trouble and took some points, so he can come back strongly at the next round. The Repsol Honda Team is challenging for wins regularly now, and we'll continue to work hard to keep this up."

-credit: repsol

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