British GP, Donington Park Race Day, Sunday July 14 2002 MARLBORO YAMAHA DUO STAR IN BRITISH GP Marlboro Yamaha Team YZR-M1 rider Max Biaggi rode to a determined second-place finish in today's sun-blessed British GP after team-mate Carlos Checa...
British GP, Donington Park
Race Day, Sunday July 14 2002
MARLBORO YAMAHA DUO STAR IN BRITISH GP
Marlboro Yamaha Team YZR-M1 rider Max Biaggi rode to a determined second-place finish in today's sun-blessed British GP after team-mate Carlos Checa tumbled out of the lead, leaving Valentino Rossi (Honda) to win his seventh victory of the year.
Biaggi started from the second row of the grid after two tumbles during practice and immediately joined Checa and Rossi out front. The Italian, recovering from a fever that laid him low last week, stayed a close third until Checa's exit.
"Carlos tried very hard, he was pushing very hard," said YZR-M1 project leader Ichiro Yoda. "That's why he crashed, because he wanted to win. I like his motivation, I really appreciate what he was doing out there today. Next time. Many riders crash at the left-hand corners here, because there aren't so many, the left side of Carlos' front tyre looked new after his race. Max also rode a good race. His last two GPs haven't been so easy but he seemed more confident here, and I think we improved the handling of his machine for this track. We've also had positive feedback on the new crankshaft. Now we go to Germany and we'll keep working hard to keep improving."
Today's crowd figure of 60,000 was three times that of Donington '99, proving that MotoGP is rapidly gaining popularity in Britain after a period of low interest in the late nineties.
BIAGGI'S DETERMINED RUN TO SECOND
Max Biaggi scored his first podium finish in three races at Donington to move into third place in the 2002 MotoGP World Championship. This was yet another display of great determination from the four-time 250 World Champion who had suffered from a 39-degree fever last week. Fifth in qualifying, Biaggi made a superb getaway, slotting into third at turn one and staying third until race leader Carlos Checa fell. He ended the race just 2.371 seconds down on winner Valentino Rossi.
"I'm pretty satisfied because I tried 100 per cent, as usual," said the Marlboro Yamaha Team star. "I got a pretty good start from the second row, kept the door closed for the first few laps and then worked at staying concentrated because the pace was very fast. I could stay with Carlos and Rossi, although my bike was lacking a little agility through the fast section. All things considered, it wasn't so bad because I'd been sick for a week before I came here. I've been on antibiotics, which always leave you a little low on energy."
CHECA LEADS THE WAY BEFORE FALL
Carlos Checa gave it his all in his 100th premier-class race at Donington today, running a stunning pace in his quest for the YZR-M1's first MotoGP win. But the Marlboro Yamaha Team rider was cruelly robbed of his victory chance when he lost the front at Goddards, a treacherous off-camber hairpin that had already caught out race rivals Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi during practice. Checa had been riding a brilliant race, leading from the green light all the way to the end of the 18th lap, when he slid off without injury. He bravely restarted but his bike was too badly damaged to allow him to continue.
"I was feeling very comfortable, no problem, the bike was going well and getting better as the fuel load went down," said the bitterly disappointed Spaniard. "I didn't feel like I was on the limit. We'd chosen the softest front available and it was sliding a little through the lefts. I was very concentrated, I wasn't thinking about winning, just about being smooth and consistent. Unfortunately I held on to the front brake a little more than usual at that corner and that's when I lost it."
RAMPANT ROSSI TAKES 46TH WIN
World Championship leader Valentino Rossi scored his 46th victory at Donington today, an important success for the Italian who was contesting his 100th GP and always runs number 46. After his win, the three-time World Champion paid tribute to Carlos Checa's speed. "The pace was incredible, after a few laps I looked behind me and only Biaggi was there," he said. "Checa was very, very fast and pushing very hard. I was a little faster through the fast part, a little slower through the slow part, so I don't know what would've happened at the end if he hadn't crashed."
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Repsol HONDA Team (RC211v) 46'32.888
2. MAX BIAGGI (ITA) Marlboro YAMAHA Team (YZR-M1) +2.371
3. Alex Barros (BRA) West HONDA Pons (NSR500) +5.533
4. Norick Abe (JPN) Antena 3 YAMAHA d'Antin (YZR500) +22.036
5. Olivier Jacque (FRA) Gauloises YAMAHA Tech 3 (YZR500) +28.087
6. Sete Gibernau (SAP) Telefonica Movistar SUZUKI +28.400
7. Daijiro Kato (JPN) Fortuna HONDA Gresini (NSR500) +28.947
8. John Hopkins (USA) Red Bull YAMAHA WCM (YZR500) +31.497
9. Nobuatsu Aoki (JPN) PROTON Team KR +31.947
10. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Gauloises YAMAHA Tech 3 (YZR500) +41.454
DNF: CARLOS CHECA (SPA) Marlboro YAMAHA Team (YZR-M1)
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) 195
2. Tohru Ukawa (JPN) 108
3. MAX BIAGGI (ITA) 89
4. Alex Barros (BRA) 87
5. CARLOS CHECA (SPA) 72
6. Norick Abe (JPN) 72
7. Loris Capirossi (ITA) 65
8. Daijiro Kato (JPN) 60
9. Olivier Jacque (FRA) 42
10. John Hopkins (USA) 41