News Report 22 June 2008
United Kingdom

2008 MotoGP Great Britain - Donington Park

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Donington Park
4023 m
06 / 22 / 2008
Time to be confirmed

Rossi extends championship lead with second place in 200th Grand Prix


Valentino Rossi finished a worthy runner-up at Donington Park today, unable to catch Casey Stoner on this occasion but surviving a mid-race battle with Dani Pedrosa to extend his lead at the top of the championship. Today was Rossi’s 200th Grand Prix and this his 142nd podium since he opened his account with a third place at the 1996 Austrian GP in the 125cc class. It was also a good day for Rossi’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who put his recent injuries and yesterday’s poor qualifying behind him to come through from 17th on the grid to take sixth.

Rossi’s recent work in testing on improving his starts paid off today and the Italian held onto his second place at the off. He tried to stay with Stoner but the Australian was too quick in some parts of the track today and Rossi knew that second was going to be as good as it got. Midway through the 30-lap race Pedrosa loomed and twice passed Rossi into turn one, but both times the multiple-champion took him back and over the final stages he was able to create a safe cushion from the Spaniard, crossing the line just under six seconds behind Stoner and 2.558 ahead of Pedrosa, who is his closest championship rival.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd Time: +5.789
“I am quite happy about this result, although of course I would have preferred to have been fighting with Stoner for the win! I got a good start today and I tried to stay with Casey, but in some corners he was faster than me and it was impossible to keep up with his pace as the race went on. I knew that second place was important because of the points so I had to win my fight with Pedrosa in the middle of the race! Luckily we took second and now I have extended my lead by four points, which is very important for our championship. Unfortunately this weekend we made some mistakes when it was dry on Friday, and then because of the wet yesterday we weren’t able to work on them until today, when it was too late to make things perfect. Anyway we did the best we could so thanks to all my guys. We are leading the championship but Stoner showed his potential today so I think that this hard battle between us all is going to continue race by race. I am glad we only have a few days to Assen and I am looking forward to doing better there.”

Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“Today it was difficult to do better than this but if you think about the championship it has been a very important result and we have increased our lead on Pedrosa by four points. We’re not quite at the half-way point of the championship yet – one more week – but we’re pretty happy with our season so far and the important thing is that we’re leading the championship. We have no time to rest before Assen but we will be going there with the aim of getting back to the top step of the podium.”

Lorenzo storms to sixth with superbDonington ride

Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo wrote another impressive chapter in his rollercoaster rookie story today with an outstanding ride to sixth from 17th on the grid in the British Grand Prix. After suffering a string of crashes and injuries over the last seven weeks and missing the last round in Catalunya, his aim today was simply to come home in one piece but the determined 21-year-old did considerably better, passing a host of riders to make up 11 places from his grid position.
In dry but windy conditions, Lorenzo lived up to his nickname ‘Por Fuera’ at turn one by overtaking around the outside of several riders and coming out of the first corner melee in 13th position. He continued with more of the same throughout the lap and crossed the line for the first time in tenth. As his confidence grew he found the rhythm he had been lacking during the rest of the weekend and passed Anthony West to take ninth on lap 13. A consistent pace throughout the middle part of the race, matching that of the leading riders, brought him to Shinya Nakano on lap 20 and, once past him he succeeded in closing a three second gap to Chris Vermeulen and Nicky Hayden in just four laps. He dispensed with these two in turn and then set off after Andrea Dovozioso, however with only five laps remaining time ran out for the Mallorcan and he crossed the line just under a second adrift of the Italian, despite setting a personal best time on the final lap of the race.

Lorenzo now sits 13 points adrift of Stoner in fourth place, whilst Rossi extends his lead over Dani Pedrosa to 11 points as they approach the half way point in the championship, which comes at Assen in just six days time.

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 6th Time: +15.690
“I’m very happy with this result, because this was a very hard weekend for me and for my crew. I don’t want to think about the past, or think about what might have been if I’d started in the front rows, I only want to think about the present and my ride today. The number one aim was to finish the race without crashing or hurting myself, because at the end of the day your health is the most important thing! After the start however I started to feel more and more confident and found I was able to ride better and better, then I realised that I actually had the chance to do a very good race. I had fast pace throughout and my bike and my Michelin tyres worked very well, so thank you to all my team. Sometimes lately it has been hard to stay optimistic, motivated and happy, even though I have always tried to go out smiling and with a good attitude, but this race today was great and I am very happy tonight.”

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager
“We have achieved the goal for this race; it was very important that Jorge found a good feeling with the bike and started to enjoy riding his M1 again and today this happened. He was able to ride a beautiful race and come back from a difficult grid position to take a brilliant sixth. Today he impressed us once again and it was also a great feeling for everyone to see him making eleven overtakes! The team did a fantastic job because they were able to put him in a position to be this fast. We are very confident now that in Assen Jorge will be back to his best.”

Masahiko Nakajima - Team Director
“We were struggling all weekend in order to try to find the right set-up to fit these tricky conditions. At the end we found a good setting, which enabled Valentino to be fast, but unfortunately one of our rivals was still faster than us today! Anyway we were able to secure important championship points and we are satisfied about this. Now our aim is to get back to the top of the podium next week.

We are all very happy with Jorge’s race today because he came through to a good finishing position from the back of the grid. Unfortunately starting from 17th meant it was very difficult to come all the way to the front but he did a fantastic job in the circumstances. We’re pleased because we have seen once again the impressive riding that he showed us before his accident. Now we will continue to try to improve his bike set-up even more, with the aim of seeing him back on the podium as soon as possible.”

Edwards fourth for Tech 3 Yamaha, Toseland frustrated

The Tech 3 Yamaha team had another day of contrasting fortunes at a blustery Donington Park today, with Colin Edwards claiming a hard fought fourth place in the British GP.

But there was bitter disappointment for James Toseland and a record British GP crowd of nearly 90,000 fans as the 27-year-old finished 17th following a crash at the first corner.

Seventh at the end of the first lap, Edwards started to make his charge through the field on lap 14 when he passed Chris Vermeulen at Coppice. Just three laps later he claimed fifth with an overtake on compatriot Nicky Hayden before he took fourth place from Andrea Dovizioso on lap 18. For most of the second half of the race, Edwards was able to run the pace of podium finishers Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, but despite some aggressive riding he was unable to fight his way back into contention for a second successive podium.

It was a day of frustration for Toseland, who determined to make a strong start from 16th on the grid, crashed at the first turn having gained several places. Despite a nasty bang to his right hand and the loss of his right footpeg, Toseland rallied himself to complete 30 tough laps at a fast pace. Despite his disappointing result, Toseland still got a rousing reception from British fans appreciative of his efforts.
Colin Edwards - Position: 4th Time: + 12.678
“I’m a bit cross even though fourth is still a good result. In the dry on Friday it was so good and I was really happy with everything. But with the rain yesterday I got thrown a bit. The geometry of the bike is quite a bit different and the weight bias quite a bit different compared to last year. So riding in the rain threw me a bit today when it was dry. Even this morning I went out and I came in and I started complaining about all these problems with the front end, yet it was exactly the same bike that I had on Friday. I got out in the race and in the first few laps I was struggling. I was riding hard but I couldn’t get into the low 29s like I was doing on a tyre that had done 24 laps on Friday. And then it kind of clicked what I needed to do but it took too long to adjust. I kept letting the front pop up and kept running wide and running wide and then I figured it out. Now you have to brake a lot deeper, harder and longer on this year’s bike with the geometry and I just got my head around it too late. Once I did that I got into the low 29s and started moving through the field. As far as lap times there was not much between me, Valentino, Dani and Casey. I kept seeing them at the same spot on the track and they weren’t pulling away. If anything I was gaining a little bit on them. I might have fought with them had I come through a bit quicker but we still did a fantastic job this weekend. The team and Michelin did a great job and I just wish I could run the race again.”
James Toseland - Position: 17th Time: +1 lap
“It is hard to explain just how disappointed how I am. I really wanted to get a good result for my home crowd but it was always going to be difficult after the problems of yesterday. Starting from 16th was always going to be tough but I decided to attack from the start. I made a good start and passed a few people and didn’t think I was too fast into the first corner but the rear end came round and I was down. I could have just cruised back to the pits but a lot of people had come to see me ride. I was hurting because I hit my head pretty hard and I smacked my right hand down on the tarmac. And the right footpeg had snapped off, but I soldiered on because I wanted to get to that chequered flag more than anything. I was going to finish for all those fans, who have been unbelievable supporting me since I arrived here. I will bounce back from this but it has got to be one of the biggest disappointments of my career. It is not in my nature to give up and I didn’t today, and I know my turn will come. I am obviously disappointed, but I have to congratulate Scott Redding. He did an amazing job and it was great for the British fans to see him do that.

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“Firstly I really want to thank Colin because again he did another great race. He qualified on the second row in the rain and although he lose some time in the early part of the race he was running the same times as Valentino and Dani and he was catching them later on. Seeing Colin do that today proves what a competitive package we have got. Of course I am very sorry and disappointed for James. I think he really wanted to do well but the rain on Saturday meant he was always racing against the clock to improve. From then he was always trying to recover. He made a mistake but I have nothing but huge admiration for what he did afterwards. It took a lot of courage for him to carry in the circumstances and it showed that he really wanted to repay the British fans for their support. He wanted to do well for them and I don’t think they can be disappointed with his effort. The good news is we have a race next week and he can show what a strong character he is by bouncing back.”