Stoner wins British MotoGP race
In a dramatic MotoGP contest which started in wet conditions at Donington Park Casey Stoner took his fifth victory in eight races to extend his World Championship lead to 26 points at the Nickel & Dime British Grand Prix.
As the track at the English circuit began to dry out in the later stages of the race Stoner built up an 11 second lead over Colin Edwards, the Fiat Yamaha rider taking his best result of the season in second place.
It was another superb performance from Stoner who made up significant ground to take victory having slipped from fifth on the grid to 12th in the first lap – the young Australian again demonstrating the credentials which make him a great bet to win the World title in just his second season in the premier class.
Stoner’s compatriot Chris Vermeulen of Rizla Suzuki overtook Edwards’ Yamaha colleague Valentino Rossi towards the end of an exciting battle to earn this third career podium.
There were more valuable World Championship points won by Vermeulen’s Suzuki colleague John Hopkins who finished fifth for the second time in three races, while the in-form Randy de Puniet (Kawasaki) was sixth and Alex Barros (Pramac d’Antin) was seventh.
The top ten was completed by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, Pramac d’Antin’s Alex Hofmann and Honda Gresini’s Marco Melandri.
It was an eventful Kawasaki debut for Anthony West in his first 800cc race, the wet specialist remarkably making his way up to fourth from 17th on the grid at one stage and eventually finishing in a creditable 11th position after remounting following a crash.
The unfortunate World Champion Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda) finished last having also remounted following an accident - when his good practice and qualifying results and a decent start to the race looked as though they could lead to his first podium if the year but it was not to be.
Pos Rider Bike Time/Behind
1. Casey Stoner Ducati 51:40.739
2. Colin Edwards Yamaha + 11.768
3. Chris Vermeulen Suzuki + 15.678
4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha + 21.827
5. John Hopkins Suzuki + 35.518
6. Randy de Puniet Kawasaki + 36.474
7. Alex Barros Ducati + 38.094
8. Daniel Pedrosa Honda + 38.992
9. Alex Hofmann Ducati + 39.239
10. Marco Melandri Honda +1:01.526
11. Anthony West Kawasaki +1:06.486
12. Toni Elias Honda +1:34.074
13. Kurtis Roberts KR + 1 lap
14. Shinya Nakano Honda + 1 lap
15. Makoto Tamada Yamaha + 2 laps
16. Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha + 2 laps
17. Nicky Hayden Honda + 4 laps
Rider Bike Laps
Loris Capirossi Ducati 24
Carlos Checa Honda 4