Dovizioso takes first MotoGP victory in eventful Donington swansong

Andrea Dovizioso

Andrea Dovizioso closed the MotoGP stay at Donington Park with a first ever premier class victory, coming out on top in what became a ‘semi flag-to-flag’ race. The Repsol Honda rider made sense of the madness that ensued with steady rainfall to earn 25 points and the honor of being the last premier class winner at the Midlands circuit.

The race was one of the most unpredictable of recent years, with twists and turns every step of the way. Besides the maiden triumph there were falls for the top two in the World Championship, a disastrous pre-race decision from a title contender and riders holding on instead of coming in for a bike change.

Dovizioso had been in the chasing group on the opening laps, but was thrust up to the front courtesy of his superior pace and mistakes from his rivals. After battling with World Championship leader Valentino Rossi at the head of the field, the young Italian found himself alone out in front as the more experienced Rossi fell at the Fogarty Esses with eleven laps remaining.

Also benefitting from consistency were podium finishers Colin Edwards and Randy de Puniet, who engaged in an entertaining battle as the checkered flag came closer to being waved. Monster Tech 3 Yamaha man Edwards took second from the LCR Honda rider on the final hairpin, ending the race just under 1.5 seconds behind Dovizioso. For both riders the top three result was their first podium of the 2009 season.

The early going saw uncertainty and instability as rain fell upon the lights going off. Early leader Jorge Lorenzo had been talked out of running wet tires and took the lead after just a handful of laps, but took a fall when he clipped a slippery rumble strip and was unable to restart his Yamaha M1. The crash had been foreshadowed by a tumble for Toni Elías, the leader of lap one and a faller at the same spot on lap seven.

The Ducati Marlboro team of Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden were the only riders to go with full wet tires on the grid, although a lack of heavy rainfall and the durability of Bridgestone’s dry tire meant that they were immediately off the pace. The duo were lapped by the leaders two laps before the halfway point of the race, their gamble definitively failing to pay off.

With eight laps remaining the first riders came in to change machines, but it was too late for the switch to make an impact. Alex de Angelis placed fourth, ahead of the remounted Rossi and home rider James Toseland –with whom he dueled on the last lap. Rossi now leads the World Championship by 25 points from Lorenzo.



Rider Nation Team Total time
1 A. DOVIZIOSO ITA Repsol Honda Team 48'26.267
2 C. EDWARDS USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 1.360
3 R. DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP + 1.600
4 A. DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini + 8.958
5 V. ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team + 21.622
6 J. TOSELAND GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 + 22.465
7 M. MELANDRI ITA Hayate Racing Team + 35.284
8 N. CANEPA ITA Pramac Racing + 38.769
9 D. PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team + 42.112
10 M. KALLIO FIN Pramac Racing + 45.845
11 L. CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 53.190
12 G. TALMACSI HUN Scot Racing Team MotoGP + 1'12.315
13 C. VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 1'20.398
14 C. STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team +1 Lap
15 N. HAYDEN USA Ducati Marlboro Team +1 Lap
16 J. LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team +22 Lap
17 T. ELIAS SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini +23 Lap

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