FIM MotoGP Results From Donington

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Honda's Valentino Rossi was once again the favorite heading into the races this weekend at Donington, but a crash on Friday put serious doubt into some people's minds.

Then there was the extra performance some of the 4-stroke Yamahas seem to have found in the last week or so casting even more doubt on Rossi's ability to come out on top once again...

Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda Team RC211V) bounced back from a fall and ahospital visit on Friday to romp to a resounding win today at DoningtonPark. This is a personal best sixth consecutive victory in the premierclass in his 100th Grand Prix start. It is also his 46th win in all classesand team boss Jerry Burgess' 100th team win in the premier class.

Rossi led from the end of lap 18 when Carlos Checa (Yamaha) crashed atGoddard's just before the start/finish straight and 60,000 sun-soaked fanswatched Rossi cross the line in typically flamboyant style. Max Biaggi(Yamaha) was second and Alex Barros (West Honda Pons NSR500) was third, andalso the first two-stroke rider home.

"The weekend started badly with my Friday crash," said Rossi. "But I waslucky because I didn't have any trouble from my injured hand or foot, justa bit of a headache. I got a good start and slotted in behind Checa. I wasfaster than him on the faster parts of the track and slower on the slowersections. But when Carlos lost the front at Goddard's, where I crashed onFriday, I could make laps at my own pace. Then I just had to concentratehard until the end. This is a good win and a great help towards winning theChampionship."

Repsol Honda team manager Jerry Burgess, who guided Wayne Gardner to hisWorld Championship win in 1987, Mick Doohan to his five consecutive titlesfrom 1994 to 1998 and now Rossi to last year's title, was delighted. "It'sa great day," said the hugely experienced Australian. "I'm lucky to haveworked with some of the best riders in the world on factory machinery. Andthere are a few more wins left in me yet."

Rossi's team-mate Tohru Ukawa (Repsol Honda Team RC211V) did not race aftercrashing heavily on Friday at Craner Curves. He watched the race from hismotorhome in the Donington paddock and aims to be fit to race at the GermanGrand Prix next weekend. "I'm very pleased for Valentino," he said. "I'malso very sore from Friday, but feeling slightly better. I don't know ifI'll be okay for the Sachsenring yet. We'll make a decision over the nextfew days, but at least I've still got second place in the Championship."

RESULTS:Race Classification MotoGP: (30 laps = 120.69 km)Pos/Rider/ Nation/ Team/Motorcycle/Time/Km/h1/Valentino ROSSI /ITA /Repsol Honda Team/HONDA /46'32.888/155.5672/Max BIAGGI /ITA /Marlboro Yamaha Team/YAMAHA /46'35.259/155.4363/Alex BARROS /BRA /West Honda Pons/HONDA /46'38.421/155.264/Norick ABE /JPN /Antena 3 Yamaha d'Antín/YAMAHA /46'54.924/154.355/Olivier JACQUE /FRA /Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3/YAMAHA /47'00.975/154.0196/Sete GIBERNAU /SPA /Telefonica Movistar Suzuki/SUZUKI /47'01.288/154.0027/Daijiro KATO /JPN /Fortuna Honda Gresini/HONDA /47'01.835/153.9728/John HOPKINS /USA /Red Bull Yamaha WCM/YAMAHA /47'04.385/153.8339/Nobuatsu AOKI /JPN /Proton Team KR/PROTON KR /47'04.835/153.80810/Shinya NAKANO /JPN /Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3/YAMAHA /47'14.342/153.29211/Tetsuya HARADA /JPN /Pramac Honda Racing Team/HONDA /47'22.346/152.86112/Garry McCOY /AUS/ Red Bull Yamaha WCM/ YAMAHA/47'26.597/152.63213/Akira RYO /JPN /Team Suzuki/SUZUKI /47'27.368/152.59114/Kenny ROBERTS /USA /Telefonica Movistar Suzuki/SUZUKI /47'27.482/152.58515/Jurgen vd GOORBERGH/NED /Kanemoto Racing/HONDA /47'27.754/152.57Fastest Lap : Valentino ROSSI - 1'32.247 - 157.000 Km/hWorld Championship Positions:1 ROSSI 195,2 UKAWA 108,3 BIAGGI 89,4 BARROS 87,5 CHECA 72,6 ABE 72,7 CAPIROSSI 65,8 KATO 60,9 JACQUE 42,10 HOPKINS 41,11 ROBERTS 40,12 AOKI 35,13 HARADA 32,14 NAKANO 30,15 RYO 29,
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