With second place at Donington
Fiat Yamaha Team rider Colin Edwards finished second in the British Grand Prix at Donington Park today, taking his second podium of the season after a fighting ride from pole position.
His team-mate Valentino Rossi was disappointed
to finish fourth but nonetheless managed to set another record in the process, overtaking Mick Doohan to take the title of most prolific points-scorer ever in the premier class, with a total of 2,303 points.
After a brief respite yesterday the British weather closed in again and the race was declared wet, although the rain failed to deter the 84,785 fans who had turned out to see their adopted heroes in action.
Edwards, starting from pole for the second time this season, got a fantastic start and held the lead; whilst Rossi was edged out by Dani Pedrosa and was third into turn one. Pedrosa found his way past Edwards on the first lap but the Texan stayed on his tail and was able to take the lead again on lap five. For the next ten laps things looked promising as Edwards held the lead over Casey Stoner, who had risen to second from seventh on the grid. However as the rain stopped and a dry-line appeared Edwards began to struggle with grip and Stoner came through. Despite keeping up a fairly consistent pace until the end, Edwards was powerless to stay with the Australian and eventually crossed the line 11.768 seconds behind the championship leader.
Rossi meanwhile had a somewhat more eventful race, finding himself as far down as eighth at one point and making a small foray off-track on lap eleven. After fighting back through the order he looked like holding onto the last podium place behind Edwards, but with four laps to go Chris Vermeulen passed him and he was relegated to fourth. Today's race sees the gap from Stoner to Rossi stretched to 26 points, whilst Edwards' haul of twenty points moves him three places up the order to seventh.
“We had good race! I had a great start, better than any of my practice ones during the weekend, and then I just got my head down and kept pushing lap after lap. My bike was feeling good in the wet but then it started to dry out. I started braking a bit harder and feeling more confident, but then the front locked once into the chicane which gave me a bit of a scare. Then at the next corner, down at the hairpin, I locked it again, ran wide and Casey came through. After that I tried everything but I couldn't stay with him and it was clear that I didn't have the grip he had. It was pretty tough, but then I guess it was tough for everyone! You could see the dry line forming and rain tyres with a dry track don't work well! I just had to pay attention and take care not to spin it too much, using half throttle instead of spinning it up. Anyway, we did the best we could today and it feels good to be back on the podium, so a big thanks to all my guys. We've made a lot of progress this weekend and now we'll carry the momentum on to Assen next week! Hats off to Casey too, he did a great job today."
« Unfortunately today the conditions were not good for us at all and we had a lot of problems. In the full dry we would have been at our strongest, in full wet we would have been also quite good, but with a drying track like this we struggled a lot. I made a mistake and ran off the track when I was going the best I went during the whole race and then as the track began to dry I had less and less grip; it seems that this year, when the conditions aren't perfect, we suffer a lot. I had to go very carefully just to be able to finish and, because we were riding with a wet tyre on a dry track, my tyre was destroyed by the end. Colin did a great job in difficult circumstances so congratulations to him. We've had a very long meeting tonight and now we have to try to improve the situation for Assen.”
"We're very happy for Colin to be back on the podium, he did a great job all weekend so well done to him. Now he has found his confidence again and hopefully he can carry on like this. For Valentino it was a very difficult race and he had quite a lot of problems in the difficult conditions. We have some work to do but Colin's result is very encouraging for the whole team and now we go straight to Assen to have the chance to make up for this weekend with Valentino. We'll keep working as hard as we can and hopefully we can get back to our best very quickly."