At Donington Park
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) was Michelin's top performer at Donington Park today, the Spaniard charging through the pack superbly to finish third after starting from ninth place on the grid.
The Spaniard enjoyed a thrilling contest
for the runner-up spot with Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1) and set the second fastest lap of the race, just five hundredths of a second off the best lap of the day. Today's winner was Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici).
The next four men home after Pedrosa were all Michelin runners and their battles provided the best entertainment during a race watched by a record British GP crowd of 88,000. Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) came out best of the group, finishing fourth after a determined ride from seventh on the first lap. Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda RC212V-Michelin) started brilliantly, even passing Rossi on the first lap, the Italian rookie eventually coming home fifth, two seconds behind Edwards and less than a second ahead of the amazing Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin). Lorenzo, who missed the last GP through injury, had only qualified 17th but came alive in the race, fighting through from tenth on lap one. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) raced Honda's pneumatic-valve engine for the first time and came home in seventh. Randy de Puniet (Honda LCR RC212V-Michelin) was 12th and local hero James Toseland (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) 17th. Toseland fell at the very first corner, bravely remounting to finish the 30 lap race.
« It wasn't a bad race for us, we had a good group of Michelin riders riding a good rhythm, » said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. « We weren't with Casey and Valentino but several of our riders had entertaining battles for strong results. Dani, Colin, Andrea and Lorenzo all rode good races. Of course we were hoping Dani could get second but he rode a great race from the third row and he got some good points. His tyres looked pretty nice after the race.
Most of our guys chose the same tyres – Dani, Nicky, Jorge, Colin and James used exactly the same rear. We only had one day of dry practice here, so I think they made the best possible tyre choice. »
Pedrosa, still hurting from a fall on Friday and an earlier tumble during the post-Catalan GP tests, was happy enough with third. « This has been a difficult weekend with the weather changing all the time, » he said. « So, considering that and the effects of my crash during the tests at Barcelona I think that finishing on the podium is a good result. I pushed hard today and I really wanted to get second. Once I got up with Valentino we had a good battle, made a few passes but I made a couple of mistakes so I lost the possibility to finish second. My Michelin tyres worked well today but I struggled a bit through the direction changes. »
Edwards got into a superb rhythm as the race went on. « Michelin came up with some really good stuff here, » he said. « What I had in the race I was really excited about, it just took me a while to readapt to pushing hard in the dry after yesterday's rain. »