by Tracy Hagen
Honda’s Casey Stoner won his fourth MotoGP race of the year with a dominate wet race victory at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday. The win moved Stoner to first place in championship points at 116, 18 ahead of World Champion Jorge Lorenzo who crashed out before mid-race.
Second was Stoner’s Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovisioso. Stoner’s other teammate, Dani Pedroso, opted out of the race to recover from a collarbone fracture sustained from his collision with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans one month ago.
Pedroso might be regretting that decision, as Monster Yamaha rider Colin Edwards claimed third despite breaking his right collarbone all to pieces eight days earlier. It was a well-earned podium, as the 37-year old Texan was the fastest rider on the track over the final five freezing laps.
Fellow American Nicky Hayden tried to run down Edwards as the race came to a close, but could do no better than fourth. Hayden’s factory Ducati team applauded the result albeit with long faces.
Suzuki, on the other hand, were beaming smiles with Alvaro Bautista’s determined ride to fifth place, his best of the year by far. It was the team’s home race and their best result in 2011 had been John Hopkin’s tenth place at Jerez.
Sixth place went to the mysterious Valentino Rossi. The previously immortal Italian was a backmarker all weekend and the Ducati factory rider started the race from the last row. Rossi had to race Hiroshi Aoyama, Toni Elias, and Karel Abraham for the sixth-place position. Seriously.
For the fans that braved the steady, cold rain, they saw some expensive motorcycles crashed today.
The first pricey bike to go down was Ben Spies’ factory Yamaha on lap 8 while in sixth-place. Spies was taken to the medical center afterwards, no word on his condition at the time this is written.
Jorge Lorenzo crash the other factory Yamaha soon after Spies hit the deck. Lorenzo’s rear wheel slid out at turn 1, caught some grip, and through the world champion on his head. Lorenzo was ready to resume the race, but the bike was busted up and the exhaust pipe was pointed the wrong way.
The bit of factory kit that was wrecked was Marco Simoncelli’s Honda. The unpredictable Italian was a front runner from the beginning, even after running off course on the beginning of lap 4. Seven laps later he went off course in the same place, horizontally instead of vertically, after riding on Dovisioso’s rear propeller for the preceding three laps.
Below are race charts for the last two rounds. The chart for round 5 is a week late due to a solid-state drive in yours truly’s notebook that crashed last Sunday. Thanks to RecoverMyFiles, it’s all good now.
(Click on chart for PDF version)