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GP Week : Issue 16
circumstances third was not a bad result. “I pushed for second, but then I made a mistake at the chicane and Rossi got ahead … and then I made more mistakes.” There was more overtaking behind the top three, with Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) fighting back through to prevail over Dovizioso for fourth by less than two seconds, in a strong race for the American. But the hero of the midfield was Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha). Battered after a string of crashes including heavy concussion in practice at Catalunya, he had qualified 17th: second from last. He spent the afternoon passing people … up to eighth by half distance and still going forwards. He ended up sixth. His last victim was Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda), in his first race on the pneumatic- valve Honda. Nicky had started in fighting form, holding fourth until half distance. But he was already distracted by a dashboard warning light that lit up five laps earlier, and soon he was dropping back. By the finish he had regained seventh place from Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki). Shinya Nakano (San Carlos Honda) dropped back from this group in ninth; Anthony West (Kawasaki) was tenth, his best finish this year, his progress transformed by new chassis settings. American Ben Spies (Rizla Suzuki) was 14th in his first GP, substituting for the injured Loris Capirossi; home hero James Toseland (Tech 3 Yamaha) compounded his practice problems by falling on the very first corner, remounting for a dejected last, one lap adrift. John Hopkins (Kawasaki) was the only non-finisher, sputtering to a stop after getting held up by Toseland’s crash and then fighting through to the top ten. Rossi’s points lead over Pedrosa grew by five, 162 to 151. Stoner is catching, but a still distant 117; Lorenzo has 104 and Edwards 82. M oto GP BRITAIN >> The start, the gap: lap one, onto the main straight and already the news is bad for the pursuing Rossi 37