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GP Week : Issue 16
MUCH was expected of double World Superbike champion James Toseland at Donington Park. Toseland, from nearby Nottingham, knows the circuit intimately, unlike almost every other track this year. He was the fans’ focus even before the event began. His weekend was disastrous. In qualifying, he crashed twice within one lap, condemning himself to a sixth-row start. In the race, he fell off ignominiously on the very first corner. He remounted to ride on a lap down, in pain and missing one footrest. After the race, fans invaded the track and gave him a Union Jack to parade back to the pits. Since he had finished dead last, he made a dejected figure. “It’s hard to explain how disappointed I am,” said Toseland after the race. “I decided to attack from the start, but the rear came round and I was down. It was quite painful. I could have cruised to the pits, but a lot of people had come to see me ride.” Since JT had made a pretty good showing as a class rookie up until now, four times finishing sixth, there could be only one explanation. Almost unbearable pressure. We saw the same thing a fortnight before with Jorge Lorenzo, at home in Catalunya – a massive crash in practice that left him concussed and unable to race in front of his home fans. It was obviously a salutary experience: Lorenzo was conspicuously low- profile and very cautious at Donington. The conclusion is clear enough: never race at home. Unfortunately, for all but Hungarian Gabor Talmacsi and a couple of Asian riders, that’s just not an option. Home race nightmares Pos. Rider Nation Team Total time 1 C. STONER AUS Ducati Marlboro Team 44’44.982 2 V. ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team + 5.789 3 D. PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team + 8.347 4 C. EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha + 12.678 5 A. DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP + 14.801 6 J. LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team + 15.690 7 N. HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team + 18.196 8 C. VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 21.666 9 S. NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini + 29.354 10 A. WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team + 41.030 11 T. ELIAS SPA Alice Team + 44.426 12 R. DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP + 46.199 13 S. GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team + 48.731 14 B. SPIES USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP + 49.591 15 A. DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini + 1’22.186 16 M. MELANDRI ITA Ducati Marlboro Team + 1’30.021 17 J. TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1 Lap MOTOGP | Round 6 SPAIN Points – MotoGP: Rossi 162, Pedrosa 151, Stoner 117, Lorenzo 104, Edwards 82, Dovizioso 68, Hayden 57, Toseland 53, Capirossi 51, Nakano 49, Vermeulen 48. 250cc: Kallio 131, Simoncelli 123, Debon 101, Pasini 98, Barbera 82, Aoyama 80, Bautista 77, Takahashi 70, Luthi 57, Simon 51. 125cc: Di Meglio 132, Corsi 109, Bradl 77, Terol 75, Espargaro 75, Olive 74. M oto GP BRITAIN >> 39