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GP Week : Issue 120
The attrition left the two Hondas miles in front, with Stoner 15 seconds clear of Dovi by the end. Miles behind, Colin Edwards (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) took advantage of the absences to claim third, his first time on the rostrum since a wet British GP at Donington Park in 2009. The 37-year- old had been discharged from hospital only seven days before after breaking his collarbone badly in practice for last weekend’s Catalunyan GP. In practice he had done “the bare minimum” of laps, but while the freshly- plated right collarbone was no problem, “I tore a muscle in my chest, and that’s been painful.” He start well and was soldiering on in the gloom. “ When I saw P3 on my board, I thought – you gotta be shittin’ me.” He had to press on to stay clear of a closing Nicky Hayden (Marlboro Ducati), who had struggled until his tyres had warmed up. He closed to within 4.3 seconds with two laps to go, but Edwards was able to respond. “Respect to Colin. He deserves it,” he said. Alvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) had dropped away in fifth, but the race was processional after the crashes with little for 72,544 drenched but hardy British fans to enjoy. Especially with Valentino Rossi having “the worst weekend of so far”. In his first visit to the track Vale just couldn’t get to grips with it throughout practice, qualifying a lowly 13th and picking his way through to a distant sixth in desultory fashion. It was a lucky result. “The weather helped me today,” he admitted. Karel Abraham (AB Cardion Ducati) was seventh, well ahead of Toni Elias (LCR Honda), who had been caught at the end by Hiro Aoyama (San Carlo Honda), who had eventually passed and outpaced Loris Capirossi (Pramac Ducati). Hector Barbera (Mapfre Aspar Ducati) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Ducati) were a lap down. Stoner now leads on 116 points to Lorenzo’s 98. Dovizioso has 83, Rossi 68, Pedrosa 61 and Hayden 60.