Criville runs Doohan close

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The Independent Online

Michael Doohan, the 500cc world champion, held off a concerted challenge from Alex Criville to win the Italian Grand Prix yesterday, the Australian's fourth success in a row at Mugello.

Doohan, on pole, led at the start but battled wheel to wheel with Criville for much of the 23-lap race. He took the chequered flag in a time of 44min 4.252sec, just 0.726 ahead of his Honda team-mate. It was Doohan's third win of the season and took him after five races to 96 points, 25 ahead of Luca Cadalora, who finished a distant third.

In the 250cc class, the local hero, Max Biaggi, thrilled the record crowd of 55,000, leading the race from the start and crossed the line 6.914sec ahead of Marcellino Lucchi.

Britain provided the second and third-placed finishers in the sidecar race on Saturday. Darren Dixon and Andy Hetherington were runners-up behind the Swiss duo Paul and Charly Gudel, while Steve Webster and David James came third.

The Australian sidecar rider Shane Soutar was said to be in a stable condition yesterday after crashing during a warm-up session. The 31-year- old suffered head traumas and multiple injuries to his chest.

Results, Digest, page 23