Doohan wins on final bend

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Motor cycling

Michael Doohan, the world 500cc champion, snatched victory in the Spanish Grand Prix yesterday after the local hope, Alex Criville, crashed on the final bend.

Criville had held off a strong challenge from Doohan for 24 of the race's 27 laps but, with the finish-line in sight and the home fans already cheering, Doohan took the Spaniard on the inside, and the local rider lost control as he tried to fight back.

Doohan said he had deliberately left his challenge until the end. "Alex was riding on a high. I knew that if I took him, he'd be back again and he would close the gap." he said.

The win increased Doohan's his lead in the world championship standings. He is now on 71 points, with Luca Cadalora on 55 and Brazil's Alex Barros, who finished seventh, on 48.

Another local hero, Emilio Alazmora, lost out to Japan's Haruchita Aoki by less than a bike's length in the 125cc race.