Motorcycling: Hayden extends lead in title race but Rossi's hopes go up in smoke
Monday 24 July 2006
American Nicky Hayden boosted his championship hopes with a second straight US Grand Prix victory last night while Valentino Rossi's bid for a sixth MotoGP crown suffered a big blow.
Hayden, who earned his maiden career win on the Laguna Seca circuit last year, sat in behind pole sitter Chris Vermeulen early in the race until passing the Australian on lap 16 before charging home 3.18 seconds ahead of Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa. Italy's Marco Melandri, racing with a broken collarbone, was third, also on a Honda.
Five-times 500cc champion Rossi started well from back in 10th position after another disappointing qualifying effort but quickly worked up to sixth midway through the 32-lap race. But with three laps remaining, blue smoke began pouring from the back of the Italian's Yamaha, leaving him out of the points.
Hayden's second victory of the season gives the American 194 points and a 34-point lead over Pedrosa with six races left.
Rossi, who had arrived in California trailing Hayden by 26 points but riding the momentum of victory at the German Grand Prix, slipped to fourth with 143 points behind Melandri on 150.
Yukio Kagayama won both races of the World Superbike Championship round in the Czech Republic yesterday afternoon as the series leader, Troy Bayliss, suffered a setback.
The Japanese rider took both race victories in Brno for Corona Alstare Suzuki as Bayliss crashed out of race one and finished eighth second time out on his Ducati Xerox machine. Bayliss still holds a healthy lead in the championship but the fight for second is now between Japan's Noriyuki Haga, Britain's James Toseland and the Australian Troy Corser.
Toseland was second in race one on the Winston Ten Kate Honda but was fifth in race two. Haga backed up fourth in race one with third in race two and now has 189 points to Bayliss' 262, with Toseland third on 188 and Corser fourth on 173.
Elsewhere, Japan's Ryuichi Kiyonari won both races in the ninth round of the British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park, and leads the championship with 274 points.
Latest in Sport
England vs Lithuania: Wayne Rooney rules out repeat of boxing celebration after son Kai repeats it at school and focuses on goalscoring record
Marco Reus becomes Arsenal transfer target to replace Theo Walcott
Paul Scholes: It's amazing Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has so few caps for England
New kits for 2015/16: Have the Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona strips been leaked?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Zab Judah denies flooring Mayweather during sparring as he prepares for 2 May
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...