Motorcycling: Pedrosa dominates to close in on Hayden

Dani Pedrosa, the carpenter's son hailed as the next Valentino Rossi, yesterday moved a step closer to converting hype into reality when he won the GAS British MotoGP here on his factory Repsol Honda.

The 20-year-old Spaniard built a comfortable cushion over his pursuers, and shrank the 42-point gap between himself and the championship leader, his team-mate Nicky Hayden, to 26 points. With eight of 17 races remaining, Pedrosa has emerged as a title contender in only his first year on the 990cc MotoGP bikes.

Rossi, the reigning champion, started from the fourth row of the grid after suffering set-up problems with his Camel Yamaha during qualifying and pain from bones in the right wrist fractured in the Netherlands the previous weekend. But with the tenacity and track guile that characterises his riding, Rossi punted past his rivals and survived a last-lap tussle with his fellow Italian Marco Melandri to take second place. This reduced his deficit to Hayden to a manageable 35 points. Melandri was also carrying injuries, suffering pain from the collarbone he damaged two weeks ago when he fell from his Fortuna Honda in Barcelona.

Fans swarmed on to the track on the riders' slowing down lap, forming a narrow channel - Tour de France-style - to slap Rossi on the shoulders as he cruised back to the pits. Pedrosa's mature performance merited equal credit, however.

"This was almost a perfect weekend," he said. "We set the bike up well in qualifying, and at the end of the race I was able to slow down a little."

Rossi said, "We were struggling more with the bike than with my wrist," although he was clutching an ice-pack afterwards. "After I qualified in 12th place we decided to change a lot on the bike. It was a big [gamble], but we risked it."

Australia's Casey Stoner, another 20-year-old enjoying a stunning first season, finished fourth on his LCR Honda, in front of the American Kenny Roberts Jnr on the British-built Team KR211V, a fusion of Honda engine power and Midlands chassis craftsmanship.

Colin Edwards rode his Camel Yamaha into sixth place, ahead of Hayden, who suffered a dismal weekend trying to achieve a good set-up on his Repsol Honda, and then ran on to the grass at the chicane while trying to reach the leaders.

Loris Capirossi, who was leading the championship until he crashed at Barcelona two weeks ago, was, like Rossi and Melandri, unable to shrug off his injuries and brought his Marlboro Ducati into ninth.

The 15-year-old Oxfordshire schoolboy Bradley Smith scored his first world championship points, finishing 12th in the 125cc race for Repsol Honda.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading indepen...

Recruitment Genius: Linux Systems Administrator

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Systems Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: ICT Infrastructure Manager

£27000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Edinburgh city centre Scho...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'