Motorcycling: Cagiva's first win

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EDDIE LAWSON, the American rider who has emerged as world champion on four occasions, gave the Cagiva team their first 500cc win when he turned in a masterful performance yesterday in the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.

The long-awaited victory for the Italian manufacturer was the first for a European-built machine in a 500cc race since Giacomo Agostini won in Germany on an MV Agusta in 1976. Cagiva had dropped out of the sport following a lack of success before luring the veteran Lawson to the team now run by Agostini.

On a day when Randy Mamola, Lawson's fellow Californian, finished third on his Yamaha behind another compatriot, Doug Chandler, on a Suzuki, Australia's Michael Doohan could rest easy. The overall leader in the world championship broke his leg in the Netherlands a fortnight ago and was absent in Budapest. But his main rivals for this season's title, the Americans Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Rainey, were placed fourth and fifth respectively.

Lawson rode an impeccable race in difficult conditions. He also made the right choice of tyres as the field got away on a wet track. Then, with the track beginning to dry out and competitors struggling along on rain tyres, he worked his way up through the field from eighth place.

Mamola, who used to ride for Cagiva, was the early leader before being overtaken by Chandler a third of the way through the race. Finally Lawson, whose last grand prix win came on a Honda in 1989, started to make ground on his intermediate tyres and he took over the lead from Chandler, who had started in pole position, with just two laps remaining. 'It was a big gamble,' Lawson said later. 'If it hadn't dried out we would have looked pretty stupid.'