MOTORCYCLING: Doohan cuts deficit

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL DOOHAN swept to his third consecutive San Marino 500cc Grand Prix victory yesterday to set up the closest ever run-in in the world championship. The Australian won in 46min 00.092sec from Spain's Alex Criville in second and Italy's Max Biaggi in third.

"It's certainly a special track for me," the four-times world champion said. "It's not a horsepower circuit. It's not about power, it's about flicking the bike around on the bumps and corners. It's a track I like."

Doohan's victory over his Honda team-mate, Criville, leaves the championship wide open. With four rounds to go Biaggi still leads the standings on 189 points but is now just four points clear of Doohan and seven ahead of Criville.

The World Superbike championship is heading for a thrilling finale after wins for Carl Fogarty and Pier-Francesco Chili in round 11 yesterday at Assen in the Netherlands.

A total of six points separate leader Troy Corser, second-placed Aaron Slight and Fogarty, who is in third, with one round to go, at Sugo in Japan on 4 October.

Chili won yesterday's opening race after passing Fogarty on the last of the 16 laps to secure his fifth win of the season on a Ducati. Corser finished third after taking an early lead while Slight was fourth on the Honda.

Fogarty won the second race after Chili crashed out on the last corner. Slight was second and Corser third. A mere half-point now separates Corser from Slight in the championship standings.

Results, Digest, page 21