Motorcycling: Fogarty finds the front

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The Independent Online
Carl Fogarty's overdue first victory of the season rifled him to the head of the World Superbike championship standings before a crowd of 20,000 at Donington Park yesterday.

Fogarty's third-round win - his 40th in superbikes - was hard-earned as the Ducati-mounted rider edged out the frantic challenge of both Aaron Slight, his erstwhile Honda team-mate and tormentor-in-chief, and Pier Francesco Chili.

Afterwards, an exhausted Fogarty said: "It was hard work but it is good to win again; it seems a long time. I underestimated how long it would take me to get used to the Ducati again after a season with Honda, but this weekend it felt smoother."

Fogarty, aka "the Blackburn Bullet", had used his second machine for the winning ride. In the opening 25-lap race, in which he finished second, he had used a bike set up for wet conditions and struggled to stay on the pace as Slight provided a hard-charging ride through the field from seventh on the opening lap to win his second race of the season for Castrol Honda.

Fogarty now holds an 11-point advantage over the quick Kiwi, Slight.

n Alex Criville made amends for crashing in sight of the finish line last year to beat his HRC Honda team-mate, Michael Doohan, in the Spanish 500cc Grand Prix at Jerez yesterday. The Spaniard led from start to finish as the three-times world champion struggled to take second place from another Honda rider, Tadayuki Okada.

Results, Digest, page 23