Motorcycling: Indomitable Doohan

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Australia's Michael Doohan won the Imola Grand Prix yesterday for his seventh win in eight starts in the 500cc world championship.

Doohan's Honda, which finished ahead of Japan's Honda riders Nobuatsu Aoki and Takuma Aoki, must surely win the 1997 world title after Alex Criville, in second place before yesterday, suffered severe hand injuries in practice for last weekend's Dutch Grand Prix.

Italy's Max Biaggi won the 250cc race, increasing his overall lead in the world championship standings, ahead of fellow Honda riders Olivier Jacque of France and Japan's Tohru Ukawa.

It was a great day for Italy as Valentino Rossi, on an Aprilia, also increased his lead in the 125cc standings. He finished ahead of Japan's Honda riders Tomomi Manako and Kazuto Sakata.

At Thruxton, Niall Mackenzie underlined his determination to keep his British Superbike Championship title as he scorched to a brilliant winning double. Mackenzie knocked 0.7sec off the lap record in the first race and in the second he recovered from a poor start to win by a second from Terry Rymer.