Motorcycling: Rainey stays in the chase for title: Champion's faultless ride in European Grand Prix

Click to follow
WAYNE RAINEY led from start to finish in the European 500cc grand prix yesterday, keeping alive his hopes of capturing a fourth successive world title.

The American went to the front from third place on the grid, leaving the rest of the field to give chase. He then gave a faultless display of high- class riding in blustery conditions to chalk up the 23rd grand prix win of his career.

After winning the Malaysian and Japanese grands prix at the start of the season, Rainey has had continuous chassis difficulties with his Yamaha. 'I'd like to think we've worked out our problems now,' he said.

A win in last year's grand prix in Barcelona launched Rainey's successful bid for the 1992 championship. With six races left this season, he still hopes he can overtake the championship leader Kevin SchwETHER write errorantz. 'Kevin is running well and it's going to be a tough battle,' Rainey said.

The Australian Michael Doohan went into the race in pole position for the second week running, but again had to make do with second place. Doohan, who has not won a race since a bad crash last year, was four seconds adrift of Rainey. Schwantz was well back in third, but it was enough to keep him 19 points clear at the top of the world championship standings.

EUROPEAN 500cc GRAND PRIX (Barcelona, 118.67km, 73.74 miles, 25 laps): 1 W Rainey (US) Yamaha 45min 58.314sec (ave speed 154.888kph, 96.245mph); 2 M Doohan (Aus) Honda 46:02.212; 3 K Schwantz (US) Suzuki 46:17.306; 4 D Beattie (Aus) Honda 46:44.939; 5 A Barros (Bra) Suzuki 46:54.113; 6 N MacKenzie (GB) ROC Yamaha 46:54.120; 7 J Lopez Mella (Sp) ROC Yamaha 47:04.194; 8 J Kuhn (Fr) Yamaha 47:04.276; 9 J Garriga (Sp) Cagiva 47:34.882; 10 R Colleoni (It) ROC Yamaha 47:45.276. Fastest lap: Rainey 1:49.340 (156.294kph, 97.119). Leading world championship standings (after eight rounds): 1 Schwantz 172pts; 2 Rainey 153; 3 Beattie 106; 4 Doohan 95; 5 A Criville (Sp) Honda 77; 6 S Itoh (Japan) Honda 68; 7 D Chandler (US) Cagiva 59; 8 MacKenzie 56; 9 Barros 54; 10 L Cadalora (It) Yamaha 48.