Motorcycling: Schwantz late challenge held off by Doohan

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL DOOHAN secured victory in the Spanish 500cc Grand Prix yesterday by the slimmest of margins. Pushed by Kevin Schwantz in the heat of the Jerez circuit, Doohan squeezed home by 0.489sec to extend his lead in the world championship to 18 points after four events.

Schwantz went into the lead at the start of the race but Doohan passed him on the 15th lap and gradually opened up a slight but comfortable margin. Schwantz came back to make a bid for the lead with three laps to go, but Doohan held him off and then preserved his lead through the final-lap challenge. Doohan's Honda and Schwantz's Suzuki both broke the old lap record and finished almost 10sec clear of John Kocinski, whose Cagiva could not match them for speed.

Jean-Philippe Ruggia of France won the 250cc race, edging Italy's Doriano Romboni by .095sec, though there was confusion at the end of the race when it was found that an official had waved the chequered flag at the last- placed riders instead of to the leaders. The final classification was taken at the end of 25 laps instead of the scheduled 26 but did not affect the winner.

Before the races, there was a minute's silence in memory of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger and a tributary lap in honour of the American Wayne Rainey, the three-time world champion who was paralysed in a racing accident last year.