British GP: Andrea Dovizioso closes gap on Jorge Lorenzo; Dan Linfoot ninth
Andrea Dovizioso was handed victory one lap from the end at the British GP when leader Alex De Angelis dropped his Master Aprilia going down Craner Curves on the way to a certain first win of the year.
Dovizioso was on hand to pick up the pieces to claim his second win of the year following his win at Istanbul, closing the championship point’s gap on leader Jorge Lorenzo to 11 points.
The defending champion was running in second in front of Dovizioso and behind De Angelis in the opening ten laps, but on lap 11 high-sided out of Coppice damaging the bike.
From the lights De Angelis led the race from pole with Hector Barbera being the only faller on the first lap.
Barbera managed to fall off three times in five minutes to put an early end to his race, Marco Simoncelli dropped his Gilera at Craners on lap two and again on lap ten at Foggy’s.
Eugene Laverty had pushed his way up to 12th before he crashed out of the GP at the Old Hairpin on lap four moving fellow Brit Dan Linfoot up the order.
The leaders were mixing with backmarkers as early as lap ten, and the slower riders would have a big affect on the outcome of the race.
The leading pair swapped fastest laps throughout and by lap 20 the interference of back markers was extending and shortening.
On laps 24 and 25 of 28 backmarkers slowed down De Angelis at Coppice helping Dovizioso close the gap and apply pressure.
Two laps later and De Angelis fell on the left hander at Craner Curves but picked the bike out of the gravel and despite losing 26 seconds to Dovizioso still finished in second place.
Hiroshi Aoyama held off a confident Julian Simon until he crashed eight laps from the end giving Aoyama his first podium of the year.
KTM’s other rider, Mika Kallio crashed on the final lap but still got across the line in sixth.
Dan Linfoot made the most of the fallers in front to move into an impressive ninth position, the second Aprilia home behind De Angelis.
In the post race conference De Angelis spoke of his disappointment: “I felt very comfortable at the beginning,” said the San Marino rider.
”I didn’t feel comfortable in the twisty section as the race went on but I am happy that I picked the bike up and finished second.”
British wildcard Tony Markham was the final finisher in 17th on his Yamaha.
1. Dovizioso Honda
2. De Angelis Aprilia
3. H Aoyama KTM
4. Takahashi Honda
5. S Aoyama Konda
6. Kallio KTM
7. Simon Honda
8. Wilairot Honda
9. Linfoot Aprilia
10. Abraham Aprilia
11. Lai Aprilia
12. Heidolf Aprilia
13. Sekiguchi Aprilia
14. Baldolini Aprilia
15. Toth Aprilia
16. Vasquez Aprilia
17. Markham Yamaha