MOTOGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2005
ROUND 9 - BETANDWIN.COM BRITISH GRAND PRIX, DONINGTON PARK
24 JULY 2005 - MOTOGP RACE RESULT
HOFMANN IN TOP FORM AT RAIN SOAKED DONINGTON
Kawasaki rider Alex Hofmann scored a career-best MotoGP result, with a fighting eighth place aboard his Ninja ZX-RR in a rain soaked British Grand Prix today.
In torrential rain Hofmann rode a superb race in cold and treacherous conditions, after racing bravely through blinding spray from 15th on the grid.
The 25-year-old German is now full of confidence as he heads to his home race at Sachsenring next Sunday.
Hofmann made a storming start and tagged onto a charging group that included teammate Shinya Nakano and Carlos Checa on the opening lap.
However, on lap two, as Nakano moved into 11th position, Hofmann was baulked by Toni Elias and dropped five positions. He fought his way back into eighth on lap five, as the water-logged conditions again showed the performance potential of the Bridgestone rain tyres.
Today's 30-lap race, run in cold 15 degree conditions, was a huge disappointment for Hofmann's teammate Shinya Nakano, who crashed out on lap four.
Nakano had a strange feeling with the clutch on his Ninja ZX-RR, which caused the engine to stall at the beginning of the final sighting lap.
After a quick adjustment by crew chief Fiorenzo Fanali, Nakano took his place on the grid but the clutch problem returned almost immediately after the race start.
As a result Nakano had difficulty downshifting and at the beginning of lap four, he missed a gear and crashed out of 12th place on the entry to turn one (Redgate).
Nakano's DNF cost him valuable points in the championship, and he slipped one place to ninth and is now ten points behind nearest rival Loris Capirossi.
|Shinya Nakano: #56 - DNF
"On the grid leaving for the final sighting lap I had a strange feeling with the clutch and the engine stalled. After restarting I took my place on the grid, but then in the opening laps I still had a problem and it was difficult to downshift. I missed a gear on the entry to Redgate and crashed, which is disappointing as it cost me points in the championship. The conditions were very, very difficult today."
|Ichiro Yoda: Technical Director
"The clutch on Shinya's bike would not open properly and this led to the downshift problem, so we need to investigate this situation. In the heavy rain conditions of today's race we again saw the potential of the Bridgestone wet weather tyres."
|Harald Eckl: Team Manager
"That was great effort by Alex to achieve his best ever MotoGP result in these conditions, it was a very difficult race. It was unfortunate that Shinya had a problem and crashed, which has cost him some valuable points in the championship."