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Rossi scores his second consecutive 500 victory

Rossi scores his second consecutive 500 victory

Valentino Rossi has been in unstoppable form all weekend at the Gauloises Africa´s Grand Prix and he demonstrated his unquestionable talent and will-to-win once again in this afternoon´s 500 race. ´The Doctor´ took his second consecutive win of the season after battling his way through a strong leading pack. His supposed ´showdown´ with Max Biaggi never materialised and the Yamaha rider eventually finished back in eighth.

Kenny Roberts, Loris Capirossi, Norick Abe and Rossi all took turns at the front. Last year´s winner, Garry McCoy, lost the front end and crashed out of the race just past the half-way stage while trying to go up the inside of reigning World Champion Roberts.

Rossi said before the race that the altitude in Welkom suited former 250 riders and so it proved as he and Capirossi - both former 250 World Champions - broke away with three quarters of the race gone. Two other former 250 riders Tohru Ukawa and Shinya Nakano enjoyed an entertaining battle with fellow Japanese star Norick Abe further down the field. Ukawa eventually took his first ever 500 podium and Nakano clinched fourth. Alex Criville claimed an encouraging sixth place, edging out Roberts to seventh.

Yamaha team-mates McCoy and Noriyuki Haga were the only riders to crash out of the race to complete a miserable day for the Red Bull team. Olivier Jacque was penalised for jumping the start and ended up back in 16th. He was just beaten by Chris Walker, who scored his first championship point of the season.

500cc, 2001

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