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Mick Doohan reflects on another win for 500 protégé Valentino Rossi

Mick Doohan reflects on another win for 500 protégé Valentino Rossi

The race got off to an interesting start, with Barros and Capirossi leading the way and Rossi getting pushed wide by Gibernau in the first corner. With Valentino back in seventeenth the other riders had the perfect opportunity to get away but the simple fact was that none of them were able to. Catalunya is a very difficult track with regards to tyres because it takes a good few laps for you to be able to get any real grip. This worked in Rossi´s favour because he was able to find his rhythm and claw his way back into the top group before they made any sort of break.

Personally I expected Barros and Capirossi to take hold of the race at that point, but first Capirossi made a mistake and went wide and then Barros also slipped up and his weekend ended in the gravel.

Sete Gibernau had a great race and was unlucky not to get on the podium. You get the impression that if every race was run in Spain he would be World Champion - he really gives his all for his home fans. Today he proved that the Suzuki which is also ridden by Kenny Roberts is not underperforming. All bikes need to be pushed hard if you are to get the best out of them and that´s what Sete did today so well done to him.

It was a shame Kenny fell when he did because he is good at this track and I thought he would stay up there with the leading riders. Unfortunately he went into the corner at the end of a long straight far too fast and lost the front end, but that´s racing and he´ll bounce back again.

Shinya Nakano deserves a mention because he has been one of the most consistent riders this year, both in qualifying and in the races, and fourth place is extremely positive for his team. He´s learning how to ride the 500 quickly and I think the maturity he has shown since stepping up from the 250 class marks him out as a fantastic talent for the future.

Once Valentino took control at the front the race was effectively over. I thought Abe might stay with him but he also went wide on one of the corners, losing his confidence and his lap times suffered. Valentino stayed consistent and looked very comfortable when the tyres went off. He kept focused on the job at hand and now has another 25 points to his credit which will give him an immense amount of confidence going across to Assen. I won´t be in Holland I´m afraid but I´ll be glued to the TV and writing for before and after the race.

Speak to you soon,


500cc, 2001, Valentino Rossi

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