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Marlboro Yamaha Team: Biaggi takes crucial win for Marlboro Yamaha

Marlboro Yamaha Team: Biaggi takes crucial win for Marlboro Yamaha

Marlboro Yamaha Team rider Max Biaggi scored a vital victory at Assen today,the Italian declared winner of a race stopped four laps early due to rain.The Dutch GP was turning into an all-time classic as Italy´s triumvirate of500 stars fought for advantage around the twisting Assen track, quickestvenue on the GP calendar, Biaggi just ahead of title rivals Valentino Rossi(Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Honda). Team-mate Carlos Checa was less lucky,he crashed out on lap three while running well.

´I´m 100 per cent happy for Max but with Carlos crashing, I can´t be100 per cent happy about the team´s day,´ said Marlboro Yamaha Team directorHiroya Atsumi. ´Max rode a great race, he was riding so close withValentino, it was exciting to watch. Some corners Max was faster, somecorners Valentino was faster, just different riders and bikecharacteristics, I guess. But Max seemed faster through the final section,which might´ve given him the advantage in the final laps, though we´ll neverknow. The result is great for Max´s World Championship challenge. Now we goto Donington aiming to get great results for both Max and Carlos.´

BIAGGI WINS TO CLOSE TITLE GAP

Max Biaggi this afternoon won his second GP of the year to close the gap onrace runner-up and World Championship leader Valentino Rossi to just 21points. The pair were involved in a tension-packed contest for victory withthird Italian Loris Capirossi, Biaggi leading from lap seven until thepremature finish. Rossi did lead briefly on lap 16, the lap when the raincame, but Biaggi was soon back ahead. The final few laps promised to bebreathtaking but rain denied the 92,000-strong crowd a thrilling finish.

´I feel like I´m riding at the top of my form, my best ever,´ saidBiaggi, who turned 30 years old last Tuesday. ´Also, we´ve improved theset-up of the bike at the last two or three races, the team is doing anexcellent job, so big thanks to them. Anyway, I´m pleased, that was a very,very tough race. Barros was pushing hard in the early laps but then heseemed to lose some speed, I got ahead and then Capirossi and Rossi came, itwas very, very close.´

Biaggi appeared not to have seen the red flags, racing on while theothers slowed, but he was just making absolutely sure before easing off.´Sometimes you see fans waving red flags, so you never know, I kept pushingfor three more corners, then saw the red stop lights, so I knew it was okayto slow down.´

Today´s success was the former 250 World Champion´s seventh 500 winand his 36th GP victory.

LUCKLESS CHECA BOWS OUT EARLY

Luckless Spaniard Carlos Checa was looking good for his best result since hetook second place at May´s French GP but his hopes ended with a tumble onlap three. The Marlboro Yamaha Team man was lining up to pass Norick Abe(Yamaha) when he lost the front into Stekkenwal, taking Abe out with him.The Japanese is receiving treatment for a knee injury sustained in the fall.

´My start was okay but I didn´t feel as comfortable with a full fueltank as I´d felt during qualifying, so I decided to wait a little beforepushing on,´ said Checa, who was unhurt in the tumble. ´Then I saw theleaders getting away so I tried to pass Abe but I was pushing too hard, Ihad to brake harder and lost the front. When I went down the bike hit Abe. I´m really sorry about that and I´m very angry with myself, it was my ownmistake.´

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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