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Italians continue to dictate 500 and Biaggi and Rossi keep battle to the track

Italians continue to dictate 500 and Biaggi and Rossi keep battle to the track

Italian domination in the 500cc category continues to strengthen, with Valentino Rossi, Max Biaggi and Loris Capirossi turning the World Championship into a national affair. Up until now they have only allowed one other rider to take victory, with Alex Barros beating all three on their home patch at Mugello.

Of the 21 podium positions up for grabs so far this season, the trio have taken fifteen; Rossi six, Biaggi five and Capirossi four. It´s difficult to imagine that Franco Uncini will still be the last Italian to win a 500cc World Championship by the time this season ends in November. Barros is the only rider to face up to the challenge laid down by the Italians, as Spaniards Crivillé and Checa have been inconsistent and can only boast one podium finish each. One man yet to step onto the rostrum this year is current World Champion Kenny Roberts who, up until now, has had to make do with best placings of sixth in Le Mans and Assen.

Rossi and Biaggi demonstrated on the track at Assen, that their reconciliation after the infamous altercation in Catalunya is real and their rivalry is now confined simply to the track. Both were aggressive during the race but neither lost their head and left it clear that being rivals doesn´t necessarily imply that they are enemies. Capirossi wants to join the dance, but for the moment he´ll have to make do with third place.

500cc, 2001

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