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Rossi returns to winning ways in Cinzano British Grand Prix

Rossi returns to winning ways in Cinzano British Grand Prix

Valentino Rossi returned to the top of the podium in sensational fashion, as he recovered from his 11th place on the grid to win by a clear margin in the Cinzano British Grand Prix which took place at Donington Park. The rain which had seemed so likely during Saturday night´s thunderstorms never came and it was left down to the showman from Urbino to prove his worth in MotoGP. He won by 1.79 seconds from his great rival Max Biaggi, as Brazilian Alex Barros came in third.

It was Kenny Roberts who had led for much of the first half of the race, his Suzuki showing its early race capabilities yet again. However he was tracked down and overtaken in quick succession by Biaggi and Barros, and soon after Rossi, who had plucked off the riders in front of him one by one and eventually was there in the leading pack, the power of his Nastro Azzuro Honda proving too much.

Behind this lead pack, Loris Capirossi was disappointing, dropping positions every other lap, but there were some excellent performances from Noriyuki Haga, who put in a series of fast laps to finish in fourth by the end, Olivier Jacque who despite his ninth position had been there or thereabouts throughout, and Carlos Checa, will be very pleased with his fifth place at a track he isn´t particularly keen on. In terms of home riders, Jason Vincent will be delighted with having picked up three points on his only ride on the Red Bull Yamaha, having passed Chris Walker late on, who himself managed only a fifteenth place ahead of his teammate Leon Haslam who came in 17th.

It was on the eighteenth lap that Rossi finally snatched the lead from Biaggi and with it, he never looked back, steadily maintaining his fast pace and inching away. As he pulled a wheelie across the finish line, Rossi demonstrated his emotions by punching the air and standing up on the pegs. With the win he stretches his championship lead back out to 26 points and also chalks up Honda´s 150th 500cc win.

500cc, 2001

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