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Rossi rubs it in as he wins number ten of the season

Rossi rubs it in as he wins number ten of the season

Valentino Rossi emphasised his dominance over the other riders in the 500cc class as he stormed to victory number ten of the 2001 season in the 500cc Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The young Italian was not content with being crowned World Champion last week in Phillip Island, but had to go on and prove his quality, winning comfortably by a margin of 3.55 seconds. Behind him riders dropped like flies at a circuit which had not seen too many crashes before today, and this allowed Capirossi and McCoy to take the other podium spots.

The start of the race saw Rossi slip back, getting off the blocks typically slowly and as has become customary this season, Roberts led the riders through the first lap and then began to slip back. The front group was Roberts and McCoy plus the three Italians, and as Roberts gave up the lead to Capirossi, Biaggi ended his race. A flawed late braking manoeuvre from the Marlboro Yamaha rider saw him plough into the back of Roberts and consigned them both to the dirt. Rossi then broke past Capirossi, stretching out his lead. The battle was now on for second, first Abe joined the sparring Capirossi and McCoy. After the D´Antin Yamaha rider crashed out, Nakano got in on the act. Eventually Capirossi pulled away, to leave McCoy holding off Nakano over the line for third.

The battle to watch in Rio will be between Capirossi in Biaggi, the Honda Pons rider now just four points behind his Yamaha compatriot. They are the only two now with a chance to take the runners-up spot after Barros finished seventh today behind Ukawa and Criville. Eighth went to Gibernau, who closes in on Checa in the standings, his countryman was tenth today behind Haga, and with just two points separating the two, and only a further four back to Criville, the Battle for Spanish pride is another highlight for Rio. Rossi´s stamp of authority was all over this race, and with the 25 points picked up here, he has reached the milestone he wanted of 300 points.

500cc, 2001

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