16 years ago
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Mick Doohan looks back on the last race of the season in Rio
Well, what a way to end the season. Another great 500 race and another victory for Valentino Rossi, who has shown that he is consistently the best man out there in pretty much any conditions. The team made a good tyre choice and Rossi got his race strategy just right, even though I think Carlos Checa was a little bit unlucky to get held up by West on the last corner.Checa will understandably be a little upset tonight at missing out on the win but if reports concerning his lap times on the Yamaha M1 are anything to go by and rumours that he will be on the 4 stroke next year are confirmed, then I´m sure he will be in the hunt at more than one circuit next year. Second place is never easy to take, but especially in circumstances which are out of your control.The circuit in Rio can be pretty dangerous at the best of times but with the weather conditions as they were today there was always the chance of a few accidents. Ukawa was perhaps pushing a little too hard in the early stages of the second race when he already had a decent time cushion and I imagine he is regretting being so hasty. I said before the race that it was down to him and he proved that he could go with the front men in the first part of the race but, unfortunately, he also proved that he has yet to learn how to be consistent enough on a 500 to go out there and win races.Congratulations to Manuel Poggiali, the third and final World Champion of 2001. Many people are comparing Manuel to Valentino but I think it is far too early to start putting pressure on him and such comparisons simply should not be made. He is a very talented young rider with a big future and he needs to be respected on his own merits. Hopefully he will be given the space to grow and I´m sure we will see a lot more of him over the coming years.