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Ukawa pips Rossi on the last lap as Capirossi completes the podium

Ukawa pips Rossi on the last lap as Capirossi completes the podium

Ukawa pips Rossi on the last lap as Capirossi completes the podium

Tohru Ukawa rewrote the script on the final lap of the MotoGP race, just when it seemed a second successive victory for Valentino Rossi aboard the RC211V seemed assured. The Japanese rider took advantage of errors by the Italian after the Honda team-mates had contested almost the entire race on their own, with the notable exception of Capirossi who claimed third after lapping close to the front two. Ukawa took the lead from Rossi with eight laps remaining, although the Italian reclaimed it just three later.

On the last lap, the World Champion made a braking error to let Ukawa through, and the Italian only narrowly avoided falling when he attempted to wrest back first place. Capirossi came home third and Carlos Checa lost fourth on the last lap to Katoh. The Spaniard, who stalled his bike on the practice lap, had fought his way up to fourth but couldn't shake off the group of 2-stroke bikes who followed him. In the end, Katoh passed him and Jacque finished just behind him. Alex Barros crashed out on the penultimate lap.

Rossi leads the championship standings by 18 points from Checa, and is a further two ahead of team-mate Ukawa.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2002, Africa's Grand Prix

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