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A day-off from motorbikes for MotoGP riders in Catalunya

A day-off from motorbikes for MotoGP riders in Catalunya

A day-off from motorbikes for MotoGP riders in Catalunya

As preparations are finalised for this weekend's Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya, the riders from the MotoGP paddock all went their separate ways today as they looked to relax before what promises to be yet another spectacular weekend of action. MotoGP World Championship leader Valentino Rossi escaped from the pressures in the circuit and joined 250 leader Fonsi Nieto in a visit to a rally test track near Barcelona. Invited by local car manufacturers Seat, Rossi and Nieto were given the opportunity to test the Cordoba World Rally car on a variety of surfaces.

The Italian has often declared his love for the sport and has even taken part in competitions in the past, and it was clear that the reigning MotoGP World Champion has a certain talent. He did not find things as easy as he apparently does on the track with a motorbike however, as he suffered a small accident after running off the road and into a tree. Nieto suffered a minor incident, but also emerged unscathed.

Meanwhile, three other MotoGP riders had less of a relaxing experience and more of a heart-racing one as they visited Barcelona's Aquarium tourist attraction. Carlos Checa, Sete Gibernau and Alex Barros all visited the underwater wildlife centre and got the opportunity to swim in one of the specially created pools alongside sharks measuring up to three metres long.

One man who did get chance to chill out was Japanese star Shinya Nakano, who took to the city of Barcelona and visited the beautiful Parc Güell. With Finnish 125cc starlet Mika Kallio at his side, the Yamaha rider took a leisurely stroll in the scorching Spanish sunshine around the stunning landscape created by famous Catalan architect Gaudi, and joined the mass of tourists in taking photos of the views over Barcelona the park offers.

MotoGP, 2002, Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya

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