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Rossi takes win at rain soaked Estoril

Rossi takes win at rain soaked Estoril

Rossi takes win at rain soaked Estoril

Valentino Rossi emerged victorious from a treacherous wet race at Estoril this afternoon, guiding his Honda RC211V through the wind and lashing rain to top the podium just as he had done at the first race of the season at Suzuka. Rossi did not have it all his own way, however, and with three laps remaining it looked as though Sete Gibernau was about to deliver a first ever win for the Suzuki GSV-R. The Spanish rider was consistently holding off the Italian by a margin of around 4 seconds, but buckled under the relentless pressure of the World Champion and his day of potential glory ended in the gravel trap. Carlos Checa and Tohru Ukawa both moved up one position on the podium thanks to Gibernau´s crash, having spent much of the race battling it out for third place.

Kenny Roberts provided a silver lining to the cloud which descended on the Suzuki garage at the end of the race by bringing his machine home in fourth place - his best MotoGP finish since Valencia last year. Alex Barros crossed the line in fifth place, the first two stroke home, ahead of Max Biaggi who was the final four stroke to cross the line in sixth. Norick Abe, John Hopkins, Jeremy McWilliams, Tetsuya Harada, Garry McCoy and Shinya Nakano were the only other riders to finish the race at all, as the likes of Loris Capirossi and Daijiro Kato failed to adapt adequately to the difficult conditions and crashed out. Rossi now holds an 89 point lead over Ukawa and can lift the title in Brazil in two weeks time by scoring 11 points more than his team-mate.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2002, Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal

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